This 30-minute chicken piccata brings golden cutlets and a million dollar sauce to your plate every time with it’s bright and tangy flavors. 

Platter of chicken piccata smothered in sauce, capers, lemon slices, and fresh parsley.

Rich, Bright, and Tangy: A Medley You’ll Crave

With its tart lemon-y flavors and velvety smooth sauce, Chicken piccata is a work of culinary genius in my books. My mind is blown a little more each and every time I make it.

This recipe holds a special place in my heart and I’m quite surprised it took me so long to bring it here! You’re going to love it.

It’s elegant but approachable, and it’s ready in just 30 minutes.

What Is Chicken Piccata?

In Italian, the term simply means to be pounded flat. But when it’s used in reference to cooking, it means sliced, sautéed, and smothered in a sauce made up of butter and lemon.

Both terms are appropriate for this recipe, because not only do we slice the chicken breasts into cutlets to cook in lemon butter sauce, but we pound the cutlets flat before doing so.

Bottle of wine surrounded by lemons, fresh parsley, and small bowls of ingredients.

Here Are the Ingredients

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • All purpose flour
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Fresh Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
  • Unsalted butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic cloves
  • Lemons
  • White wine
  • Chicken stock
  • Capers
  • Fresh parsley

Here’s the Rundown on How to Make Chicken Piccata

Preparing the chicken:

  1. Mix together the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and cheese in a shallow dish; set it aside.
  2. Slice the chicken breasts into cutlets by slicing them in half lengthwise. Place them into a large freezer bag and pound them down to about 1/4-inch thick with a meat mallet.
  3. Remove them from the freezer bag, season them with salt and pepper, then dredge them in the flour mixture. Place them onto a plate.

Cooking the chicken:

  1. Melt half of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil.
  2. Once sizzling, transfer two chicken cutlets to the skillet. Cook them for 3 minutes, then flip them over and cook for another 3 minutes. Both sides should be nice and golden brown.
  3. Transfer the cutlets to a paper towel-lined plate and add the rest of the butter and olive oil to the pan. Repeat step 5 with the two other chicken cutlets and move them to the paper towels when done.

Preparing the sauce:

  1. Add the white wine to the pan and deglaze it, scraping up all of the brown bits in the pan with a spatula or large spoon. This will give you tons of flavor!
  2. Add the garlic and let it simmer for about 30 seconds, stirring.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, lemon juice, and flour. Add it to the pan along with the capers. Bring everything to a simmer and let the mixture thicken.
  4. Stir in the lemon zest and (optional) lemon slices; transfer the chicken cutlets back to the pan and let everything simmer on low for 3-5 minutes, spooning the sauce over the chicken.
  5. Transfer the chicken cutlets to a serving platter. Spoon extra sauce over the chicken, then top with the softened lemon slices and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Golden chicken cutlets in skillet with sauce, capers, and lemon slices.

Useful Tools for This Recipe:

Recipe Tips + Tricks

  1. To cut down on time and make prep super easy, use chicken cutlets that have already been pounded flat.
  2. I like to use Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base for the broth, and I add a little extra for more flavor depth.
  3. Don’t add your lemon slices too early. Some lemons come with a thick pith (the white part between the yellow skin and the fruit), and if cooked too long, it adds a strong bitter taste to your dish. Adding the lemon slices near the end lets the lemons get soft, infuse flavor, and glow up the presentation.
  4. When cooking the second batch of chicken cutlets, you may not need to add as much butter and/or oil to the pan. Judge this based on how much is left in the pan after cooking the first batch. You can cut out unnecessary butter and oil this way.
  5. If you prefer to cook without wine, simply swap it for more chicken stock.

Saucy chicken piccata served over arugula.

Have You Made This Recipe?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a STAR rating & commenting below with feedback!

You can also show off your creations on Instagram by tagging @killing__thyme

Wondering What to Serve With Chicken Piccata?

Platter of chicken piccata smothered in sauce, capers, lemon slices, and fresh parsley.

Easy Chicken Piccata

This 30-minute chicken piccata brings golden cutlets and a million dollar sauce to your plate every time with it's bright and tangy flavors. 
5 from 27 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or 4 chicken cutlets
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, + 1 TBSP
  • 2 tsp freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine, like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon chicken base *See notes
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 2 medium lemons)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 TBSP capers, drained
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

To prepare the chicken:

  • In a shallow dish, mix together the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and cheese; set aside.
  • With a sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breasts by slicing them in half lengthwise, and then place them into a large freezer bag two at a time. Pound them down to about 1/4-inch thick with a meat mallet. Remove them from the freezer bag and repeat with the other chicken breasts. (If you're using thin chicken cutlets, skip this step.) Season the cutlets with salt and pepper.
  • One by one, dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour mixture, and then place them onto a plate.

To cook the chicken:

  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, melting half of the butter into it. Once the butter is mostly melted, add the olive oil.
  • Once the butter and oil are lightly sizzling, bring two chicken cutlets to the skillet and cook them for 3 minutes. Flip them over and cook for another 3 minutes. Both sides should be nice and golden brown.
  • When done, transfer the cutlets to a paper towel-lined plate and add the rest of the butter and olive oil to the pan. Repeat with the two other chicken cutlets and move them to the paper towels when done.

To make the sauce:

  • Pour the white wine into the pan and deglaze it by scraping up all of the brown bits in the pan with a spatula or large spoon. This will give you TONS of flavor!
  • Add the garlic and let it simmer for about 30 seconds, stirring.
  • Whisk together the chicken stock, lemon juice, and flour together in a small bowl or cup, making sure that the flour completely dissolves. Add it to the pan, and then add the capers; simmer and let the mixture thicken.
  • Stir in the lemon zest and (optional) lemon slices; bring the chicken cutlets back to the pan and simmer on low for 3-5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.
  • Transfer the chicken cutlets to a serving platter and spoon some extra sauce over the chicken. Top with the softened lemon slices and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Notes

I like to use Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base to create my broth/stock, and then I add a little extra for more flavor. This bouillon bases are super concentrated and have become my little secret weapon in the kitchen. The dish will be absolutely fine without it, but I like to use it for some extra oomph.
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @Killing__Thyme or tag #killingthyme!