The word piccata is an Italian word which describes a cooking method. When making piccata, whether it is with chicken or veal, the meat is a thin cutlet shape. Sometimes the cutlet is pounded even thinner, which not only makes the portion appear larger but also tenderizes it. The meat is then coated, usually by dredging it in flour, then browned in olive oil, butter, or in this recipe both. After browning meat, the pan is deglazed with white wine, lemon juice and chicken stock. It is reduced and”mounted” with butter for a silky, creamy, flavorful sauce and finished with bright, briny capers for a nice, slightly salty bite. The meat is then added back into the sauce to take a luxurious, flavorful bath, and finishes it’s last moments of cooking throughly here.
I like to serve it over buttery parsley pasta, egg noodles, rice, or as you see here, orzo. The finished dish is tender, bright, flavorful and light. Try it. It is a quick and easy dish you can whip up easily on a week night for dinner.
The first thing you want to do is cut your chicken breast’s thickness in half.
At this point, if you would like, you can place the cutlets between 2 pieces of plastic or in a plastic bag and pound them thinner. I’m not doing that today, but this is the point in the recipe that you would do it if you choose.
Next, season the cutlets with salt and pepper.
Put the flour in a container and also season it with a little salt and pepper.
Lightly dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking any excess off. Set them aside as you finish all of them.
When all the chicken is coated with the flour, heat some olive oil and butter together in a saute pan. When it is good and hot, but not smoking, place your dredged cutlets in the pan and cook until they are golden brown underneath.
Flip the cutlets over to brown on the other side. This won’t take long, and you don’t need to cook them through yet because they will finish cooking later in the sauce. You do not want to over cook them.
Set the browned cutlets aside in a dish, while you prepare the sauce.
Now you want to deglaze the pan. This means you add a liquid, in this case white wine….
And scrape up all the brown bits of cooked flour and chicken that are left on the pan. These have lots of flavor and you want to use them!
When the sauce has reduced down a bit and thickens slightly, add in a little more cold butter for a flavorful, silky, glossy finished sauce. We call this “Monte au Beurre” or “lifted with butter” in the culinary world. 🙂
Make a nice little bed with your orzo, rice, or noodles of choice..
And place your chicken, with a nice spoonful of delicious sauce and capers over top. Enjoy!!
Chicken Piccata (Yields: 4 Servings)
2 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
1/2 c Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
3 TBS Olive Oil
4 TBS Cold Butter, divided
1/4 c Dry White Wine
1/4 c Chicken Stock
1 Lemon, juiced
3 TBS Capers, brined
1. Slice the thickness of the chicken breasts in half, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Dredge the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and shake of any excess. Set them aside.
3. In a large saute or frying pan, heat the olive oil and 2 TBS butter together until the butter is melted and starts to sizzle. Add the chicken cutlets to the hot oil, and brown on each side, for about 2-3 minutes or so per side.
4. Set the browned cutlets aside in a separate dish while you make the sauce.
5. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, chicken stock, and lemon juice scraping up the brown bits left in the pan.
6. Simmer the sauce and reduce until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the capers and remaining cold butter and whisk it together to finish the sauce. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
7. Return the browned chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce over it while it finishes cooking all the way through. About 3-5 minutes more.
8. Serve the Chicken Piccata over buttered parsley orzo, noodles, or rice, with a spoonful of the lemon caper wine sauce over the top. Enjoy!