Home » Course » Main Course

Lemon Chicken Piccata

Brace yourself to fall in love with this delightful Italian recipe, Lemon Chicken Piccata, where seasoned lightly breaded chicken cutlets are smothered in a bright and bold lemony sauce, infused with white wine and capers.

Made in one skillet, this restaurant-quality dish is ready under 20 minutes and so very delicious.

Top down view of a skillet loaded with lemon chicken piccata in lemon caper sauce

Italian Chicken Piccata

Lemon Chicken Piccata is one of my all time favorite Italian dishes, along with Lasagna with Béchamel Sauce, Chicken Parmesan, Spicy Rigatoni and Spaghetti and Meat Sauce. I love me some good Italian food!

Piccata is an Italian style dish, where thinly sliced pan-fried flour-dredged meat is served in a sauce of lemon juice, butter, parsley, and often capers. In more traditional Italian cuisine, pork is used, but chicken piccata is more commonly served in Italian-American cuisine.

Chicken Piccata is one of my go-to orders at Italian restaurants. I just love the flavors of that juicy seasoned and browned chicken soaked in that tangy savory lemon caper sauce. Spaghetti pasta can be served alongside it to soak up the juice and sauce from the chicken. Yum yum yum!

On top of all that, this lemon chicken piccata recipe is straightforward, made with minimal ingredients, and ready under 20 minutes. That is why it quickly become one of my favorite meals to make at home.

Lemon chicken piccata is one of those meals that may look and sound fancy, but is in fact very easy to make. I cannot get over how something so simple can be so tasty. I guarantee your tastebuds are going to be very happy when you get a hold of this classic Italian recipe.

Ingredients

You will need a short list of pantry-friendly ingredients to make Italian Lemon Chicken Piccata for dinner:

A plate of two sliced of chicken piccata served with spaghetti on the side
  • chicken breast – sliced chicken breast lengthwise into half to get a thin slices of chicken cutlets. This will help chicken cook faster and also bring more flavor to the chicken due to the larger surface area.
  • unsalted butter – for best taste, use real butter and avoid substituting with margarine
  • all-purpose flour – used to coat the chicken in before cooking
  • white wine – use a dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay. If you don’t want to use wine, chicken broth can be used instead.
  • lemon juice – freshly squeezed is best
  • capers – these are the pickled flower buds (immature flower buds) of the caper plant. Capers are small and green, about the size of corn kernels. They are packed with flavors, and are the signature of this signature lemon chicken piccata dish, so definitely do not omit them! They typically come in bottle form and is soaked in liquid. Make sure to rinse them before use.
  • salt & black pepper – salt is used to season the chicken + sauce. It will really open up the flavors in the dish.

How to make it

Okie dokie. Gather round and I will show you how easy it is to make this restaurant-quality Italian Chicken Piccata in the comforts of your kitchen.

I highly recommend using a large skillet with large surface area to prepare this Lemon Chicken Piccata. A Dutch oven with a large surface area will work as well.

The trick is we will be cooking all six pieces of chicken along with the sauce in this one skillet, so you’ll want something big enough to hold it all.

Step 1: Preparing Chicken

We will begin by butterflying the chicken breast, or in other words, slicing it into half lengthwise.

This is an important step so the chicken cooks relatively fast, and you can maintain more of the moisture inside the chicken. You can use a meat tenderizer to gently pound down on the sliced chicken breast to make it even thinner if you want to.

Next, season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, then coat both sides with all purpose flour.

Seasoning chicken cutlets with salt and black pepper, then drenching in flour

You can do this ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. This way when you are ready to cook the chicken, it’ll be coated in flour and ready to be added into the skillet.

Step 2: Searing Chicken

Melt butter and sear flour-coated chicken in on a large deep non-stick skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Adjust the amount of butter accordingly based on how nonstick your pot is. Add more butter if needed.

Chicken should be placed on a single layer and not overlap on the skillet. Cook in batches if you have to.

Brown both sides of the chicken until it is fully cooked through. Chicken breast should be cooked until internal temperature reaches 165℉ when measured using a meat thermometer.

Searing flour coated chicken on the skillet

When chicken is done, transfer to a plate and set aside.

Step 3: Making the Sauce

Return skillet (don’t wash it!) to stove and melt 1 tbsp of butter, then sear garlic for a few seconds.

Add white wine and lemon juice. Stir and release all the brown bits on the skillet because that’s wonderful flavor for our lemon piccata sauce!

Bring to a boil and let the wine reduce slightly for a few minutes. We want to cook off the alcohol as much as we can.

Add rinsed capers (make sure to rinse it first so that it is not overly salty) and a pinch of salt to the sauce, then stir to combine.

Searing garlic, then adding white wine and lemon juice, and then capers in a skillet

Step 4: Bringing it all together

Lower chicken back into the sauce. Try to fit all the chicken inside the skillet. At this point, they can be slightly crowded.

Returning chicken back into skillet filled with lemon caper sauce

Let lemon chicken piccata cook for a minute or two so that the chicken soaks in the sauce while the flour from the chicken thickens the lemon caper sauce as well.

When it is done, remove lemon chicken piccata from heat and serve immediately while it is warm.

A skillet loaded with lemon chicken piccata in lemon caper sauce, with lemon wedges and a bowl of chopped parsley in the background

Serve chicken piccata with spaghetti and let the pasta soak up that lovely tangy sauce. I especially love serving it with my brown butter sage pasta.

Omg I love this so much!

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few things that will help ensure success when making lemon chicken piccata:

  • Cookware specifics: Utilize a shallow, wide pan for sautéing the chicken. The large surface area allows all the chicken to cook evenly and get a nice sear.
  • Use good ingredients: it really does make a difference to your final product! Freshly squeeze lemon juice from lemons is better than bottled lemon juice; avoid using bad/old wine.
  • Crisping and browning: Do not crowd the pan while searing the chicken. This will ensure the chicken gets a crispy, golden brown exterior. Cook in two batches if needed.
  • Add more butter: When searing the chicken, add more butter if the skillet is too dry and chicken isn’t getting a good sear.
  • Making the sauce: Deglaze the frying pan with white wine and lemon juice. This lifts all the tasty bits stuck to the pan mixing it into the sauce giving it additional flavor.
  • Serve immediately: Aim to serve the dish right after it’s cooked because the chicken soaks up the sauce as it cools, and could potentially make your chicken less crispy.

Frequently Asked Questions

A plate of spaghetti with two pieces of chicken piccata.
What type of white wine should I use?

use a dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay. You don’t want to use expensive wine to get great flavor, but do not use old/bad wine. Basically, use whatever you don’t mind drinking.

What can I use instead of wine?

Chicken broth works great if you don’t want to use white wine. White wine does provide the best flavor.

What do I do if the sauce is too thin?

If you find that your sauce is too thin, simply mix in a slurry (water and flour mixture) which should thicken it up.

The sauce turn out too sour, what should I do?

You can add white wine or chicken broth to dilute it. If using white wine, remember to cook it down for a minute or two to remove the alcoholic taste.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

More Chicken Recipes

Lemon chicken piccata in a skillet topped with capers and lemon wedges

Lemon Chicken Piccata

This delicious Italian recipe features pan seared chicken breasts smothered with a bright and bold lemony sauce with capers. Made in one skillet, this restaurant-quality dish is so easy to make and ready under 20 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 207kcal
Author: MinShien

Ingredients

  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts butterflied
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter more if needed
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup capers rinsed
  • a pinch of salt for the sauce

Instructions

  • Season butterflied chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Put flour in a shallow dish. Dredge seasoned chicken in the flour making sure to coat each breast well.
  • Melt 3-4 tbsp of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Adjust the amount of butter accordingly based on size/ how nonstick your skillet is.
  • Once butter is melted, add the chicken breasts. Chicken should not overlap in the skillet so cook in two batches if needed. Brown chicken on both sides. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165℉. Set chicken aside.
  • In the same skillet, melt 1 tbsp of butter under medium heat and sear minced garlic for 30 seconds or until fragrant (no need to brown). Add white wine and lemon juice. Bring to boil for 1 minute and allow sauce to slightly reduce.
  • Add capers and add a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
  • Return chicken to skillet, and coating them with the lemon sauce. Let chicken cook in sauce for 1-2 minutes under medium low heat. Sauce should reduce slightly. Remove from heat.
  • Serve with pasta and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

Similar Posts

5 from 1 vote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Deanna Valdes says:

    5 stars
    This is one of my favorite new recipes. I made it for a friend and she and her self described “pickiest eater” mom loved it too. My kids had the leftovers the next day and loved it as well. The perfect lemony flavors over pasta.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much, Deanna! I am so happy to hear everyone loved it.