Chicken Piccata

Chicken in a rich lemon butter sauce? That’s right…it’s Chicken Piccata time. Who’s in?

Chicken in a rich lemon butter sauce? That's's Chicken Piccata time. Who's in?

When Chicken Piccata came to mind the other day I just had to pounce and make some. Immediately. It’s so good.

What is Chicken Piccata, you ask?

In Italy, piccata dishes are made from veal or swordfish usually. In North America, we tend to use chicken. We’re a tad chicken-obsessed over here. Piccatas can vary in several ways but the main important things are lemon and butter. It should be really tart and lemony and rich all at once.

So, how do you make classic Chicken Piccata?

To make this chicken piccata recipe you pound some chicken breasts flat and then dredge them in seasoned flour before sauteing them until browned. This is how I make breaded chicken cutlets if you want to see how I do it step by step. Note that for this piccata we’re just dredging the chicken breasts in flour, not breading them. Although, you could go ahead and bread them that would just be a slightly different recipe.

Those browned chicken breasts get set aside for a minute while you pour lemon juice and chicken stock into the pan. And a good handful of drained capers.

If you’ve never had capers before, this is a good time to try them. I find them to have the pickled, salty flavor of dill pickles or olives. However, even people I know who don’t like olives often like capers. Give them a taste. They add a great briny flavor to all kinds of dishes.

So, the lemon juice, chicken stock, and capers are in the pan. Stir them up, scrape the bottom of the pan a bit if there are any stuck bits from the chicken. Bring it to a boil. Then you add the chicken back to the pan and let it cook through.

Take the chicken out of the pan and put it in a single layer on a clean serving plate (as in, don’t use the plate that had raw or half-cooked chicken on it).

Learn how to serve Chicken Piccata so it’s perfect!

The final touch is to take the sauce off of the heat and whisk in some butter. This is going to thicken the sauce a bit. Pour it over the chicken. Time to eat!

Have a great day,

Christine :-)


Chicken Piccata

  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4


Chicken in a rich lemon butter sauce? That’s right…it’s Chicken Piccata time. Who’s in?


  • 2 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup low or no sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 1/4 cup drained capers
  • Flat leaf parsley, chopped, and lemon slices for optional garnish


  1. Pound chicken breasts to an even 1/4 inch thickness (photo tutorial for how to do this is here, steps #1-2.). Cut each one in half to make 4 portions.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.
  3. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture so that it is dusted in white. Shake off excess.
  4. Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add chicken.
  5. Cook chicken until brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with a kitchen towel.
  6. To the pan add the lemon juice, chicken stock, and capers. Scrape the bottom of the pan and then bring to a boil.
  7. Return chicken to the pan (it’s fine if pieces overlap a bit). Cook until chicken is hot and no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove chicken to a large clean serving plate. Arrange in a single layer.
  9. Remove pan from heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and whisk it vigorously. Taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Pour over chicken. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices, if desired.
This recipe was posted in June 2017 and was updated in May 2019.
Chicken Piccata

4 responses to “Chicken Piccata”

  1. Marco says:


    So I googled piccata di pollo (chicken piccata). The second result (and first in Italian) says:

    “Piccata di pollo
    Questa ricetta viene direttamente dalle pagine del libro di cucina di Martha Stewart: ”

    /This recipe comes directly from the pages of Martha Stewart’s cookbook/

    So Italian ;)

    • Christine Pittman says:

      I really don’t know. When I search for it I find people claiming that it’s a classic Italian dish and others claiming that it’s Italian-American. A few sources say that the sauce is Italian but not usually used on chicken (seafood or veal instead). Seems complicated.

  2. Marco says:

    Piiiiiiittman…..this one is so awesome! But I have never heard the word piccata in Italy, maybe it’s just me.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Marco! Well, I don’t know. Piccata is a dish I see on Italian restaurant menus here all the time. But that makes it as authentically Italian as Spaghetti and Meatballs, right? lol. But wikipedia seems to think it’s Italian too. Maybe it’s a regional thing? Very strange. Thanks for telling me though!

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