Lemon Chicken Piccata is pan fried chicken cutlets in a creamy lemon butter sauce with white wine and capers. Serve with your favorite pasta for a special weeknight dinner or Sunday supper!
Why go out to eat when you can make this restaurant quality chicken piccata recipe at home? You can find this classic Italian dish at most Italian restaurants, but it's cheaper to make it at home.
I used to make this simple chicken recipe way back when, before the kiddos came along. It's definitely on the tangy side, and I didn't think my picky eaters would go for it.
Now that they're older, I make this easy chicken dinner for a special weeknight dinner or Sunday dinner. It's a great recipe for birthdays, Valentine's Day or date night!
Even though there is some prep work, this easy recipe takes about 30 minutes to make!
You only need a few simple ingredients for this creamy lemon chicken piccata recipe. They should be easy to find in your grocery store or online.
- Boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- Seasonings -- salt, black pepper and garlic powder
- Flour -- all purpose flour
- Butter -- salted butter or unsalted butter
- Olive oil
- White wine -- or chicken broth
- Lemon -- about 1 medium lemon for the fresh lemon juice
- Heavy cream
- Capers -- usually found by the jarred peppers and olives
How to Make Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata
First, you'll need to pound the chicken breast halves until they're about ¼ inch thick.
The easy way to pound chicken is to put them between pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap or into large freezer bags.
Then, use the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin to gently pound them.
Then, season the chicken, and dredge it with flour.
I like to put the flour in a shallow dish and use kitchen tongs to hold the chicken. After the chicken is well coated, be sure to shake off the excess flour.
Heat the 2 tablespoons of butter and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat to medium high heat. When the butter melts, add the chicken cutlets to the skillet,
Pan fry the chicken breasts on both sides until they're golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Next, remove chicken from the pan while you make the sauce. Place the chicken on a large plate, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Pour the white wine into the skillet. Then, deglaze the pan with white wine, or use chicken broth if you don't want to use wine.
Scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Then, add lemon juice, cream and capers. Put the chicken back into the sauce. Pour in the chicken juices, as well.
Add some chopped fresh parsley for flavor and presentation. I also like to add lemon slices for another pop of color.
The chicken will finish cooking in the sauce and should be 165 degrees internally for safety.
You can spoon the tangy creamy sauce over the chicken before serving or let people add their own sauce.
I highly recommend tasting the sauce before serving. You can add more cream or use chicken broth to help balance the flavors if you think it's too tangy.
What to Serve with Chicken Picatta
We like to serve chicken piccata over a bed of pasta or egg noodles. The pasta helps absorb the creamy lemon sauce. I usually make pasta in my Instant Pot since my pan takes up a lot of space on the stove.
Sprinkle a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese on the chicken for extra flavor.
If you don't want pasta, you can serve the chicken over rice or mashed potatoes. or roasted potatoes. We love steamed broccoli or asparagus with this creamy lemon chicken dinner. A simple green salad works, too!
To make chicken piccata without wine, chicken broth is a great substitute. You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this creamy chicken piccata recipe.
Lighten up the recipe by leaving out the heavy cream or use half and half.
How to Store and Reheat
Store leftover chicken piccata in your refrigerator in an airtight container. It will keep fresh for 3-4 days. You can freeze leftover chicken for up to 3 months for best flavor.
Reheat the chicken on the stove top or in your microwave.
I recommend having all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before starting. It makes the cooking process much smoother.
If the chicken is very thick, butterfly the chicken by slicing it in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Then, pound the chicken pieces until they are even.
Capers have a strong flavor. You can rinse the capers before adding to the sauce to reduce the saltiness.
Use a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc for the sauce, as it pairs well with the lemon flavor. It does not have to be expensive, but it should be something you would drink.
If the chicken tastes bitter, the stove may have been too hot and it may have burned a little while cooking. If you used fresh garlic, it may have burned during cooking. It's also possible if you added lemon zest, you may have included some of the bitter pith when zesting the lemon.
Lemon Chicken Piccata recipe
- 4 small chicken breasts about 2 pounds total
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup white wine I used Pino Grigio
- 1 small lemon juice of, about ¼ cup
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons capers drained
- Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of wax paper or into a gallon size freezer bag, and pound with the flat side of a mallet or rolling pin until they're about ¼ inch thick
- Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder
- Dredge chicken in flour, and shake off excess flour.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet, and add chicken breasts
- Cook until brown on one side, then flip over and cook until brown on both sides. About 8 minutes, total. You may have to reduce heat or add more oil or butter if it starts to get too brown or dry.
- Remove chicken to a platter and cover to keep warm
- Pour wine or broth in the pan, and deglaze and scrape up browned bits with a flat spatula or wooden spoon
- Add lemon juice, allow to simmer slightly, then stir in heavy cream, and mix until blended.
- Lower heat, add capers, then add chicken back to sauce and cook until sauce is thick and chicken is 165, according to meat thermometer
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
My entire family loves this creamy lemon chicken piccata recipe -- even the picky eaters go back for seconds!
I hope you enjoy this delicious chicken dinner as much as we do! If you do make it, please leave a star rating and/or comment.
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Recipe published in 2020 and updated in 2023.