If you’re looking for a light yet satisfying meal that comes together with just a handful of staples, look no further. This light and lemony Skillet Chicken Piccata is delicious year-round, and it pairs perfectly with just about any side dish. We love it with veggies, but it’s also perfect alongside rice or pasta.
Fancy but not too fancy
Skillet chicken piccata may sound fancy, but it’s actually quite simple (and ridiculously delicious!). Thin chicken breast cutlets get tossed with a light coating of flour before browning them in a little olive oil—which doesn’t seem all that amazing until you add the lemon juice, butter, broth, and salty capers. That’s when the real magic happens.
My family really loved this dish, and they didn’t complain when we had it three times in one week while I was testing different variations of it. I love it served alongside fresh seasonal veggies, while my husband and daughters asked for angel hair pasta to soak up all of the rich buttery sauce.
This dish is traditionally made with flour, white wine, and a generous amount of butter. We’ve lightened it up and simplified it a bit by replacing the wine with broth and decreasing the amount of butter. But honestly, you really wouldn’t know unless we hadn’t told you.
We hope you enjoy this easy Skillet Chicken Piccata as an easy weeknight meal or elegant date-night-in. Asparagus, arugula, and lemons are all in season now, and this is the perfect dish to bring them all together in one happy lemony, buttery, and satisfying way.
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How to Make Skillet Chicken Piccata
- If chicken cutlets are not available, you can make your own by slicing boneless skinless chicken breasts in half to create 4 thin pieces. Thinner pieces mean faster and more even cooking. If you’re not comfortable slicing the chicken this way, you can place the breasts between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound them to an even ½-inch thickness, then cut them in half. It’s totally up to you—both ways will work.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Toss the seasoned chicken with your flour of choice. We used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Flour, but cassava flour also worked well during testing and of course, good old all-purpose flour will also work if that’s what you have on hand.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (this covered enameled cast iron skillet is one of our favorites). Once the pan is hot, add olive oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom before adding the floured chicken cutlets. Cook 2 minutes, or until they easily release from the pan and are lightly browned underneath. Note: Gluten-free flour may not brown as much as all-purpose flour so resist the urge to cook them longer—you don’t want to overcook them. When the chicken is lightly browned on both sides, transfer it to a clean plate while you make the sauce.
- Reduce the heat of the pan and add a little more olive oil to the pan, along with the garlic, and cook—stirring until the garlic is fragrant but not burned (about 30 seconds). Then increase the heat to medium-high and add the broth and capers to the pan. Cook while stirring and scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced by half (about 3 minutes if you have a vigorous simmer going).
- Now add the butter (or ghee) and stir vigorously as it melts. The sauce should start to look glossy.
- Add the chicken back to the pan and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce starts to coat the spoon (about 2 minutes). The sauce won’t be super thick but it will be thicker and will have a silky texture. Taste and adjust the seasonings (salt and pepper) to taste.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the lemon juice and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Ready, Set, Eat!
While this Skillet Chicken Piccata is most delicious when it’s right from the pan with is salty-lemony sauce mingling beautifully with everything it touches on your plate, don’t be afraid to make it for a weekend meal prep. It reheats really well and it’s delicious served over a bed of greens with a side of roasted veggies for a hearty lunch salad.
Looking for More Skillet Meals?
Try these easy, family-friendly meals you can make in a skillet.
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 4 chicken cutlets (~1 ¼ lbs)
- 3 Tbsp. gluten-free flour blend (we love this gluten-free flour)
- Salt and Pepper
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 cup chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
- 2 Tbsp. capers, drained
- 1 Tbsp. ghee or butter*
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Lemon wedges or slices for serving
1. To make the chicken cutlets, slice chicken breasts in half crosswise into 4 cutlets and lightly pound each piece between sheets of parchment paper until they’re about ½” thick. Season lightly with salt.
2. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Working one at a time, place the cutlets in the bowl and toss to coat in flour. Shake off excess flour and transfer to a plate.
3. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer add the cutlets to the pan and cook, without moving them, until golden brown underneath—about 2 minutes. Turn each cutlet over and cook on the other side just until chicken is nearly cooked through (about 1 minute). Transfer to a clean plate.
4. Add garlic and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to the skillet. Reduce the heat and stir continuously to keep the garlic from scorching, about 30 seconds.
5. Increase the heat to medium-high and add broth and capers to the pan. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
6. Add the ghee or butter. Stir vigorously while the ghee melts (about 1 minute) until the sauce starts to look glossy.
7. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce coats the spoon (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir the lemon juice into the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
8. Transfer the chicken to a platter, spooning the sauce over the top of the cutlets, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.
*To make this dairy-free: Substitute additional olive oil for the butter or ghee
*Use ghee to make this Whole30-friendly
- Serving Size: 1/4th recipe (Chicken + Sauce)
- Calories: 338
- Sugar: 0g
- Sodium: 369mg
- Fat: 18g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 3g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 37g
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