Lemony Chicken Piccata involves pounding chicken breasts until thin and pan frying in olive oil for that signature crispy coating. Flavor layering white wine, lemon, butter, and capers creates a dynamic sauce for the chicken. See notes for adapting for vegan, paleo, keto, and gluten free diets.
1/2cupall-purpose flour, fine almond flour, or no flour*
1/4cupdry white wineoptional*
2tbspunsalted butter, ghee, or olive oil
fresh parsleyfinely chopped for garnish
For the Chicken
Pound the chicken cutlets on both sides until 1/4 inch thick. Season generously front to back with salt and pepper.
Preheat a large skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat.
Place flour in a large bowl and press 2 pieces of chicken into the flour on both sides. Shake to remove excess flour and place immediately in the hot oil. Pan fry for 3 minutes each side until gold and crispy (with an internal temperature of 160°F). Repeat with the remaining chicken. Set cooked chicken onto a platter while you make the sauce.
For the Sauce
Over medium-high heat, add the capers and let sizzle for 10 seconds. Follow quickly with the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping with a wooden spatula for 30 seconds. Add the stock, the juice of 1 lemon, and butter. When the butter melts and the sauce is simmering, sprinkle chopped parsley into the sauce and immediately spoon over the chicken.
Dredging Options: AP Flour, Almond Flour, No Flour
Option 1: All-purpose flour sticks to the chicken directly.Option 2: For almond flour (paleo, gluten free), you should pre-cook the cutlets, then dip in an egg wash and then into the almond flour. Cook for 1 minute each side on medium heat to get the almond flour crispy (any longer and it may burn).Option 3: Skip the dredging entirely if you want to cleanly pan-sear the chicken only.
Wine (Alcohol) Free Variation
You can make an alcohol free chicken piccata by adding a Tablespoon of caper juice or white wine vinegar to the pan. This acid will deglaze the pan in seconds and will add the characteristic sour flavor sans the alcohol.
Vegan Tempeh Picatta Variation
At the Natural Gourmet Institute, we made a vegan picatta using blocks of tempeh that we sliced into squares and steamed. There's no need to dredge the tempeh in flour, simply cook in olive oil until crispy and use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.This recipe is adapted from mostly plants cookbook.