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Classic Chicken Piccata

Updated: 8/14/21 1:00 amPublished: 8/26/19
By Catherine Newman

By Catherine Newman

Makes: 4 servings

Total carbohydrates: 3 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 25 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Traditionally, the chicken in piccata is coated with flour before sautéing, but I promise you won’t miss it here, since this dish is so succulently flavorful and fantastic. We call it “restaurant chicken” and make it all the time. Feel free to start with skinny chicken cutlets, in which case you can skip the kind of gross first step of this recipe. (It is very hard to bang on chicken with a heavy object and feel like the world is a good place to be.)


1 package skinless, boneless chicken breasts (around 1 ½ pounds), trimmed of extra fat

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

Juice of 1 ½ lemons (around 1/3 cup)

½ cup chicken broth

¼ cup drained capers

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1. Cut each chicken breast in half to make thinner cutlets: lay it on a cutting board, place your non-cutting hand flat on top of it, and cut it carefully across the middle, with the knife blade parallel to the cutting board. Now cover the cutlets with plastic wrap or parchment paper and pound them briefly with a rolling pin, frying pan, or meat pounder until they’re evenly flattened and around ¼-inch thick. Blot the chicken dry with a paper towel, and salt it well on both sides.

2. Heat a large heat pan over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil and butter and heat until sizzling. Add the chicken to the pan in one layer (if it’s going to be crowded, use two pans). Sauté the chicken until deeply browned and cooked through, around 3 minutes per side.

3. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Add the lemon juice and chicken broth to the pan and simmer until it’s getting a little bit shiny and glazy, around 4-5 minutes; use a spatula to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the capers and the chicken to the sauce and reheat for a minute or two. Serve from the pan or platter, garnished with parsley.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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About the authors

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop... Read the full bio »