One of our favorite meals has and always will be Chicken Piccata. We’ve loved it since we were kids. We even have our favorite spots where we always order it. (We’re talking about you Bella Verona. Yum!) Anyway, there’s just something about the simplicity of a lemon butter sauce atop sauteed chicken breast that has always appealed to us. Oh, and of course, the capers. We love capers. A little too much. Delish! But what’s truly fantastic about making a Piccata, is how easy it is to prepare well.
Don’t believe us? Give it a try. We’ll walk you through it.
3 chicken breast halves, sliced in half (so 6 pieces)
1/2 tsp salt
Ground Black Pepper
1 stick unsalted butter
6 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4-cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (or from concentrate if its all you have)
1/2-cup Chicken Stock
1 lemon (sliced into thin pieces)
1/4-cup fresh parsley (optional)
2) Prepare the pan for cooking.
Heat half a stick of butter and 4T olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Give it a few minutes. It’s ready once the butter bubbles subside a bit. There should be a light sizzling action going on.
3) Prep the chicken.
While your butter/oil heats up on the burner, take 3 chicken breast halves and slice in half. This will leave you with 6 fillets. Then, in a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste). We like a little extra pepper. Dredge the chicken, shake off the extra flour mixture. A light coating should remain. By now the oil/butter combo should be heated just right.
3) Cook the chicken
Round 1: Place 3 pieces of chicken into the oil/butter. You want to brown your chicken fillets, so cook each for about 5 minutes on each side. We’re always super paranoid about under cooking our chicken, so we like to make sure it’s done. This usually does the trick, but you can always cut into one to make sure. Once done, remove from skillet.
Round 2: Add 2 T butter and 2 T oil to what’s already in the pan. Let it heat up a bit, and repeat the chicken browning process. Remove from skillet when done.
4) Make the sauce.
Turn burner to low and add remaining butter to remaining butter and oil in the skillet. Leave the chicken bits too. It makes for a better sauce. Add the lemon juice, capers and chicken stock. Whisk together a bit. Turn the burner up to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil.
5) Return chicken to pan
Place the six cooked chicken fillets into the boiling sauce. Turn burner to medium low and simmer for 5-7 minutes. (We like a slightly thicker sauce, so we usually simmer longer.) We love this part – the lemony smell is amazingly refreshing!
6) Plate it family style and serve
Find a beautiful dish – some Italian pottery if you’ve got it (we’ve got lots thanks to PR, SW and Aunt M! Thank you! We love you!) – and nicely arrange on one side of the plate. Pour sauce and capers over the chicken and you are ready to go.
Add roasted broccoli (see our recipe here!) or another roasted vegetable on the other half of the plate. Personally, broccoli is our favorite vegetable with a piccata, especially when roasted with a little lemon zest, because it absorbs the excess sauce nicely.
And now, after only 45 minutes or so, you are ready to eat!