Chicken Piccata is a restaurant classic that can easily become homemade chicken piccata, whether for your family or for entertaining. The highlight of this dish is the capers–which before trying this recipe, I didn’t know quite what they were. And I wasn’t too sure that I liked them.
Turns out, they are a ‘pickle’ made from the ‘unopened flower buds of the caper shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean.’ They are salty and vinegary, giving a strong ‘bite’ to this dish, along with the lemon juice.
This dish has helped L. Smith and me to really enjoy capers, which in the past we might have been convinced that we didn’t like. Here’s to trying new things!
Homemade Chicken Piccata
Homemade chicken piccata is a restaurant classic that’s easy to make at home. Capers and lemon juice give it great bite!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
- 2 lemons
- 2 – 2.25 pounds chicken tenders
- Salt and black pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 shallots or garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons drained capers
- 1½ tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- Heat oven to 200 degrees.
- Cut 1 lemon in half and cut 1 half into slices. Juice the other half and the other whole lemon, to make approximately ¼ cup lemon juice. Set aside.
- Pour the ½ cup flour into a shallow dish.
- Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
- Coat tenders with flour, shaking to remove excess.
- Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Working in batches, sauté the tenders until lightly browned on on side, 2 to 2½ minutes. Turn and cook the second side for another 2 minutes. Transfer the tenders to a pan in the heated oven to keep warm.
- Add the remaining oil to the skillet and repeat with additional batches of tenders.
- After cooking all the chicken, add the shallots or garlic to the pan and return to medium heat. Sauté until fragrant, ~30 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock and the lemon slices and increase the heat to high. Scrape the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits.
- Simmer the liquid until it reduces to about ⅔ cups, about 5 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and the capers and simmer until the sauce reduces again, about another minute or 2.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and swirl in the butter until it melts and thickens the sauce.
- Stir in chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the sauce over the chicken, and serve immediately, with linguine or pasta of your choice.
Slightly modified from: Italian Classics cookbook by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated