Chicken Piccata

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Chicken Piccata

The whole family will love this chicken piccata — and the dish comes together in a flash.

Chicken Piccata

When it’s 5:30 PM and I’m staring blankly into the fridge at a package of boneless chicken breasts — wondering what the heck am I going to make for dinner? — it’s often chicken piccata to the rescue.

Crispy chicken cutlets in a lemony butter and caper sauce, chicken piccata is one of those quick and easy suppers that makes everyone at the table happy. My kids like the chicken plain (hold the sauce), while Michael and I love the lemony, briny notes in the butter sauce. Capers definitely fall into the love-’em-or-hate-’em category, so feel free to leave them out if you’re not a fan.

Chicken piccata pairs well with many easy sides, such as buttered angel hair pasta, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes or couscous. That means you can go from “what’s for dinner?”  to “dinner’s on the table!” in less than 30 minutes.

How To Make Chicken Piccata

ingredients for chicken piccata

Begin by prepping the chicken breasts. First slice each chicken breast in half horizontally.

slicing the chicken breasts in half horizontally

Place the chicken breasts in a large sealable plastic bag and, using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound them to an even 1/4-inch thickness. This ensures that they cook quickly and evenly. (I use a sealable plastic bag to pound the chicken because it can also be used in the next step to easily coat the chicken with flour.)

pounding the chicken breasts

To the bag, add the flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; seal and shake to combine.

flour and seasonings in plastic bag

Add the chicken to the bag.

adding chicken to the bag

Then seal and shake to coat the chicken evenly.

chicken coated with flour in the bag

Beat the eggs in a large, shallow bowl. In another large, shallow bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

dipping the chicken in eggs

Using tongs (or your hands), dip each chicken breast first in the egg mixture, turning to coat evenly and letting any excess egg drip off, and then into the breadcrumbs, turning to coat evenly. This 3-step breading method (flour + eggs + breadcrumbs) ensures that the coating adheres.

dredging the chicken in the bread crumbs

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for until the first side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

pan-frying the chicken piccata

Flip the chicken and cook until the second side is golden, about 2 minutes more.

pan-frying the chicken piccata (golden color)

Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven while you make the sauce. (Note: the chicken should be almost fully cooked at this point. Don’t leave it in the oven for more than 5 minutes or it will overcook.)

chicken piccata arranged on baking sheet

Discard any excess oil from the pan. Add the stock, lemon juice, and capers and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Gently boil for about two minutes, until slightly reduced.

making chicken piccata sauce

Off the heat, swirl in the butter.

swirling butter into the chicken piccata sauce

Add the parsley.

finishing chicken piccata sauce with parsley

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.

finished chicken piccata sauce

Remove the chicken piccata from the oven and transfer to plates. Spoon the sauce over top and enjoy!

Chicken Piccata

Photo by Our Salty Kitchen

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Chicken Picatta

The whole family will love this chicken piccata — and the dish comes together in a flash.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Sauce

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons brined capers, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Using a very sharp knife, slice each chicken breast in half horizontally. One at a time, place the chicken breasts in a large sealable plastic bag and, using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound them to an even 1/4-inch thickness. (If your chicken breasts are very small, you can skip the step of cutting them in half horizontally. I use two 3/4-lb breasts to make 4 portions.) Save the bag.
  3. To the bag, add the flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; seal and shake to combine. Add the chicken to the bag; seal and shake to coat the chicken evenly. Beat the eggs in a large, shallow bowl. In another large, shallow bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using tongs (or your hands), dip each chicken breast first in the egg mixture, turning to coat evenly and letting any excess egg drip off, and then into the breadcrumbs, turning to coat evenly.
  4. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the chicken to the pan and cook for until the first side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook until the second side is golden, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven while you make the sauce. (Note: the chicken should be almost fully cooked at this point. Don't leave it in the oven for more than 5 minutes or it will overcook.)   
  5. Discard any excess oil from the pan. Add the stock, lemon juice, and capers and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Gently boil for about two minutes, until slightly reduced. Off the heat, swirl in the butter, followed by the parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to plates. Spoon the sauce over top.
  6. Make Ahead: The chicken can be breaded and refrigerated up to four hours ahead of time.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The breaded cutlets can be frozen for up to 3 months. Freeze the chicken on the baking sheet until firm, about 1 hour, then transfer to a resealable freezer bag or layer in an airtight container with sheets of parchment between the cutlets. Defrost in the refrigerator before cooking.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 585
  • Fat: 31 g
  • Saturated fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 47 g
  • Sodium: 758 mg
  • Cholesterol: 229 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • With a few changes, I loved this recipe! I doubled the sauce and replaced 1/2 cup of the chicken broth with Pinot Grigio wine. I added a splash of heavy cream to the sauce and only about 2-3 tbs. of lemon and only 5 tbs. of butter (all for sauce doubling). Finally, I took some of the sauce out and mixed it with a little flour then put that sauce back with the rest to thicken the sauce a bit. My hubby loved it but next time he wants some Parmesan cheese added at the end.

    • — Sami B on February 19, 2021
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  • This was so delicious! Will definitely be making again and again. I started the lemon sauce with a roux to make it thicker, and it was so tasty! Wouldn’t change a thing.

    • — Sarah on February 9, 2021
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  • I really enjoy making this meal. It’s quite tasty but also easy enough – and quick enough – for a weeknight, but still fancy enough to serve to company. I use a meat thermometer to be sure the chicken is cooked through rather than putting it in the oven.

    • — Caly Konschewitz on February 4, 2021
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  • We made this for dinner this week and it was delicious. My 14 and 11 year old loved them too. Chicken was juicy and the coating was crispy. The sauce was delicious. We’ll make it again.

    • — Lori Deane on February 2, 2021
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  • OMGEEEEE. Here is another recipe that I have made twice in the last week. My family went on and on for two straight days about how amazing this chicken was.
    This took me a little longer to prep since I’m not a professional, however it was so worth it. This is the kind of meal you’d serve to dinner guests. It’s that good!!! The chicken is so unbelievably moist, and so tender you can cut it with a fork. The sauce really takes it to another level. You have the flavor of the chicken bits that were left in the pan, along with the stock. Then you add lemon and capers which brings a wonderful tartness to the sauce. Lastly the butter which makes it rich and brings it all together.
    This will become a family staple that’s for sure.
    Thank you again Jenn, this is delicious recipe.

    • — Danyial Merriam on February 1, 2021
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  • Who doesn’t love lemony chicken! I made this dish and my husband says am now a pro at delicious lightly breaded chicken! I loved the crispy chicken with the seasoned lemon butter sauce. I would recommend letting the sauce thicken slightly more than I did. I doubled the lemon for a bit more lemon taste. Capers add a fun saltiness to the recipe. I would also recommend the mashed potatoes Jenn suggests; I used egg noodles and they couldn’t quite take advantage of the sauce!

    • — ann greeley on February 1, 2021
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  • This is a great recipe, goes together fairly quickly, even quicker if you don’t double the recipe lol I love lemon and the capers make it a dining out experience. I took the panko and mixed it liberally with Italiano seasoning. A real hit with the meat eaters in my family! I love your book but I still look forward to seeing my emails with recipes. Great Idea, thank you very much!

    • — Beverly I McKnight on January 30, 2021
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  • This is one of my go-to weekday recipes when time is limited. The chicken is always tender and flavorful. Pairs beautifully with a variety of sides. Wonderful as a casual meal or at an elegant dinner party. Jenn, I don’t know how you do it – superb recipes every time; I can hardly wait for your next book.

    • — Lydia on January 30, 2021
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  • I love chicken piccata! However, I felt something was missing from this recipe. For a truly savory sauce you should deglaze the pan with some dry white wine before adding the butter off heat.

    • — Kimberly on January 30, 2021
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  • I have made this recipe numerous times and it’s a crowd-pleaser! We like extra sauce, so I usually double up on the sauce ingredients. Also, I buy the thin-cut chicken breasts and use those instead of slicing the chicken breasts in half and pounding them.

    • — Jennifer Mapes on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • My family was suffering from chicken fatigue, so I decided to leap in and try this recipe! They loved it. I agree that it is probably not a weeknight choice if you work outside the home, but right now, I work from home and cook to relax! Making sure you get the chicken thin is key. The sauce really makes this dish! I plan to make it to use with my baked salmon!

    • — Kathleen Roe on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is just one of the dozen or more chicken recipes from Jenn that I use…there’s at least one a week in my rotation! Being in lockdown for 10 months (I live in the UK) has meant no dining out and this Chicken Piccata lets us pretend for a night that we aren’t at home. I have teenage boys so I double the recipe and have found that the lemon juice doesn’t need to be fully doubled to sustain the lemon flavor, so I make up for it with addition chicken stock. The capers don’t need doubling either as they’re so flavorful and strong.
    Our favorite side to have with it is orzo pasta, which I absolutely double because the taste and texture of the orzo with the sauce is amazing!

    • — Renee on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this one a few times now. Always pleased with the results. About the only thing I do differently is add more capers because I love them so much.

    • — Mattie Hyde on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I thought this was delicious. It’s a bit messy to make, but worth it. My sons loved the cutlets without the sauce. I thought the sauce was flavorful without being overpowering. I’ll definitely add this to my regular rotation of meals.

    • — Stacy Iamele on January 28, 2021
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  • My favorite Italian dish! This recipe is spot on with my memorized recipe, but I like to add a little cream to the sauce sometimes and even a little white wine for extra taste. But you have to be careful with too much wine or it will become sour. Beautiful presentation with the extra parsley, I hadn’t thought of increasing parsley but definitely add a lot of capers (nonpareils)!

    • — Teresa Nickell on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Love that this recipe is straight forward and easy to follow especially with photo examples. I particularly love capers and it adds more flavor to the Piccata. Instead of butter is there a healthier substitute?Although butter makes the dish absolutely delicious.

    • — Maria on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Easy and yummy!

    • — Carol Lee on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Chicken picatta is a favourite in our home. However as others stated this is not a 30 minutes is not enough time in time to finish. As many times as I’ve made it, I’ve never made it in 30 minutes. The recipe is laid out nicely with photos at each step.

    • — Courtney on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This chicken has it all – taste, presentation, and ease of preparation. I paired it thin, ribbony slices of grilled zucchini.

    • — Nerina McKenna on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This dish is very good although it leaves lots to clean up! I used 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/2 cup of chicken broth and added 1 chopped shallot. I believe it gave it a bit more depth. Friends and family gave it two thumbs up.

    • — Debbie Winick on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is the one dish my daughter requests when she comes home to visit and the dish she asks me to make again before she leaves–it is THAT delicious! The chicken comes out tender and moist every time. I prep the chicken before hand and have everything measured and ready to go before I start cooking because it goes pretty fast. I have served with egg noodles, buttered angel hair pasta and mashed potatoes. It is also delicious the next day sliced into strips and served on top of a favorite simple salad tossed with oil and vinegar dressing.

    • — Krista Tolsdorf on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Well written directions. Very delicious and company worthy!
    First time was more difficult trying to time recipe with
    accompanying veges.
    Second try was much easier.
    Thanks for a great recipe I never would have made if it weren’t for
    this one.

    • — Nancy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Two thumbs up for this recipe (well, four thumbs if you include my wife’s, too). I fixed it last weekend, and will definitely make it again.

    I added a little lemon zest to the sauce, and was too lazy to flatten the fairly small chicken breasts that were in our ‘fridge. The sauce had a very nice lemon flavor, and the chicken was fully cooked but nicely moist.

    • — Mark on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe a few weeks ago and it turned out great. We had left overs so I froze them and had them a week later and it was still delicious. However, not as good as the first time, but that is to be expected. It’s a great recipe if having company.

    • — Laurie Roberts on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is the best piccata recipe I have found. It has a perfect blend of ingredients, especially the lemon. I have used this recipe over & over again.

    • — Judith Buber on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Great easy peasy recipe! Made hubby happy. Thank you, your site is straight forward and easy to follow ❤️
    Donna Edwards

    • — Donna Edwards on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Loved the flavor. Very easy to make. The whole family liked it and finished it.

    • — Cindy on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is my family’s favorite chicken recipe by far. That says a lot in a family with three kids with unique food preferences.

    • — Jennifer on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • My family loves this recipe and it is very easy! It works with gluten free breadcrumbs also. We pour the extra sauce on our veggies!
    Jenn is my go to for recipes.
    Thanks!

    • — Lexi on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • My son and his wife stopped by near dinner time and fortunately I had fresh lemons, capers and chicken. I love capers so it was a no brainer to try this recipe! I had made veal piccata before and I have no idea why I never thought to try chicken but it was so delicious. Suffice it to say there were no leftovers from this meal. I served it with a side of spaghettini in butter and olive oil and black pepper and a butter lettuce salad with EVOO + aged balsamic. It’s a keeper. Thanks, Jenn!

    • — Gail Carberry on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love chicken picatta. This one is especially good. If you want to make it a “lighter” dish, you could dredge the chicken in just flour and forego the eggs and breadcrumbs on the chicken. I also often will add some white wine to my sauce and let that reduce as well.

    • — Sarah E on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Another winner from Jen.

    • — mary a kettle on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I modified this recipe using gluten free flour and breadcrumbs. My husband is Celiac.
    It was still delicious.

    • — Barb Emrich on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • My husband and I make this recipe over and over again. It is one of my favorite meals. Sometimes we leave out the parsley if we don’t have any on hand and often times use chicken tenders to skip the pounding step, but otherwise we make it exactly as written and it comes out perfectly every time! A restaurant-worthy meal that we can make at home – thank you!

    • — Lisa on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • If you prepare/measure out your sauce ingredients ahead of time, you really can make this in a snap. I use ramekins (or small berry bowls) for my lemon juice, butter, etc. Besides being quick and easy, my husband has declared it his favorite recent meal.

    • — Leah S. on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • My whole family loves this dish. The kiddos skip the caper sauce but the chicken is still great on its own. I didn’t have fresh parsley but the sauce was still delicious. Served this with garlic mashed potatoes and the sauce tasted amazing on that too!

    • — Anne on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious!!!
    Your version of chicken piccata is one we come back to time and again – thank your for writing recipes with careful enough instructions to make it foolproof for your audience.

    • — Gail on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Excellent recipe easy to follow. Easy to follow step by step. I make this chicken piccata often with the side of mashed potatoes

      • — Esterina DiCerbo on January 28, 2021
      • Reply

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