This easy chicken piccata recipe is a classic Italian American dish with a lemon butter caper sauce that’s fast to make at home! A few simple ingredients, 25 minutes, and you’re set.
I provide instructions for two different versions of this dreamy chicken dish in this blog post. One is a creamy chicken piccata, and the other is not. They’re both very tasty, and depending on your mood or dietary restrictions, you may want to try one version or both. 🙂 This recipe is great for family dinners or when you’re having company.
This post was originally published on September 4, 2015. I periodically go through and update select older blog posts with new photos, better info, and more clearly written recipes.
So, what is chicken piccata, anyway? Chicken piccata sauce is simply a combination of butter, oil, fresh lemon juice, and capers. I add a bit of lemon zest to this dish as well to give it a bit of extra zing. And, the cream takes it to the next level in my opinion. This yummy sauce coats the pan-fried chicken and it’s beyond delicious.
Chicken piccata is a recipe that I frequently see on restaurant menus. It’s one of those things that I hardly ever order, though, because it’s so easy to make at home. This is definitely a restaurant-quality chicken dinner, without any of the hassle.
The best part of this dish is that there’s minimal preparation and it doesn’t take long to cook so it’s perfect for injecting some variety into your busy weeknight dinners.
The chicken breast in this lemon chicken piccata recipe is super tender, and the buttery goodness melts in your mouth. Just be sure not to overcook the chicken – it really doesn’t need a lot of time at all since we’re slicing it nice and thin.
How to make chicken piccata
Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make thinner cutlets. Sprinkle them with salt & pepper then dredge them in the flour. Brown for 4-5 min/side. Remove them from the pan and add the chicken broth, lemon juice, butter, capers, and cream. Return the chicken to the pan and cook through. Easy!
Can I make this recipe without the cream?
You can definitely make this recipe without the cream! If you do so, increase the chicken broth to 3/4 cup. You could even do a half chicken broth/half white wine mix. I don’t recommend subbing the cream for something like milk or half-and-half for a couple of reasons. The lemon will likely curdle the sauce, and the sauce won’t thicken as well. Either omit it completely or use heavy cream.
What to serve with chicken piccata?
I love it with rice and green beans. It’s also great over pasta (like the buttered egg noodles in the photos) or with mashed potatoes! And adding some freshly grated parmesan cheese at the end… oh boy. 😀
Recipe notes, tips & tricks:
- If using small chicken breasts, you can keep them intact, but they may take a few more minutes to cook through.
- You can try using chicken thighs if you prefer. They may take a little longer to cook.
- Try subbing the chicken broth for dry white wine if you want to try something a little different!
- I love using my splatter guard in recipes like this one – saves a lot of clean-up hassle.
- I zest the lemon with my Microplane zester/grater (it’s super handy and good for parmesan cheese as well). You don’t need to worry about getting every bit of zest from the lemon, but I really love the flavor it adds to the dish, so I recommend adding at least some.
- I find the recipe perfectly salted with regular chicken broth, but if you’re at all sensitive to salt, use a low-sodium one.
Other chicken recipes you’ll love:
- Creamy Garlic Chicken
- Easy Chicken Marsala
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken
- Lemon Chicken Stuffed Shells Recipe
- Lemon Butter Chicken
I hope you will give this easy chicken recipe a try.
Have you made this recipe? Got questions? Let me know in the comments below! And, as always, tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram so I can see your creations.
Easy Chicken Piccata
This easy chicken piccata recipe is a classic Italian American dish with a lemon butter caper sauce that's fast to make at home!
- 2 large chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Flour (for dredging)
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice + zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon brined capers drained
- 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
- Garnish (optional) chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese
Slice chicken breasts lengthwise (I butterfly then cut in half) to make 4 thinner cutlets. Trim off any fat. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle with garlic powder. Coat the chicken in flour.
Add 2 tablespoons of the butter plus the olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat.
Once the pan is hot, cook the chicken pieces for about 4-5 minutes per side until golden.
Remove the chicken from skillet and set aside.
Take the pan off the heat and add the the chicken broth, lemon juice, lemon zest, remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and capers to the skillet. Scrape up any brown bits.
Stir in the cream and return the pan to the heat. Once it's bubbling again, add the chicken back into the pan. If you want to make this recipe without cream, increase the chicken broth to 3/4 cup.
Cook for another 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced to your liking (you may need to turn down the heat a bit if it's bubbling furiously). If the sauce thickens too much, add more broth.
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.
- If using smaller chicken breasts, leave them intact (but you will likely need to cook them for a bit longer).
- If you don't want the cream in it, I recommend omitting it entirely vs. using something like half-and-half because the sauce is likely to curdle and not thicken as well.
- Use low-sodium chicken broth if sensitive to salt.
- I highly recommend this lemon zester.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.