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Easy Lemon Chicken Piccata

Easy Lemon Chicken Piccata

Nichole Banducci
Easy Lemon Chicken Piccata Recipe, Raise Magazine

Nix the dredging and swap beer for white wine in Nicole Banducci’s take on a traditional favorite.

My family loves chicken piccata. It’s one of the first recipes I remember learning to cook with my mom, and it’s the first ‘adult’ entrée that my stepkids ordered in a restaurant.

The dish is America’s version of Italian veal piccata, which is made by dredging meat in flour and then sautéing it in lemon juice, white wine, butter, and capers. That’s how I learned to make it from mom and her Italian friend, Biba Caggiano. Through the years, I’ve made alterations to the traditional recipe to make it a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Easy Lemon Chicken Piccata Recipe, Raise Magazine

THE SECRET IS IN THE SHORTCUTS

Instead of using full chicken breasts, I use thin cut fillets. It makes cooking faster and reduces the time I spend touching raw meat. I season one side of the chicken while it’s still in the package and  then use tongs to put it in the pan.

I also skip the dredging step, which was always messy for me, and I hated tossing the leftover flour. Plus, my kids would complain if there was too much batter on the chicken after it was cooked.

Instead of white wine in the sauce, I use beer. Beer gives an extra dimension of flavor and is less expensive than wine. Plus, the recipe uses 8 ounces of beer and most cans and bottles come in 12 ounce sizes, so you can enjoy the extra while you cook without getting snockered.

I don’t add the capers until the meal is plated. Those little buggers are expensive, and I got tired of watching my kids refuse to eat them. Instead, I add a teaspoon of the liquid from the caper jar to the sauce and only serve capers for those who will eat them.

SERVING LEMON CHICKEN PICCATA

This recipe pairs well with a potato dish and veggies. Mashed potatoes, scalloped, or even fries will absorb the sauce and extend the yum. Green beans or peas are typically my family’s veggies of choice.

Recently, I made the recipe for the kids but didn’t feel like eating meat myself, so I heated up fresh spinach fettuccini and topped it with peas, parmesan and the piccata sauce. Not quite vegetarian, due to the chicken stock and pan deglaze, but it reduced my meat intake and that was my goal.

You can also experiment with making just the sauce in a pan and serving it over broccoli. Substitute veggie stock for a vegetarian option. It’s a great dish for families with a mix of eating preferences.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 thin cut, trimmed chicken breasts
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of two lemons (one to start, the second to taste)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 tsp liquid from the caper jar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter (for pan)
  • 6 tbsp butter (for sauce)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp capers

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter to a high-walled pan over medium heat.
  2. Season one side of the chicken with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper (unless your kids hate black pepper like mine do.) Add the chicken to the pan, seasoned side down.
  3. Season the other side of the chicken (facing up) and cook until golden brown and firm to the touch (about 5 mins on each side).
  4. When the chicken is done, take it out of the pan and place it into a serving dish. Cover with  lid or foil. Repeat the steps above until all of the chicken is cooked.
  5. While the meat is cooking, in a seperate bowl, mix together the chicken stock and beer. Add the lemon zest, juice of one lemon, and liquid from the caper jar.
  6. Once all the chicken is finished, pour the liquid mixture into the pan. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze the plan by quickly scraping the remnants from the bottom and stirring them to the liquid.
  7. Taste the sauce and add more lemon until you reach your desired flavor.
  8. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).
  9. Add 6 tbsp butter to the pan and stir to incorporate (about two minutes).
  10. Slowly drizzle the heavy cream into the pan, stirring quickly to avoid clumping. If you don’t have heavy cream, substitute 3 more tablespoons of butter.
  11. Keep the sauce over medium heat and continue to stir until it thickens. (Steam removes excess water from the sauce.) When finished, it should coat the back of a spoon.
  12. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the serving dish. Serve family style or plated. Spoon capers over chicken for those who appreciate them.
Easy Lemon Chicken Piccata

Nix the dredging and swapbeer for white wine in Nicole Banducci’s take on a traditional favorite.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Nichole Banducci
Ingredients
  • 8 thin cut trimmed chicken breasts
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of two lemons one to start, the second to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 tsp liquid from the caper jar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter for pan
  • 6 tbsp butter for sauce
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp capers
Instructions
  1. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter to a high-walled pan over medium heat.

  2. Season one side of the chicken with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper (unless your kids hate black pepper like mine do.) Add the chicken to the pan, seasoned side down.
  3. Season the other side of the chicken (facing up) and cook until golden brown and firm to the touch (about 5 mins on each side).
  4. When the chicken is done, take it out of the pan and place it into a serving dish. Cover with lid or foil. Repeat the steps above until all of the chicken is cooked.
  5. While the meat is cooking, in a seperate bowl, mix together the chicken stock and beer. Add the lemon zest, juice of one lemon, and liquid from the caper jar.
  6. Once all the chicken is finished, pour the liquid mixture into the pan. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze the plan by quickly scraping the remnants from the bottom and stirring them to the liquid.
  7. Taste the sauce and add more lemon until you reach your desired flavor.
  8. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).
  9. Add 6 tbsp butter to the pan and stir to incorporate (about two minutes).
  10. Slowly drizzle the heavy cream into the pan, stirring quickly to avoid clumping. If you don’t have heavy cream, substitute 3 more tablespoons of butter.
  11. Keep the sauce over medium heat and continue to stir until it thickens. (Steam removes excess water from the sauce.) When finished, it should coat the back of a spoon.
  12. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the serving dish. Serve family style or plated. Spoon capers over chicken for those who appreciate them.
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