Chicken picatta is one of the simpler ways to make a tasty chicken dish. You only need a few ingredients, that are readily available, and the prep and cook time is pretty quick. In this recipe video, I make my version the Italian classic. The lemon juice and white wine give the sauce a nice tangy acidic taste, and the capers a good saltiness and a bit of texture. Try serving this with some rice, or to keep with the Italian theme, try some polenta.
Recipe Overview and Keys to Success
- One of the most important things in any chicken recipe is to not overcook the chicken. Over cooked chicken is dry, tough and unappreciated by your guests. As I show you in the video, I like to pound the chicken flat, which makes it easier to cook quickly and keep juicy. I’ll also show you the queues that tell you when it’s cooked right.
- I like to coat my chicken breast in flour, as that gives the outside a bit of a crust, and the flour helps to thicken the sauce. If you want to skip the flour, (which I’ve advised my gluten-free friends to do) you absolutely can; but I think it’s better with that coating. Make sure you pan is very hot or the flour won’t caramelize.
Ingredients for Chicken Picatta (for 2)
- Two chicken breasts
- Flour to coat the chicken
- One lemon
- Half cup of white wine
- Half cup chicken stock
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 shallot diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1.5 Tablespoons of capers
- Tablespoon of parsley
- 2 Tablespoons of butter
Preparing the Chicken
- As I show in the video, I’ve used chicken breasts, but there’s no reason you can’t use other cuts – chicken thighs would be great
- I also like to pound out the chicken to make it more uniformly thin. That makes the cooking a bit easier, and is more traditional.
- To pound the chicken out, place the chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap that you’ve sprinkled some water on for lubrication
- Using a “pounder” or anything with some heft to it (I like to use a wine bottle) gently start to pound on the chicken breast, starting at the thickest area.
- I use light pressure at first, as it’s easy to use a bit more if you’re not making progress; it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort
- I find it’s better to use a lot of light taps, than just a few hard ones, and as you continue to pound the chicken, moving from the thicker to the thinner parts, you’ll see the chicken spreading out
- When you get to about a half inch thick, your done and you can do the remaining pieces
- Once pounded out, season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, and then coat both sides in a dusting of flour
Making the Chicken Picatta
- Heat a sauté pan until hot, and add olive oil to coat
- Add the chicken and sear one side – in the video, I show how to tell when it’s time to flip the chicken
- After 2 – 3 minutes, flip the chicken and sear on the other side until just cooked through, about another 1 – 2 depending on the thickness of the chicken
- Remove the chicken and place in a warm area (like a 200 degree oven while you make the sauce)
- Add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil to the pan, and the garlic and shallot and sauté over low heat until softened (about 2 minutes)
- Add the lemon juice and white wine and deglaze the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Let the liquid reduce by half, and add in a half cup of chicken stock; again let the liquid reduce by half
- Add the capers, and the butter over low heat and stir everything to blend it all together
- Add the chicken back to the sauce to warm it for a few minutes. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve drizzling the sauce over the chicken
Hope you enjoy!!