Hello and welcome to Sunday Supper! Today’s Sunday Supper is a classic dish: Chicken Piccata. Thin chicken breast cutlets in a bright lemony sauce with capers and shallots. Usually when I make chicken, we prefer thighs; they are more moist, tender and flavorful than breasts. This preparation of breast cutlets keeps them moist and flavorful though, because we will finish the cutlets in the sauce. Are you ready? Let’s get right to it.
I was able to get chicken cutlets at the meat counter, so the only butchery I did to prepare these was to cut the four breasts in half to make 8 smaller pieces. If you have full-size chicken breasts, you can cut them in half to separate the thicker part of the breast from the thinner part. Then, slice the thicker part of the breast horizontally, to make two thinner slices. So one breast will yield three thin portions. So, say you started with four breasts, you’ll end up with 12 smaller pieces – perfect for four people.
Lay chicken slices between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound them to about 1/2″ thickness. Then transfer the breast pieces to a sheet tray and season both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside while we prep the lemon.
Slice a lemon in half lengthwise and take one of those halves and slice it crosswise, into 1/4″ slices. Then, juice the remaining lemon portions and the second lemon, measure out 3 tablespoons of lemon juice for the sauce. Mince the shallot and garlic and set aside.
Set up a dredging station with a shallow bowl with about 1/4-1/3 cup flour, and a cooling rack set in a sheet tray. Dredge each pieces of chicken, shaking off the excess and place floured pieces on the rack in the sheet tray. Repeat for all the pieces.
Heat two tablespoons of grapeseed or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is smoking hot, add the chicken, working in batches. and reduce the heat to medium. Let fry until golden brown on both sides. Transfer browned pieces back to the wire rack and work through the rest of the chicken, adding 2 tablespoons more oil between batches.
On medium, or medium-low heat, add a teaspoon of oil to the skillet and the minced shallots. cook until soft, only a couple minutes. then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the broth, lemon slices and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, scrape up any brown bits in the pan.
Then, add the cutlets to the sauce and simmer for four minutes, turning cutlets over halfway through.
After four minutes, transfer cutlets to a platter.
The sauce should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it’s not there yet, let it simmer for another minute or so. Then turn off the heat and whisk in butter, parsley and capers. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if needed.
Spoon sauce over chicken cutlets and serve!
Adding the cutlets back to the pan to finish cooking in the sauce does a couple things: any remaining flour on the cutlets after browning with cook into sauce, making the sauce thicker and preventing the cutlets from having a gummy texture when the sauce is poured over them.
Serve with rice, a salad or, buttered noodles would be great! I hope you revisit this classic dish, Chicken Piccata. My mom sometimes made veal piccata when I was young, and I always loved the bright lemony sauce. Though it’s traditional to use breast cutlets, this is sauce is good, I could see it going well with fish, or chicken thighs too. The sauce is the star of the show, for me, so get creative!
Chicken cutlets are shallow fried, then finished in a rich, lemony sauce with shallots, capers and parsley. Rich, tangy and fresh – it's a classic!
- 4 (6- to 8-ounce) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Trimmed
- Kosher salt and Pepper
- 2 Large Lemons
- 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup, plus 1 teaspoon Vegetable (or Grapeseed) Oil
- 1 Shallot, minced
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- 1 cup Chicken Bone Broth
- 3 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, cut into 6 pieces
- 2 tbsp. Capers, drained
- 1 tbsp. Minced Fresh Parsley
Cut each chicken breast in half crosswise, then cut the thick half in half again horizontally, creating 3 cutlets of similar thickness.
Place cutlets between sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound to even ½-inch thickness.
Place cutlets on a rimmed sheet tray and season both sides with Kosher salt and black pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Halve 1 lemon lengthwise. Trim ends from 1 half, halve lengthwise again, then cut crosswise ¼-inch-thick slices; set aside.
Juice remaining half and whole lemon and set aside 3 tablespoons juice.
Prepare dredging station with flour in a shallow dish. Place a wire rack set in a sheet tray.
Dredge cutlets in flour, shaking gently to remove excess. Place on wire rack. Repeat with all cutlets.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place 6 cutlets in skillet, reduce heat to medium, and cook until golden brown on each side. About 2 to 3 minutes each side. Return cutlets to wire rack. Repeat with 2 tablespoons oil and remaining 6 cutlets.
Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil and shallot to skillet and cook until softened, 1 minute. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Add broth, reserved lemon juice, and reserved lemon slices and bring to simmer, scraping up any browned bits.
Add cutlets to sauce and simmer for 4 minutes, flipping halfway through simmering. Transfer cutlets to platter.
Sauce should be thickened to consistency of heavy cream; if not, simmer 1 minute longer.
Turn off heat, whisk in butter. Stir in capers and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.