Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

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Skinless, boneless chicken breasts: You either love ’em or you hate ’em. For those in the latter camp, this chicken piccata recipe is here to convert you. With just a few simple steps, it’s easy to make for a weeknight dinner, but you’ll just as easily impress guests if you choose to serve it at a dinner party.

If you don’t have a meat mallet, you can use a small frying pan or rolling pin to gently flatten the butterflied pieces of chicken. The real key to the best chicken piccata, though, is nailing the buttery, lemony caper sauce. Use a dry Italian white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Vermentino, and have it ready to pour into the pan the minute the garlic turns golden so that nothing burns. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, then swirl in the capers and a few tablespoons of butter to create an emulsion, i.e., turn it into a rich, glossy sauce that’s as good spooned over a pile of mashed potatoes as it is soaked into the crusty chicken cutlets. Garnish with fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve alongside a classic Caesar salad with big shavings of Parmesan cheese and Garlic Confit Toast to sop up any extra chicken piccata sauce.

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Ingredients

4 servings

2

large skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Kosher salt

½

cup all-purpose flour

3

Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4

garlic cloves, smashed

cup dry white wine

1

Tbsp. drained capers, coarsely chopped

4

Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2

Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Chopped parsley and lemon wedges (for serving)

Preparation

  1. Step 1

    Slice chicken breasts in half crosswise into 4 cutlets and lightly pound each piece between sheets of plastic wrap until an even thickness (about ½” thick or less). Season lightly with salt. Place flour in a medium shallow bowl. Working one at a time, place cutlets in bowl and toss to coat in flour. Knock off excess flour and transfer to a plate.

    Step 2

    Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding, pan-fry the chicken cutlets, without moving them, until deeply browned underneath, about 2 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side just until chicken is nearly cooked through, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a clean plate.

    Step 3

    Add garlic and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to the skillet and cook, stirring often and reducing heat if needed to keep garlic from scorching, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add wine and capers and cook, swirling pan and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of skillet, until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add ½ cup water, followed by the butter. Swirl pan vigorously while butter melts to help it form an emulsion with water, about 1 minute.

    Step 4

    Return chicken to skillet and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir lemon juice into sauce; season with salt. Transfer chicken and sauce to a platter and top with parsley; serve with lemon wedges.

    Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published in February 2018. Head this way for more of our best recipes for chicken breast

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