Chicken piccata is one of those classic dishes you’ll find at just about any stateside Italian joint – probably somewhere between the veal parm and fettuccine Alfredo. It’s a dish that’s moderately refreshing and incredibly decadent in every bite, thanks to a mixture of lemon juice, breading, savory capers and butter – lots and lots of butter.
Little known fact: piccata has more to do with the preparation than it does with the dish itself. You can ‘piccata’ pretty much anything, but in the states we love our chicken piccata – pounded thin, dredged in flour, pan cooked in oil and butter, and smothered in an ultra-buttery butter sauce.
This version – inspired by a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis – varies slightly from the traditional version in that you can save your time (and elbow grease) by avoiding hammering out the chicken with a meat mallet, and instead simply butterfly the breasts (horizontally slice them in half to reduce their thickness by half). The result is meat that’s still crispy on the outside, but extra juicy on the inside.
After that, you just pan fry the chicken in butter and olive oil, make a sauce of butter, stock, lemon zest, lemon juice and capers, then add more butter to finish the whole thing off. (Did we mention this recipe calls for butter?)
Savory, citrusy, crispy and juicy – this recipe hits on all fronts.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
- Sea salt
- 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