Looking for a simple yet impressive chicken dish that you can whip up for your family — or proudly serve as a dinner party entrée? This chicken piccata dish, inspired by a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, is just what you need to get a little zest in your dinner routine: lemony pan-fried chicken breasts with a mouthwatering butter sauce.
Traditional chicken piccata calls for chicken breasts that are pounded thin then dredged in flour before being pan-cooked to perfection. We take the pounding out of the recipe and simply butterfly the chicken breasts, cutting them down the middle. The result is a juicier piece of chicken — and less elbow grease needed for the prep.
Note: “Butterflying” is a chef-caliber term for a very simple technique. Simply place a chicken breast flat on a cutting board. Hold a long, sharp knife horizontally at the long edge of the chicken breast, and use a sawing motion to cut the breast almost in half. Lay the breast open and you’ve got a butterflied chicken breast!
For this chicken piccata recipe, use your knife to saw all the way through each breast to make two thinner pieces of chicken.
Let’s get cooking! Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter is just melted. While the skillet is heating up, dredge chicken pieces in flour — which creates a crispy coating on the chicken pieces as they cook.
Fry the dredged chicken pieces on both sides until they are a gorgeous golden brown. Transfer them to a plate and keep them warm while you start the sauce. Add lemon zest and juice, chicken stock and capers to the hot skillet and bring to a boil. Make sure you scrape up all those delicious browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
Add the chicken back to the skillet and reduce the heat. Let the chicken bathe in the sauce for a few minutes to ensure that it is cooked through, then transfer the chicken to a serving platter.
Add butter to your skillet, and finish your sauce by whisking the ingredients together until the butter is melted. Drizzle this fresh and savory sauce on the chicken and garnish with fresh parsley. For the most dinner-table raves, serve your chicken piccata hot.
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided into halves
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided into 3 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons
Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup large brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced
In large bowl, add flour.
Piece by piece, dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter along with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned on cooked side. Flip and cook other side for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove chicken and transfer to plate.
Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil.
When butter and oil start to sizzle, add other 2 pieces of chicken and cook until both sides are lightly browned.
Remove pan from heat and transfer chicken to plate. Cover plate loosely with foil to keep chicken warm.
In pan, add lemon zest, lemon juice, stock, and capers. Place over medium-high heat and bring mixture to boil, scraping up brown bits from pan.
Taste mixture and adjust seasonings, if needed.
Return chicken to pan, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to platter.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to pan sauce and whisk vigorously.
Add two tablespoons of flour to slightly thicken and whisk well.