“Piccata” is a method of preparing food: meat is floured, sautéed and served in a sauce. The dish originated in Italy using veal (veal piccata). In the United States, the most well-known variant is chicken piccata.
This is one of my all-time favorite dishes, and often the “finals” recipe for our MY KITCHEN classes.
It’s quick, delicious, and easy to fix, and we always get the same response from our students… “I can’t believe I cooked that!”
Perfect Chicken Piccata
PREP 10 mins.
COOK 15 mins.
READY IN 25 mins.
2 boneless chicken breasts or 8 tenders
1 cup AP flour
salt and ground black pepper
cayenne pepper, to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs capers
1 cup dry white wine (pinot gris) or real apple juice*
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
1 lb fettuccine or spaghetti pasta
*For the classes, we have the kids deglaze with apple juice instead of wine…it’s delicious!
Drain capers, squeeze lemon, cut butter into 1/4-inch slices, chop parsley
Prepare the Dish
Place chicken breasts into a gallon zip bag and pound to about 1/2-inch thick.
Season both sides of chicken breasts with cayenne, salt, and black pepper; dredge lightly in flour and shake off any excess.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta.
Add capers to the pan in reserved oil, smashing them lightly to release brine, until warmed though, about 30 seconds. Pour wine into skillet to deglaze (see my video on deglazing), scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Stir lemon juice, stock, and butter into the reduced wine mixture; cook and stir continuously to form a thick sauce, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add adente pasta (with a little pasta water) and parsley, stir.
Return chicken breasts to the pan cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve chicken over pasta, with additional sauce spooned over the top.