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Our extra saucy, extra flavorful chicken piccata recipe is a family favorite. There’s enough velvety sauce to spoon over pasta, rice, or potatoes, too. Includes gluten-free option.

extra saucy chicken piccata on a plate with green beans and a lemon slice
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Why this recipe works

Chicken piccata has been a heavily requested birthday dinner in our family since the early 2000s at least. Over the years, I’ve evolved it to suit our tastes: extra flavor and extra sauce. This recipe:

  • Calls for chicken breasts halved horizontally to make them thin and quick-cooking (but see post details for lots more options)
  • Incorporates shallot, garlic, and lots of capers to add layers of savory flavor
  • Finishes cooking the chicken in the sauce, so it’s perfectly tender and infused with maximum deliciousness
  • Uses a simple beurre manié (flour mixed with softened butter) to allow for lots and lots of dreamy, silky sauce

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make chicken piccata.

ingredients in bowls
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are traditional. Piccata is also excellent with boneless, skinless thighs.
  • Use all-purpose flour for both dredging the chicken and making the beurre manié to finish the sauce. For gluten-free chicken piccata, you can substitute either GF all-purpose flour or a 1:1 GF blend, whichever you have on hand.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice and fresh parsley are important elements of this dish, so don’t use either from a bottle.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a beautiful pan of savory, saucy chicken. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally to make them thin. (Or don’t — see details below.) Salt and pepper them and then dredge in flour.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan and brown half of the chicken on both sides. Repeat with more oil and remaining chicken.
  3. Add remaining oil to pan and sauté shallot and garlic until softened. Add capers and cook a minute or two more. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a brisk simmer. Stir together flour and butter and whisk into sauce. Simmer briskly for five minutes, until starting to thicken.
  4. Add chicken back to pan and continue simmering until chicken is cooked through and sauce is velvety and thickened, keeping in mind that it will loosen up a bit when you add the lemon juice. Off the heat, stir in lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley.
extra saucy chicken piccata in a pan

What to serve with chicken piccata

Our favorite chicken piccata sides are farfalle pasta and steamed broccoli or broccolini. You can also serve it with:

For the starch

For the green vegetable

Finish with a bit of grated parmesan or pecorino cheese for an extra layer of savoriness.

extra saucy chicken piccata on a plate with green beans and a lemon slice

Expert tips and FAQs

Why is it called piccata?

Piccata refers to the pounding flat of meat (usually veal or chicken) or fish.

What cut of chicken should I use?

Traditionally, piccata is made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half horizontally or pounded to make them thin. (These days I recommend slicing in half rather than pounding simply because chicken breasts — even organic ones — have gotten so large that this method tends to produce more reasonable portions.)

That said, you’ve got other options too. You can use chicken tenderloins or boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pounded flat if you like. With thighs and breasts alike, you can also choose to leave them thicker if you prefer. Since our recipe calls for finishing the chicken in the sauce, simply simmer until cooked through.

Got a vegetarian version?

You know what? I actually do. Vegetarian piccata is made with white beans, and it’s incredibly good. There’s a vegan and gluten-free option in that post, too.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

You can make this dish earlier in the day and reheat gently right in the pan. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

extra saucy chicken piccata in a pan

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extra saucy chicken piccata on a plate with green beans and a lemon slice
5 from 12 votes

Extra Saucy Chicken PIccata

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Our extra saucy, extra flavorful chicken piccata recipe is a family favorite. There's enough velvety sauce to spoon over pasta, rice, or potatoes, too. Includes gluten-free option.
Servings: 6
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Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds (900 grams) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) brined capers, drained
  • 2 cups (475 ml) chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons (28 grams) butter, at room temperature
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons/(45 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • One thinly sliced lemon to garnish, optional

Instructions 

  • Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Slice each breast in half horizontally to create two thin slices. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper.
  • Place the 1/2 cup of flour onto a large plate. Dredge each piece of chicken into the flour to coat. (You can use additional flour if necessary.)
  • In a large frying pan, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil. Add half the chicken in a single, uncrowded layer and sauté until browned a bit on both sides but not completely cooked through. Remove chicken to a clean plate. Repeat with another tablespoon of the oil and the remaining chicken.
  • Heat the final tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened.
  • Add capers and cook a minute or two more.
  • Pour in chicken broth. Stir to incorporate and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a brisk simmer.
  • Meanwhile, use a fork to stir together the butter and remaining three tablespoons flour in a small bowl until a smooth paste forms. This is your beurre manié.
  • Add beurre manié to pan and use fork to whisk into sauce. Simmer for five minutes, until beginning to thicken.
  • Return chicken to pan, nestling into sauce. Continue simmering until chicken is just cooked through and sauce is silky and thickened.
  • Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and sprinkle with the parsley. Garnish with lemon slices if you like.

Notes

  1. Traditionally, piccata is made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half horizontally or pounded to make them thin. (These days I recommend slicing in half rather than pounding simply because chicken breasts — even organic ones — have gotten so large that this method tends to produce more reasonable portions.) That said, you’ve got other options too. You can use chicken tenderloins or boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pounded flat if you like. With thighs and breasts alike, you can also choose to leave them thicker if you prefer. Since our recipe calls for finishing the chicken in the sauce, simply simmer until cooked through.
  2. For gluten-free chicken piccata, you can substitute either GF all-purpose flour or a 1:1 GF blend, whichever you have on hand.
  3. Our favorite chicken piccata sides are farfalle pasta and steamed broccoli or broccolini. You can also serve it with: spaghetti or linguine or mashed potatoes and green beans, sautéed zucchini and onions, garlicky sautéed spinach, or asparagus.
  4. Finish with a bit of grated parmesan or pecorino cheese for an extra layer of savoriness.
  5. You can make this dish earlier in the day and reheat gently right in the pan. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 188kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 634mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Chicken
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

5 from 12 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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