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This version of Italian Chicken Piccata follows the typical flour dredge with a coating of bread crumbs, so it’s extra crispy and so delicious with the buttery lemon sauce and capers.

Plates of Chicken Piccata with Lemon Rice Pilaf.

Chicken Piccata needs only a light dusting of flour on the chicken, but I love the extra crunch that comes from full crust of panko bread crumbs.

Serve the crunchy breaded chicken with a buttery, briny lemon-caper sauce and your favorite side dish. Choose something that can play a supporting role well such as buttered pasta, mashed potatoes, or lemon rice pilaf, and don’t forget extra lemon wedges for squeezing.

This easy weeknight dinner is ready in 30 minutes or less, or faster if you have time to bread the chicken earlier in the day. With meals like these, who needs takeout?

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. More 30-minute meals
  6. Chicken Piccata Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for chicken piccata.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Chicken breast cutlets: Most grocery stores stock chicken cutlets, but if you can’t find them, set the chicken breasts flat on a cutting board. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice it in half horizontally, cutting all the way through. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Bread crumbs: Panko bread crumbs, also known as Japanese bread crumbs, keep breaded and fried foods extra crispy. You can also substitute fresh bread crumbs you grind yourself.
  • Lemons: Zest your lemon before you cut it in half for juice. On average, one lemon has 2 tablespoons of juice in it, so plan on using 2-3 lemons for this recipe.
  • White wine: Dry white wine, like a pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, works best. You can use chicken broth, too.
  • Capers: Pickled capers adds briny character to this recipe that’s hard to replicate with anything else.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Top with a wire rack coated with nonstick spray or olive oil. Cover a cutting board completely with a piece of plastic wrap. Arrange chicken cutlets in a single layer on the plastic wrap-covered cutting board. Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness, about 1/4-inch. Remove top layer of plastic wrap and season breasts with salt and pepper.
Chicken breasts butterflied and on a cutting board to pound out.
  1. In a shallow dish, add flour. In a second shallow dish, add eggs and beat lightly. In a third shallow dish, combine panko, grated Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine. Working with one cutlet at a time, dredge in flour and shake off excess. Dip in eggs and tap gently on side of dish to remove excess. Add to panko mixture and press gently until crumbs adhere. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining cutlets.
Breading stations to bread chicken.
  1. Line rimmed baking sheet or large plate with 3 layers of paper towels. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil until just smoking, about 400 degrees (this can take a few minutes). Add 2 cutlets and fry until deep golden brown and cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Drain cutlets well on paper towel-lined plate and transfer to prepared wire rack in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 cutlets.
A skillet with chicken piccata frying.
  1. To make the sauce, wipe out pan with dry paper towel. On medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter until foaming. Add lemon juice, white wine, and reserved lemon slices. Boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Lemon butter sauce for Chicken Piccata in a saucepan.
  1. Off heat, swirl in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chicken with sauce, lemon slices, and fresh parsley.
Plates of Chicken Piccata with Lemon Rice Pilaf.
Chicken Piccata with Lemon Rice Pilaf.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 4 cutlets, 4 ounces each, and enough lemon-caper sauce for all.
  • Make ahead: The cutlets can be pounded out, breaded, and stored covered in the refrigerator one day in advance. Unfortunately, they cannot easily be frozen and then reheated in a pan or oven.
  • Chicken thighs: You can substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the chicken breast. Just pound them out in a similar fashion.
  • Chicken Milanese: Breaded chicken cutlets (the same as Piccata) but served with a fresh arugula salad instead of the lemon butter sauce.

Chicken Milanese

It takes just 30 minutes to crisp up restaurant-quality Chicken Milanese and toss together a bright and citrusy arugula salad. This Italian chicken recipe is a company-worthy meal you can totally ace on even a…

30 minutes
View Recipe

More 30-minute meals

Plates of Chicken Piccata with Lemon Rice Pilaf.

Chicken Piccata

This version of Chicken Piccata follows the typical flour dredge with a coating of bread crumbs, so it's extra crispy and so delicious with the buttery lemon sauce and capers.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Calories 616

Ingredients 

For the chicken:

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons), slice and reserve lemon halves for serving (see note 3)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth (see note 4)
  • 1 tablespoon capers (see note 5)
  • fresh parsley minced, for garnish

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Top with a wire rack coated with nonstick spray or olive oil.
  • Cover a cutting board completely with a piece of plastic wrap. Arrange chicken cutlets in a single layer on the plastic wrap-covered cutting board. Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness, about 1/4-inch. Remove top layer of plastic wrap and season breasts with salt and pepper.
  • In a shallow dish, add flour. In a second shallow dish, add eggs and beat lightly. In a third shallow dish, combine panko, grated Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Working with one cutlet at a time, dredge in flour and shake off excess. Dip in eggs and tap gently on side of dish to remove excess. Add to panko mixture and press gently until crumbs adhere. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining cutlets (cutlets can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 hours).
  • Line rimmed baking sheet or large plate with 3 layers of paper towels. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil until just smoking, about 400 degrees (this can take a few minutes). Add 2 cutlets and fry until deep golden brown and cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
  • Drain cutlets well on paper towel-lined plate and transfer to prepared wire rack in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 cutlets.

To make the sauce:

  • Wipe out pan with dry paper towel. On medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter until foaming. Add lemon juice, white wine, and reserved lemon slices. Boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Off heat, swirl in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chicken with sauce, lemon slices, and fresh parsley.

Notes

  1. Chicken breast cutletsMost grocery stores stock chicken cutlets, but if you can’t find them, set the chicken breasts flat on a cutting board. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice it in half horizontally, cutting all the way through. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  2. Bread crumbs: Panko bread crumbs, also known as Japanese bread crumbs, keep breaded and fried foods extra crispy. You can also substitute fresh bread crumbs you grind yourself.
  3. Lemons: Zest your lemon before you cut it in half for juice. On average, one lemon has 2 tablespoons of juice in it, so plan on using 2-3 lemons for this recipe. 
  4. White wine: Dry white wine, like a pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, works best. You can use chicken broth, too.
  5. Capers: Pickled capers adds briny character to this recipe that’s hard to replicate with anything else.
  6. Yield: This recipe makes 4 cutlets, 4 ounces each, and enough lemon-caper sauce for all.
  7. Make ahead: The cutlets can be pounded out, breaded, and stored covered in the refrigerator one day in advance. Unfortunately, they cannot easily be frozen and then reheated in a pan or oven. 
  8. Chicken thighs: You can substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the chicken breast. Just pound them out in a similar fashion.
  9. Chicken Milanese: Breaded chicken cutlets (the same as Piccata) but served with a fresh arugula salad instead of the lemon butter sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cutlet with sauceCalories: 616kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 30gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 494mgPotassium: 508mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 464IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. I made these for dinner tonight. This is the first time I made them.
    The chicken was juicy and had a lot of flavor.
    I had jasmine rice along with the cutlets and the sauce was delicious over top.

  2. Hi Meggan! So excited to make this tonight; wondering why I need to preheat the oven though? Am I missing something?! Thank you so much :)

    1. Hi Sarah! I hope you love it! After cooking the first batch of cutlets, place them on the paper-lined plate or baking sheet and place them in the oven to keep them warm while the other 2 cutlets are cooking. Take care! – Meggan

  3. My guests cleaned their plates and declared this restaurant quality. The crust on the chicken is the best piccata preparation I’ve ever tried. I used mostly chicken broth in the sauce and next time I’ll go half and half broth/wine and up the lemon juice a bit, as I didn’t have quite what the recipe called for. Served over angel hair with steamed asparagus.5 stars