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overhead shot of a black cast iron skillet filled with chicken piccata, thin chicken cutlets with a few thin slices of lemon tossed on top and some chopped parsley

Chicken Piccata: Italian Lemon Caper Chicken

  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


Tender chicken cutlets in buttery lemon caper wine sauce. This chicken piccata recipe is easy enough for weeknight dinner, delicious enough for a special occasion.
Adapted from Cooking Light


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded or sliced into 1/3-inch to 1/4-inch thin cutlets. (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or more, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter at room temperature, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (see notes)
  • 3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, optional garnish
  • Lemon slices, optional garnish


  1. Season the chicken with the 1 teaspoon of salt and a generous amount of black pepper
  2. Pour the 1/2 cup of flour into a large shallow bowl or onto a plate. Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour to coat, gently shake to remove excess flour, and place on a separate plate. 
  3. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When butter is melted and just starting to bubble, tilt the pan to coat it, add half of the chicken or as much as will fit in a single layer, and sauté the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown and just cooked through. Transfer it to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding a little more oil and butter to the pan if needed.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping the pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until much of the liquid in the pan evaporates, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook 3-4 minutes until reduced by about a third. While the sauce simmers, combine the remaining teaspoon of flour with the remaining 1/4 cup of chicken broth in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the mixture to the sauce and cook, whisking, for 1 minute, until slightly thickened. Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and ¼ cup capers, whisking to combine.
  5. Return chicken to the skillet, turning it in the sauce, and simmer it gently for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
  6. To serve, plate the chicken. Spoon some sauce on top. If desired, garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.


How to make chicken cutlets from whole chicken breasts:
Put one chicken breast into a large plastic ziplock bag left unsealed, and pound it gently and evenly with a meat mallet, a small heavy skillet, or a rolling pin, to a thickness of ⅓-inch to ¼-inch thick. Repeat with remaining chicken.

What to do with the chicken tenders: If the chicken breasts have tenders, pull them out before pounding or slicing the chicken. Tenders are small and tender and don't need to be pounded. They can be floured and cooked along with the larger cutlets.

To make this gluten free dredge the chicken in cornstarch instead of flour.

to make this dairy free use your favorite butter substitute in place of butter.

To make this for a crowd Double or triple all the ingredients and follow this recipe through step 3. Put the sautéed chicken into a large deep roasting pan and pour the sauce on top. If you're not serving it right away, you can put the whole casserole in the fridge, covered, for several hours. When you're ready to finish the dish, cover the pan tightly with a double layer of foil and heat it in a 350ºF oven for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. If it's been chilling in the fridge, it will need an extra 5-10 minutes in the oven.

The Best White Wine For Chicken Piccata: Use a wine that's dry and crisp such as Dry Vermouth, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. Avoid wines that are rich, sweet or oaky which can alter the flavor of your dish.

Nutrition Information: The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for a the advice of a professional nutritionist.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Italian-American

Keywords: boneless chicken cutlets with lemon caper wine sauce