chicken piccatta

$7.16 recipe / $1.19 serving

Need a main dish that’s full of flavor but only requires a few ingredients? I’ve got you covered. This dish is simple, flavorful, yet elegant enough to impress a date or your in-laws. When garlic and lemon come together with a little butter and fresh parsley, you just can’t lose.

Chicken piccatta is traditionally made with white wine in the sauce, but I didn’t have any around (I know, I was shocked too) so I subbed it with chicken broth. The sauce was still finger-lickin’ good so I didn’t feel like I was missing out. But, if you have wine around, by all means, use some of it for this dish!

The serving size might seem small (each piece is about the size of a deck of cards), but you can bulk it out by serving the chicken over pasta, or if you want something fancier, try this lemon parsley pasta. Or, just serve it with a green side salad and some garlic bread for a classic meal.

And, as always, I get great prices on my chicken breasts by buying a large pack (5 lbs.) and freezing them in recipe sized portions (2-3 breasts per freezer bag). When purchased this way, the price is often at least $1 less per pound. You can double up on the savings buy keeping an eye out for sales as well.

Chicken Piccatta

Chicken Piccatta

5.0 from 3 reviews
chicken piccatta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $7.16
Cost Per Serving: $1.19
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 medium chicken breasts $4.99
  • 1 medium lemon $0.69
  • ¼ bunch Italian parsley $0.20
  • 3 cloves garlic $0.20
  • ½ tsp chicken base $0.07
  • a pinch salt & pepper $0.05
  • ½ cup flour $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.22
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.24
  • 1 Tbsp capers $0.40
Instructions
  1. Prepare the ingredients so they’re ready to go when you need them: Roughly chop the parsley leaves, juice the lemon, mince the garlic, and combine the chicken base with ½ cup of hot water to dissolve. Set these ingredients aside.
  2. Trim the chicken breasts of excess fat. Cover them with plastic wrap and pound them with a mallet or rolling pin until they are an even thickness (about ¾ inch). Cut each chicken breast in half so that you have six pieces about the size of the palm of your hand. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet, over medium heat. While the oil is heating, place the flour in a bowl and lightly coat each piece of chicken on both sides. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, add three pieces of chicken to the skillet and cook until brown on each side (about 3-5 minutes on each side). Place the cooked chicken on a clean plate and cook the second batch of chicken.
  4. After the chicken is cooked, turn the heat down slightly (medium-low) and add the butter and minced garlic. Stir and cook for about one minute. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice and whisk to dissolve (or “deglaze”) the brown bits off of the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the capers and chopped parsley to the pan. Increase the heat to medium and add the chicken back to the skillet. Spoon the sauce over top of the chicken and allow to simmer in the sauce for 3-5 minutes. The flour on the chicken will help thicken the sauce as it simmers. Serve hot and garnish with any leftover parsley.

 

Chicken Piccatta

Step By Step Photos

parsleyStart by preparing the sauce ingredients. Pull the leaves from about 1/4 bunch of parsley and then give them a rough chop (this is before I chopped them).

Lemon juiceSqueeze the juice from the lemon and make sure to remove the seeds.

mince garlicMince the garlic.

chicken baseDissolve the chicken base in hot water. I like this type of chicken base instead of bouillon cubes because you can use exactly the amount you need. The directions say to use one teaspoon per cup of water and I only needed a half cup of broth, so I only used 1/2 tsp of base. Use 1/2 cup of white wine instead, if you have it!

chicken breastsTrim any excess fat from the chicken breasts.

pound chickenCover the chicken with plastic wrap (make sure you have plenty excess on the edges) and pound out the chicken until it is a uniform thickness. You can use a mallet or a rolling pin. This helps the chicken cook quickly and uniformly, as well as making the pieces larger. The piece on the left has not been pounded, while the two on the right have.

cut chickenCut each piece of chicken in two and season both sides with salt and pepper.

dredge chickenPut the flour in a bowl and lightly coat both sides of each piece of chicken. Throw the flour away afterwards because it is now contaminated with raw chicken.

cook chickenHeat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until it is very hot, but not smoking. You can test the heat of the oil by throwing a pinch of flour into the skillet. It should sizzle heavily in the oil. Add the chicken once the oil is hot (3 pieces at a time) and cook on both sides until golden brown.

browned chickenIt should take about 3-5 minutes per side to brown. Place the cooked chicken on a clean plate and cook the second batch in the same manner.

browned bitsNow you’ve got all of these nice brown bits on the bottom of the pan. This is the flavor. It’s a good thing.

butter garlicTurn the heat down to medium-low to prevent burning the butter. Add the butter and minced garlic. Cook for about one minute or until the garlic is fragrant.

broth and lemon juiceAdd the chicken broth (or wine) and lemon juice. Whisk to dissolve those brown bits off of the bottom of the pan.

capers and parsleyIncrease the heat to medium again so that the sauce begins to simmer. Stir in the parsley and capers.

add chicken backAdd the chicken back to the skillet to re-warm it.

simmerSpoon the sauce over top and allow it to simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly (a few minutes)

close upI thought I’d give you a close up so that you can be jealous…

chicken piccattaYou could probably coat the chicken in the sauce, remove it from the skillet, add some cooked pasta to the skillet and toss it in the sauce. That would be super simple and make this meal complete.

chicken piccatta

43 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to try this! Instead of cutting/smashing the chicken (I cant’ stand cutting raw chicken and I don’t have a mallet haha) could I just use those chicken tender pieces they sell instead?

  2. Rita N says:

    So very good! Made this tonight with fresh, local asparagus and high protein pasta on the side. My family and I loved it. Definitely will make it again.

  3. @twsherpa says:

    We used to have a restaurant that delivered Chicken Piccatta.. it went out of business.. it was a favorite of mine. Now with this recipe I have it back!!!!

  4. Sarah says:

    Just made this tonight and O. M. G. it was amazing!!! It tasted like something you would get at Olive Garden, only cheaper :). I just want to say thank you so much for this website. I’ve been living on my own now for a year and a half paying an absurd amount for rent. Every penny is pinched to the full extent and your recipes have spared me from a ramen noodle/spaghettios diet. You’re seriously the best and I look forward to new recipes! :)

  5. Wonderful recipe. It is one of my families favorites. Day 1 is great but leftovers are even better, always make a double batch just for this purpose.

  6. I omitted capers in this recipe, it was really great!
    I enjoy the subtle heat from the garlic and pepper. The lemon was a nice change from regular meals I make.

  7. Ermuhgaw, this is such an easy and delish recipe and I make it all the time. It also has the added appearance of looking fancy while not being expensive. Thanks so much for sharing! My boyfriend loves the sauce so I try and add some extra broth or wine to the pan.

  8. Excellent tip, Erika! Thanks! :D (and I loved the “eleventy time easier”, made me laugh)

  9. Thanks for a tasty recipe : )

    A suggestion, though–rather than pounding the chicken, it’s eleventy times easier and faster to slice chicken breast halves into cutlets. I’m sure the blog author knows how to do this, but for any novices out there: trim off the fat and other yucky stuff, then, holding the breast steady on a cutting board with the palm of your non-cutting hand, slice sideways through it with a sharp, non-serrated knife until you have two thin, roughly equal pieces. I do this with chicken breasts a lot because it solves the problem of the narrow end cooking faster than the thick end, and it’s a more reasonable serving size than a large 7-8 ounce breast half.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Made this tonight and enjoyed it a lot! I paired it with white rice and your marinated mushrooms recipe. My liquid was a bit more than in your pictures, not sure what I did wrong there, but it still turned out pretty flavorful. I love love love your website, thank you!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Where can I find your blog. I am about to faint because I am so hungry and cannot decide which receipe to use. Appreciate very much. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.
    shirleyanntillery@yahoo.com

  12. I love to make this dish, I add a little paprika and it’s so good! Love it!

  13. I just made this with my boyfriend. I never had capers before so we took a risk on those but I LOVE them and they are so nice with their vinegar taste and the lemon juice. We made it with pasta and if we made it again, we’d probably have a vegetable and garlic bread to go with it. This is a great recipe though!

  14. Made this tonight sans capers (gross!) and it was delish! Thanks!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thankyou so much! i’m 14 years old and I made this for my family for dinner last night and served it with spinach, potatoes & carrots and they all loved it. the sauce was amazing and the capers gave it extra flavour, definatley going to make it again!

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