The Easiest and Best Chicken Piccata Recipe Ever
Easy Chicken Piccata ala Kathy and John!
After describing how I make my Chicken Piccata to my friend Martin who also happens to be a chef, he asked me to make a page about this.
And so finally, here it is.
With one note of apology to Martin, I did NOT salt the chicken prior to dusting it with flour - only because there's plenty of salt in the capers.
(I know, Martin, I know... you're shaking your head! But just TRY it this way!:)
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe! I also demonstrated it in a YouTube video, which you'll see below in the body of the article.
:) PS: For those of you cutting flour out of your diet, I have a treat! We've been using CHICKPEA FLOUR (aka Garbanzo Flour) instead of regular wheat flour and it's AMAZING!
Before We Begin...
Things that make this easier...
There are few things I enjoy more than cooking for friends and family. But, because I have not been blessed with a large kitchen, I have learned to adjust the way I work to be more efficient.
In the case of this particular meal, I have found that it makes things MUCH EASIER if I prepare a few things ahead of time, and get them into their proper places BEFORE I begin cooking.
I believe that the elegant term for this is "mis en place" which loosely means "everything in place."
So, before the chicken even comes out of the refrigerator:
- The oil is already in the pan
- The dish with paper towels for draining is already in its place
- The flour (or chickpea flour) is already in a small bowl for dredging
- The butter is already cut, lemon already squeezed and in its place, capers already drained and in their sieve...
- Salads or other green veggies are already prepped...
You get the picture!
It just makes things go so much more smoothly!
Have You Ever Made Chicken Piccata Before?
Up until just a few years ago I hadn't even TRIED Chicken Piccata, much less MADE it! Once I tried it, however (thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law and father-in-law who made it for us), I was HOOKED!
How about you? Have you made Chicken Piccata (or at least, do you LIKE it?)
There are TWO Items I REALLY Need in my Kitchen - The First is a Large Enameled Cast Iron Pan
I truly do not know what I would do without my trusty old enameled cast iron pan. Hmmm. Yes, as a matter of fact I guess I DO know what I'd do. I'd have to get another! Here is the one I would be most likely to choose.
My personal favorite size! You can pack a lot into this guy...
And the SECOND Item is... - A Meat Pounder!
Ok, you might not think that a meat pounder is anything special, but once you have had Chicken Piccata the way WE make it (uh... if you LIKE Chicken Piccata, that is), then you will soon discover that our secret is to POUND the chicken THIN!
People... you can't just do this with a rolling pin (tried it...didn't work). And you can't use a bottle (kind of dangerous, really...and it doesn't work). And, don't think a can of soup will do it either...
And, if you think you can make your OWN pounder by throwing some nails through a board, save your time. I mean, do you REALLY want raw chicken meat festering on a piece of wood?
Didn't think so... So invest in a REAL meat pounder!
Well, hopefully you read my description above. I like the rubber (plastic) handle and I DEFINITELY like the all metal, one-piece pounder. Easy clean up! I really don't think using a wooden one is a good idea... Metal cleans so much more thoroughly.
So, what IS Piccata?
I actually never knew this until I decided to share this recipe...
Ok. I honestly never really knew this. I always thought that the "piccata" part was the "piquant" flavor from the capers.
WRONG! See? I TOLD you I'm no chef!
According to Wikipedia: "In Italian it is used only in reference to a way of preparing food. When used in reference to a way of preparing food, particularly meat or fish, it means "sliced, sautÃ©ed, and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter, and spices, usually parsley." (SOURCE: Wikipedia - "Piccata")
Now, isn't that interesting? Hey... ya never know when you're going to need this answer to win a prize somewhere...
This does not need to be a complicated meal. See my YouTube Demonstration Below!
The most time consuming part - and most important part, in my view, is the POUNDING of the chicken.
Oh... since I am not a trained chef, I have little experience figuring out portion controls. I pretty much go by eye and by feel. But I'll do my best!
The way that I show it in the video (below) is using 4 breast halves, each half sliced lengthwise down the middle (in essence making 2 pieces out of the one) so that you end up with 8 pieces total.
John and I can ALMOST polish off the whole kit 'n caboodle in one sitting - but that's because we REALLY like it.
But, it can serve 3 comfortably (just serve something else with it!) :)
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (about 4 halves)
- 1/2 cup or so of Flour (used only for dredging the chicken) (NOTE: You can use Garbanzo Bean (Chickpea) Flour if cutting out wheat! It's really good!)
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup of Olive Oil (we use Extra Virgin - and we use enough that we wind up dumping some out)
- 1 quart of Chicken Stock (preferably home made... but it comes out find using packaged)
- Approx 2-3 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
- Approx 1 ounce of Capers drained & rinsed (we use about 1/2 of a 2-3 oz bottle)
- Some butter to dot on top of the mixture when done (approx 2 tablespoons)
- 1) Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise, down the middle (I think the term is "Butterflied" but I'm not sure).
- 2) Using a meat pounder, pound the bejabbers out of the chicken. Seriously. Pounding is KING here with this recipe. Pound pound pound... (But please protect your counter top!)
- 3) Dredge the chicken lightly with flour (or chickpea flour) and set aside.
- 4) Have your other ingredients prepared and at the ready so that once the chicken is sauteed, you can move quickly on the rest of the prep.
- See accompanying photo for example of what it looks like to have this ready.
- 5) Heat olive oil in pan til just about smoking and add the chicken pieces (I'm always nervous w/ heating oil, so I usually put the chicken in just as soon as I can get a "sizzle" out of it). Don't crowd the pan - you want to be able to move the pieces around and flip them without an issue. I cook it at a medium to medium-high heat - just enough to keep it sizzling, but not so hot as to make me run from oil spattering.
- 6) Sautee chicken on each side about 1-2 minutes per side, and then remove and drain on plate w/ paper towels. Cook the rest of the chicken the same way.
- 7) Once the chicken is sauteed, discard any remaining oil, leaving any little "bits" of browned stuff behind.
- 8) Return pan to the stove, and add the chicken broth to "deglaze" the pan. Stir it around a bit to be sure you've loosened all the leftover bits from the bottom of the pan.
- 9) Add the lemon juice and stir - and bring up the heat to get the mixture to a boil. Let it boil a couple of minutes to allow it time to begin reducing.
- 10) Put the chicken back into the pan, and let it cook through as the sauce begins to reduce. The timing isn't exact, I've found... it takes about 15 minutes or so from here (See the video for my little demonstration). (NOTE: Update - Since writing & filming this demo, I now let the sauce reduce quite a bit BEFORE putting the chicken back in. It really doesn't need to cook that much longer this way.)
- 11) Once the sauce is reduced to your liking, turn off the heat, add the capers and butter, and stir it around to mix the flavors.
- 12) SERVE AND ENJOY!
- Personally, we like simple... you can have some pasta with it (which I never think about because I'm always drooling over the chicken and sauce). We almost always serve it with a bright green veggie.
Ta da! Here is my YouTube "Chicken Piccata" Demonstration! - Being a Visual Learner, I Like Video!
Hopefully this little video of us making chicken piccata will be helpful!
I REALLY wish I were better at figuring out "how much of this" and "how much of that" to use... but hopefully this will illustrate enough so that you can cook it easily.
Thanks so much for visiting my Chicken Piccata recipe! I had a lot of fun sharing it, and hope you enjoyed it! Please let me know you stopped by! :)