Classic Chicken Piccata

Chicken piccata is one of those dishes that brings back memories of Sunday dinners, laughter with family, and home.  Tender chicken is coated and pan-fried, and then coated in a tangy, salty lemon butter sauce with capers and parsley.  It’s an old school Italian classic that is easy enough for a weeknight meal, yet impressive enough for a dinner party.

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Classic chicken piccata - chicken pan-fried and coated in a lemon, caper, butter sauce. Easy enough for a weeknight meal and impressive enough for a dinner party.


Piccata is the method of cooking, not the dish itself.  Piccata is a protein that is dredged in flour, pan-fried, and lemon and caper sauce.

The sauce is a sublime blend of salty, tangy, and buttery flavors.


First, we butterfly the boneless, skinless chicken breast and then dredge it in a seasoned flour mixture.

Next, the chicken is pan-fried in olive oil and removed to rest on a plate.

Continue by making the sauce.  Wine, chicken broth, capers, and garlic are added to the skillet.

The sauce is finished with butter, fresh parsley, and lemon slices.

Next, add the chicken back to the pan and saute in the sauce.  

Easy and delicious.

Classic chicken piccata - chicken pan-fried and coated in a lemon, caper, butter sauce. Easy enough for a weeknight meal and impressive enough for a dinner party.


  • Start with a very sharp, unserrated knife.
  • Place your hand on top of the boneless, skinless chicken breast.
  • Slice the breast horizontally, cutting it in half.  You can stop about a 1/2-inch from the opposite side so that it folds open like a book.  Alternatively, you can make cutlets by cutting the breast entirely in half horizontally.

I like to serve this dish with Easy Sauteed Broccolini and Basic Biriyani Rice.

Here are a few more chicken recipes to try:

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Classic chicken piccata - chicken pan-fried and coated in a lemon, caper, butter sauce. Easy enough for a weeknight meal and impressive enough for a dinner party.



This classic chicken piccata, with it’s buttery, lemon, and caper sauce,  is easy enough for a weeknight meal yet impressive enough to serve at a dinner party.



For the chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, butterflied and pounded to an even thickness
  • ½ cup Wondra flour for dredging
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pats
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ lemon, halved and sliced thin


If needed, pound the chicken fillets with a mallet to ½-inch thickness.

In a large ziplock bag, dump in the Wondra flour, parmesan cheese, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Add the chicken cutlets and shake to fully coat each on with the flour mixture.  Remove from the bag and shake off any excess.  Place on a plate and continue with the remainder of the chicken.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil.  Place the chicken in the pan and reduce the heat to medium.  Cook until golden on one side and almost cooked through – about 5 minutes.  

Use tongs to turn the chicken and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet, add the capers.  Use a wooden spoon to smash them into the oil in the pan.  Cook about 30 seconds to release their brine.

Pour the white wine into the skillet.  Scrape up any of the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Cook until the liquid has reduced by half – about 3 minutes.

Stir in the lemon juice and broth.  Cook until the mixture begins to thicken – about 3-5 minutes. 

Reduce the heat to low.  Stir in the butter, one pat at a time, stirring constantly until it is incorporated into the sauce.  The sauce should look shiny and smooth.

Stir in the parsley.  Add the sliced lemon.  

Return the chicken cutlets to the pan, turning in the sauce to coat each one.  Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the meat is hot and has taken on the flavors of the sauce.

Serve hot, with the sauce spooned over the chicken.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: classic chicken piccata, chicken recipes, lemon recipes, Italian recipes, weeknight dinner ideas, easy dinner ideas

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