Chicken Piccata

Some of my first experiences having this dish were of the frozen food variety. I think it might have been Lean Cuisine? My mom and I would stock up on the meals when they would go on sale in the summer and eat them together at home, or when we worked together at the library. Her favorite meal was one with shrimp. We both liked the potatoes with cheese and broccoli. I wonder what traditions I will have in the summers with my kid? For now, I am assuming he prefers what I’m providing. He doesn’t get much of a pick at this age.

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I never made this before, although I’ve tried to do chicken scallopini dishes before. The problem is getting the chicken thin enough. Wrapping the chicken, using plastic bags, whatever…I always would get chicken juice splattering. It just didn’t seem worth the effort. When I decided just to slice this, I realized it was partially frozen still. It actually made the slicing go perfectly! K loved the combo of capers and lemon, which I knew he would since it is similar to a fish recipe I’ve made repeatedly. He also couldn’t stop snacking on the chicken even without the sauce. He told me this was another “keeper” meal.

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Directions for Chicken Piccata

  • 1.5 pounds chicken breasts, sliced thinly (try freezing the chicken slightly and then cutting for the best results; if you have to, you can use a meat pounder to make the meat thinner)
  • Flour (1/2 cup or so)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 lemon, cut in half (slice one half, then juice and zest the other half)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons cold butter

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Prepare a baking dish with baking spray. Coat the chicken with the flour, salt, and pepper.

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Meanwhile, heat some oil in a heavy-bottomed pan (I used a Dutch oven) over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, begin to cook (and brown) the chicken in batches, turning to brown each side.

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Add more oil as necessary. Place the finished chicken pieces in the baking dish.

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When the chicken is all cooked, keep it warm in the oven.

Add the garlic to the pan with a bit of oil.

Don't worry about the burnt stuff...it all goes away with the sauce!

Don’t worry about the burnt stuff…it all goes away with the sauce!

After 30 seconds, add the chicken broth and lemon slices.

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Simmer and scrape the browned bits in the pan to loosen them. After a few minutes, the sauce will reduce to ½ a cup. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and capers.

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Again, cook to reduce it to about ½ a cup.

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Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter.

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When the butter is melted, add salt and pepper to taste.

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Pour over the chicken and serve.

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Directions for Chicken Piccata (without pictures)

  • 1.5 pounds chicken breasts, sliced thinly (try freezing the chicken slightly and then cutting for the best results; if you have to, you can use a meat pounder to make the meat thinner)
  • Flour (1/2 cup or so)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 lemon, cut in half (slice one half, then juice and zest the other half)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons cold butter

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Prepare a baking dish with baking spray. Coat the chicken with the flour, salt, and pepper. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a heavy-bottomed pan (I used a Dutch oven) over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, begin to cook (and brown) the chicken in batches, turning to brown each side.  Add more oil as necessary. Place the finished chicken pieces in the baking dish. When the chicken is all cooked, keep it warm in the oven.

Add the garlic to the pan with a bit of oil. After 30 seconds, add the chicken broth and lemon slices. Simmer and scrape the browned bits in the pan to loosen them. After a few minutes, the sauce will reduce to ½ a cup. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and capers. Again, cook to reduce it to about ½ a cup. Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter. When the butter is melted, add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the chicken and serve.

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2 thoughts on “Chicken Piccata

  1. I think you accidentally came across a kitchen secret — slicing meat thinly whe frozen. I’ve seen this advice for very thinly sliced pork dishes.

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