Monday, December 19, 2011

Classic Chicken Piccata

In high school or college, if I ever tried to impress you with my narrow culinary skills this was my memorized recipe.  Now that I've been cooking more and more I nearly forgot about this classic Italian recipe! Heaven forbid, so I'm bringing it back.  I made it this weekend in the mountains with a light olive oil pasta and Citrus Asparagus with Sweet Red Peppers and Balsamic Glaze (recipe coming soon!).  You will often find Veal Piccata, which I must try soon, yet this recipe features pounded chicken breasts.  Piccata refers to the pounded or butterflied meat (veal or chicken) with a lemon, butter and caper sauce.  It looks fancy, which no doubt it is, yet uses easy techniques and ingredients!


-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
-1 cup flour
-2 Tbsp garlic powder
-salt and pepper to taste
-3 Tbsp butter (divided)
-1 Tbsp vegetable oil
-1/4 cup white wine
-2 Tbsp capers
-juice 1 lemon
-3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Fisrt, pound the chicken breasts until about 1/2 thick.  The best way to do this is between 2 pieces of plastic (Saran) wrap or a gallon plastic bag.  Use a mallet being careful not to pound too much and rip through the chicken.

Next season the chicken with salt and pepper.  I had a tri-peppercorn medley I decided to try, which is why the pepper is different colors.

Next on a plate, evenly spread the flour and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Salt and pepper as well. Using your fingers or a fork, mix until evenly distributed.

Dredge each chicken breast (both sides) in the flour mixture and put on a dry plate.

Chop your parsley and halve your lemon.  Now, over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet. Use a cast-iron or avoid non-stick skillets to help brown, although a non-stick will work if that's all you have. 

Once the butter is melted and hot (not burnt!), add your chicken breasts. Brown for 3-4 minutes per side. Squeeze juice of one large lemon before removing the chicken from the heat. 

Remove chicken from heat, place on a clean plate and cover with foil to keep warm.  Reduce heat of pan to medium and add white wine, capers and 2 Tbsp of parsley. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to remove stuck brownings and incorporate into the sauce. Increase heat to high (if need be) to bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes until wine is reduced by half. Add 1 Tbsp of butter to the sauce and melt.  

If you would like to thicken your sauce a bit, you can add 1 Tbsp flour to the sauce whisking constantly until dissolved.  Bring back to a boil and you sauce will be thicker.  Serve each chicken breast with half the sauce and a sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbsp of parsley for garnish.  I often serve with a light pasta using only olive oil, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese as a sauce! Enjoy your Italian classic.


  1. I made this tonight and it turned out perfectly! I served it with a simple olive oil linguine and a spinach salad. Your directions and pictures were a big help...I'll definitely add this one to my list of favorite recipes!

  2. Delicious !! And I didn't even mess it up or catch the house on fire!!

  3. Loved this dish and did a variation where I cut the chicken in strips and placed them on a bamboo skewers. Do this before you fry the chicken and use a little more butter for the searing. Next time going to add thinly cut mushrooms and serve it carbonara style. Made it for my Monday night poker buddies and they thought is was the best think I served all year!

    1. Dale, so glad you've been enjoying the recipes!

  4. This was awesome, the second recipe I tried from Rachel and didn't disappoint! I think I may have a new last minute, but elegant recipe to cook for my friends. The crispness of the the flour/butter coating of the chicken tastes amazing and I added a mix of Italian herbs to the salt and butter. Was fantastic!

    1. Monica, thank you for your sweet comment. It makes me happy to hear you enjoy Reckless Abandon! I love the comments, so let me know as you try recipes. It's what keeps me cooking!

  5. nice recipe. would be good to have the instructions printable, or collected at the end, for copying and pasting


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