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An overhead shot of chicken piccata in a dish.
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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.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 616kcal

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 16 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large, see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (see note 2)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • zest from 1 lemon about 1 teaspoon (see note 3)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

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)
  • minced fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • To keep breaded cutlets warm after frying, preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Top with a wire rack coated with nonstick spray.
  • Cover a cutting board completely with a piece of plastic wrap. Add chicken breasts. Working with one breast at a time, place your palm on top of the breast and slice in half horizontally so you have two cutlets. Repeat with the second breast.
  • Arrange all four 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, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 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: Butterfly and pound the chicken into thin cutlets so it cooks quickly and evenly without burning.
  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. 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. 
  7. Chicken thighs: You can substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the chicken breast. Just pound them out in a similar fashion.
  8. 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 sauce | Calories: 616kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 494mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 464IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 2mg