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how to make perfect chicken piccata

How to Make Perfect Chicken Piccata

  • Author: Stacey
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x


If you like lemon chicken, this buttery, lemony chicken piccata is so simple to make and should definitely be added to your regular dinner rotation. 


Units Scale

For the chicken cutlets:

  • 6 thin chicken cutlets
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

For the flour dredge:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

For the sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons of capers
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 lemon (juice & zest)

Optional Garnish:

  • chopped parsley
  • fresh grated parmesan cheese



  1. I buy thin chicken cutlets when making chicken piccata. (see note#1)Still, I do pound them down a bit more. After that, salt and pepper both sides of your chicken. 
  2. Chop the shallot, garlic and parsley and set aside.
  3. Zest and juice one lemon.
  4. The flour dredge: put flour on a plate and mix with salt and garlic powder. Grate fresh parmesan cheese into the flour mix and toss together.
  5. Cover all the cutlets on both sides with the flour mixture and set aside on a plate or sheet pan.
  6. Cooking the cutlets: You’ll cook the chicken in two batches. Heat a large pan on low to medium heat. If you’re making six cutlets, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and let melt. Place the chicken cutlets in the pan and then DON’T TOUCH THEM. We want them to brown. Let them cook for 3 minutes or so, then turn once they are browned. Set them aside. Add 2 more tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil, then the next three cutlets. Cook 2 minutes on the other side, until browned.
  7. Set cooked chicken aside on a plate.  
  8. The sauce: We want the leftover butter, olive oil and brown bits to help flavor the sauce so leave them in the pan. Add shallots, 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your pan. Cook shallots a minute or two until translucent.
  9. Add garlic and give it another stir. Cook until fragrant - a minute or two.
  10.  Add the white wine, chicken broth, 1 tablespoon of butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt.
  11. Heat should be at medium and the sauce should reduce by about half. This takes 5 minutes or so.
  12. Once sauce is reduced, add capers and chicken to the sauce. Pour any liquid from the plate into the pan as well.
  13. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan. Let simmer a few minutes and the sauce will thicken.
  14. Serve immediately. Garnish with parsley and freshly grated parmesan. (optional, but awesome!)


  1. Whenever possible, I buy the thin chicken cutlets rather than cutting a regular chicken breast in half and pounding it. It costs a little more, but it’s worth it. Still, even though I buy the thin chicken cutlets I do still pound them a little thinner to tenderize them. If you are using regular boneless breast of chicken, cut each breast in half to make two pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and pound with a kitchen mallet or pan until the chicken is about 1/4" thick. 
  2. If you don’t want it as lemony you can skip the lemon zest.