Easy Lemon Chicken Piccata
You won’t believe how quick and simple this is with ingredients you already have on hand! Serve with pasta and you’re set!
For today’s recipe, we need to do a quick FRIENDS recap – it’s the one with the metaphorical tunnel.
Chandler: Okay, last night at dinner, when the meals came, she put half her chicken piccata on my plate and took my tomatoes.
Ross: And that’s bad because…, you hate chicken piccata?
Ross: You didn’t want to share your tomatoes, tomatoes are very important to you.
Chandler: No, it’s like all of the sudden, we were this couple. And this alarm started going off in my head: ‘Run for your life! Get out of the building!’
Rachel: Men are unbelievable.
So yes, this recipe is pretty much dedicated to Chandler and Janice because that’s the only thing that comes to mind when I think of chicken piccata.
Except it’s really just a super fancy-looking chicken dish that’s unbelievably easy to whip up with ingredients you already have on hand, making it perfect for date night, Sunday Supper, or even a busy weeknight.
But more importantly, can we talk about the lemon cream sauce? I mean, you could even double the sauce, skip the chicken and just put it on a bed of pasta.
That works perfectly fine too, right?
I mean, the chicken would honestly just get in the way.
Easy Lemon Chicken Piccata
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
You won’t believe how quick and simple this is with ingredients you already have on hand! Serve with pasta and you’re set!
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise in half
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup diced shallots
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine*
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Working one at a time, dredge chicken in flour.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.
- Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Add garlic and shallots, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in chicken broth, wine and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
- Gradually whisk in heavy cream until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in capers.
- Serve immediately with pasta and chicken, garnished with parsley, if desired.
*Additional chicken broth can be used for white wine as a non-alcoholic substitute.
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I just found dinner tonight! I have never used cream in mine before…just lots of butter. Can’t wait to try!
Exactly what I was thinking while I read the recipe! All a quiver to try this!
Thank you for the nice recipe
I love piccata and your presentation is gorgeous. Do you not pound the chicken breasts first before cooking? It looks like it, but there are no such directions. I had no idea there was that much heavy cream in the dish, or even any at all! No wonder it is so delicious!
You can choose to pound them out to your liking – it’s up to you! 🙂
Thank you so much for this easy to follow recipe, especially for someone like me who seldom do any cooking. I didn’t pound the chicken, it came out just as good. Hubby loved the pasta with the lemon piccata sauce. We are going to have this dish at least every other week. Thank you again, will be trying other wonderful dishes!
I love this dosh, esy and quick. I always pound my meat (lol) ive never used cream, so im looking forward to using your recipe. Thanks!
This looks delicious, I love chicken piccata. When do you stir the chicken and/or pasta back in? Or do you put the sauce over both? Thanks.
You can actually just drizzle the sauce over the pasta and chicken as needed.
Thanks. Also, random question: what aisle of the grocery store do you usually find capers in? I’m going shopping after work today and will try to make this recipe tonight :).
It really depends on your specific grocery store.
Usually where the pickles and olives are.
Imported Italian food section with the little jars of red roasted peppers and marinated artichoke hearts.
I doubled the recipe last night, it really was extremely tart it seemed like the butter and chicken broth flavor was lost by doubling the lemon juice. I think the juice from two lemons is too vague. Perhaps I used large lemons. I also had trouble reducing that much liquid. Two pounds of angel hair was WAY too much for eight servings. I have tons left over. I’ll add shrimp in batches to the leftovers.
Yes. Chandler & Janice…. I still love that show so much. Such chemistry & timing between characters! Recipe sounds delish
Can you please suggest a dry white wine? Could I use white wine vinegar (I think I have used it in a warm German potato salad I used to make)? I’m not sure if it work here though. Thnx
Sauvignon Blanc would be amazing here.
Totally just rewatched that episode. I’ll take it as a sign to make this dish this next week 😉
This was delicious! I’d never used cream in mine, but it really made the dish…..that and the wine and the butter! Great dish…..and a 30 minute meal!
Thank you for sharing your recipe! 🙂
I made this recipe last night. It was delicious and very easy. I do have one comment in that for my liking I thought half of the pasta would have been better. Love all your recipes!
Thank you for sharing yet another great recipe. We loved it !!
We love your recipes!!
Our 10 month old Golden Retriever will be having surgery next week on
her knees :(. Your dog recipes will be helping us through the recovery process!
LOVE all of your recipes!! And chicken picatta- Cant wait to try your version:) One question- in the past, when I add the heavy cream, it seems to almost curdle/separate in the sauce Is there something I am doing wrong to make it do this?? Thanks for your help!
Perhaps your heat source is set too high?
In my experiences, acid curdles dairy- i generally suggest reducing the acid source before introducing dairy. High heat also will have adverse effects on a cream sauce (when it has over-reduced), typically resulting in a “broken” cream sauce- where the butterfat separates from the main sauce. Broken sauces can sometimes be rescued by adding more cream, but are sometimes beyond saving. A curdled sauce will look like tiny white “specks” in the sauce whereas a broken sauce will appear as an oil slick/pools of oil (fat) separate from the main body of the sauce. I’m eager to try this method- as lemon, cream and chicken have a natural affinity. Thanks for the recipe.
I was so excited to try this recipe. I ordered Chicken Piccata for a girls night dinner a few weeks ago and it was not good. I’ve been wanting a yummy Chicken Piccata ever since and saw your post on IG today. I knew I needed it for dinner tonight. I loved that it was so simple and easy to make. My husband and I loved it. He asked for it to be put in the rotation 🙂 Can’t wait for some leftovers tomorrow. Also, LOVE your PF Chang lettuce wrap recipe. I make it almost every week to for lunch or dinner.
Once again you hit us with a dish that is delicious,beautiful in appearance when serving, but most impressive was how easy it was to make this dish at home.
I have one happy husband thanks to you and your down to earth way of putting a meal together with no fear of how it’ll turn out.
Thank you for sharing all of the tips and tricks too!
I look forward to browsing your site each evening for ideas for the week.
Great job and great site 🙂
Another awesome recipe! Made this tonight for dinner and it was a huge hit.
Thanks for the recipe, gonna try this
Chicken piccata is just so gooooooood. Your version with cream looks extra amazing!
This recipe was a huge hit with my 3 extremely hungry teenage boys. In fact I was told that I really need to start making this every week. Thanks for the amazing recipes that you share with us. Much appreciated.
Girlfriend, you are knockin’ my taste bud socks off! This is just another damn delicious recipe. Yum! Yum! Had it tonight for dinner and it was hard to stop eating. My husband also loved it, but then he loves anything with lemon. Thanks for your wonderful culinary creativity. I’m enjoying it.
This was so brilliant! I used boneless skinless chicken thighs crumbed with Panko and swapped the pasta for spaghetti squash. What a sauce, so pleased I added the capers, they really lift the dish!
I just made this for dinner tonight . . . OMG!! It was amazing. This is going to be a regular in my house!
My husband said this was the best meal I have ever made and he is hard to impress when it comes to food. So good and super easy to prepare! I substituted pasta for zucchini noodles and the sauce complemented it very well.
Can this be made a couple hours before and then re-heated? Would you put the chicken of the pasta with sauce before storing to re-heat later?
Yes, this can be reheated. You can keep the sauce separate or together with the chicken – it’s really up to you.
Any suggestions on a way to thicken the sauce a bit? It’s delicious in flavor, just a little thin.
Yes, you can add a bit of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
These recipes always have a catch. I sure do wish there was a website of recipes designed for men. Right off the bat, what the heck does ‘divided’ mean in the list of ingredients? I discovered what they were getting at by reading the directions. So I suppose the idea behind these recipes is to read EVERYTHING BEFORE you go shopping! I went to the grocery store with the recipe on my phone and I had to ask a few women what ‘divided’ meant. They all assumed it meant what I found out in the directions. What’s a shallot? The only shallot I’m familiar with is Gene Shalit or Shallot, I don’t know. I have NEVER used a shallot before. The stupid header says “You won’t believe how quick and simple this is with ingredients you already have on hand!” NO ONE HAS SHALLOTS ON HAND. Oh yeah men, don’t forget to also buy a garlic mincing tool. Two cloves. Minced. And I never did find out from the women I asked at the store about ‘Heavy Cream’ whether it is the same as ‘Heavy Whipping Cream’! They weren’t sure either. Another Oh Yeah Men: DON’T USE A POUND OF SPAGHETTI! I don’t know what idiot suggested that. They probably meant 8 ounces..half of the box. Trying to cook a whole box of spaghetti in a 4 quart pot does NOT WORK! Even though the directions on the box SAY you can use 4 to 6 quarts of water it’s NOT TRUE! 4 DOES NOT WORK! YOU NEED 6. So don’t bother with the whole box! Be safe and cook only half! 4 people ARE NOT GOING TO PUT A DENT IN A POUND OF SPAGHETTI. A final Oh Yeah Men: it doesn’t only take 15 min prep, 15 min cook! LOL. There’s 6-7 min of cooking the spaghetti. You have to watch it and stir it (cause if you don’t the spaghetti sticks to each other), melting the butter, cooking the chicken for 5 min, then flipping it for another 5 min, melting the divided butter with garlic and shallots and cooking for 2 min, pouring in the chicken broth and cooking for 5 min. (So far that is A BIT MORE THAN 15 MIN. ), you’re not done: pouring in the Heavy Cream, cooking for…5 min. Of course by this time the chicken and spaghetti have gotten cold so I would suggest that the spaghetti not be cooked first and maybe the chicken not be cooked second, but then…. Oh hell, just order a pizza!
This reply is for Tim……..I love you, Man! Your post was hilarious. Not laughing AT you, just at the visual of your predicaments. Don’t give up. It’s all worth it in the end. A man that cooks is a true treasure.
Absolutely agree with you Gail. Tim, when I first started out on my own & began cooking there were plenty of times I was in your exact position! One of the times was a recipe needing a shallot which I had no idea what it was. I was 19. Recipe only called for 2 tbsp so I thought heck, I’ll just leave it out! The other ingredient was 3 minced garlic cloves. I thought a garlic clove was the entire bulb! I did have a garlic press someone gave me which I didn’t know how to use but figured it out that day. Needless to say, that was one meal completely inedible!! Plus side? Two of us who ate a few bites kept vampires away that night from all the garlic!! Keep at it! A man that can cook is sexy!!
Well, at least it was a great way to meet women!!
Agreed on halving the lemon and doubling the sauce! I used 1/8 cup capers as well because I knew my kids would pick them out. Oh and Tim, I had to google Shallot- 40 years old and wasn’t quite sure where to look or what to look for!
It is difficult to speak for all in a group or segment. I’m a man, married to the same woman for 44 years, former Infantry officer, and I cook. Been cooking since I was a teen-ager. So perhaps you just need to bone up on your cooking skills, Bro. The whole doesn’t need to know what you don’t know. Hope you enjoyed the recipe. I’m planning it for next week – made Chicken Piccata several times but never with cream.
If I make half the box of spaghetti would this be too much sauce for it? I don’t think my husband, my toddlers and I would be able to eat a whole pound of spaghetti but I think that we would eat that much chicken. Or if I doubled the chicken so we can get another dinner out of it would there not be enough sauce? I plan on making it tonight but really don’t want just a lot of leftover pasta with not a lot of sauce because it will go to waste.
It’s always safe to have more sauce then less so I’m sure 8 ounces of spaghetti should be just fine – but as always, please use your best judgment.
i did as you, 8 0z’s, and felt there would not have been enough sauce for a pound of pasta. you did good.
If you are using 1 lb of spaghetti… I would definitely double the sauce. I made this with 8oz of spaghetti with chicken and the sauce was just the right amount. Also, 1/4 cup of caper is a bit too extreme.. I was doubtful so I added less than that… even then it was too much.. The sauce was too acidic for my taste.. I will try to make it next time with a little less lemon juice and much less capers.
I doubled recipe exactly and it was wayyyyy too tart. I also have a mixing bowl full of angel hair (I made two pounds). Please tell me exactly how to double this for the lemon juice, capers and cream.
You can multiply all ingredients by two to double.
Yes, it was a bit tart for me, too. I added 1tbls of sugar into the sauce for 4. It helped a lot. The final taste was well balanced.
This was great! The flavor was perfect. I doubled the recipe because my husband loves extra sauce. I also added jarred articoke hearts (I recently had this dish at a restaurant and it had the artichoke hearts in it and it was amazing) I didn’t do the shallots. Everything was perfect except it would have been nicer to have the sauce a little thicker… It was a little too runny. Any tips on how to make it a little thicker without changing the flavor?
You can add a little bit of cornstarch as needed until the desired consistency is reached. Hope that helps!
Its funny you mention skipping the chicken and just putting the sauce on the pasta… Im allergic to chicken but am the worlds biggest sucker for a lemon cream sauce. So i have, on more than one occasion, asked restaurants to just add piccata sauce on my pasta (after verifying the sauce isnt made with chicken broth of course). So I will be making this with the chicken for my family, while using the sauce (subbing a “chicken flavor” veggie broth) to put on pasta and veggies for myself. 🙂
Please don’t jump all over me, but can you use non-fat 1/2 & 1/2 in place of the heavy cream? I have guests coming who can’t eat all that fat.
Can you omit cream all together?
Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.
Ok. So I decided to try this recipe. First of all it is not a classic chicken piccata. But you don’t present it as such either. I grew up in Italy, went to the culinary school there and run a restaurant there for a long time. However, this modified recipe turned out very good and was a success. Somebody here mentioned that the cream curdled. So here is what you do to prevent it from happening: first of all the cream (even sour cream) has to be mixed with flour before adding it to the sauce.Always! Second, it has to be added there at the room temperature. Never straight from the fridge! I used home made sour cream so I reduced the amount of lemon juice to about a quarter you suggest. As far as wine Chardonnay was used. The end result was delicious.
Made this last night and it was delicious, but way too tart with the juice of 1 small lemon. Next time I’ll use half a lemon and double the sauce, as we like it extra saucy. I halved the pasta as well and it was perfect!
I absolutely loved this! I didn’t have any shallots, so I left them out. I thought the flavor of the sauce was perfect. My husband and I love capers and the more, the merrier for us! I didn’t have spaghetti noodles, so I cooked a 1 lb box of cavatappi noodles and it was perfect for my family of 5. Thanks for the recipe–it’s going into my regular rotation!
Yup! This was “Damn Delicious!” Thank you.
Made this tonight with angle hair pasta! I doubled the sauce to have extra for the noodles and added mushrooms! I did pound the chicken beforehand and this was my best piccata yet! It’s definately a keeper for us! Yummy!!
In the end, recipe was great. My problem was that when I added the cream, it wanted to curdle. I took it off heat, waited a minute and added a bit more cream. It turned out great but do you have any suggestions.
I have found that it is best when the ingredients are at room temperature before the cream is added.
Delicious! Just finished dinner and this chicken dinner was a winner. I will make it again. Easy and full of flavor. I have only had Piccata in a restaurant so I am glad to be able to make my own. Thank you.
This is my favorite Chicken Piccata recipe ever, it’s so easy and flavorful! I like to serve it on top of spaghetti squash, unless I have guests, then I treat them to the real deal 🙂
This is the best recipe EVER! So lovingly delicious I would have never believed I could cook something so mouthwatering- but it’s all thanks to you 🙂 I will check out the rest of your recipes as I guess there are more hidden gemstones like this one. Thank you ever so much for the culinary pleasure – I will make sure to experience it again soon!
A number of your chicken recipes say that the boneless skinless breasts should be cut “crosswise”. Do you mean horizontally to make them each into thinner cuts? Or do you mean vertically to make them one half of a whole breast, but each the same thickness? I’m a bit confused, but love reading your recipes and my husband and I are very into Asian cooking right now. Thank you for you blog.
Yes, you want to cut them horizontally to make them into thinner cuts.