The second worst job I ever had was working in this strange restaurant in Georgia that served both Italian and Caribbean food. The guys that ran the place were terrible, ill-tempered people who regularly threw out customers who complained about their orders or brought loud children into the restaurant (something like a Southern Soup Nazi). But even though they were some of the most awful people to run a restaurant, the food was pretty amazing.
It was at this odd little restaurant that I first had any kind of piccata dish. Piccata is a traditional Italian dish that basically means that thin meat is breaded, fried and served with some kind of sauce. We served veal piccata and chicken piccata and piccata Milanese, but the chicken was always my favorite. Pounded thin and served with a somewhat creamy, lemony wine sauce and dotted with salty pops of flavor from the capers. It was such a change from the typical spaghetti and meatballs Italian food that I was used to. I loved it and ordered it all the time.
I was fired from that job (unsurprisingly) and was forced to make my own chicken piccata at home. This version has been tinkered with so that it’s a lighter. It has no breading which isn’t really necessary anyway since the best part of the whole dish is the sauce. Don’t skip the dry white wine here and buy something drinkable, it has a huge impact on the flavor. A nice sauvignon blanc would be perfect.
More great chicken recipes:
- Easy Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry
- Garlic and Rosemary Roast Chicken
- Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake
Light Lemon Chicken Piccata
A lighter version of the classic chicken piccata, this is a perfect weeknight meal.
- 2 lemons thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 garlic cloves halved
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter divided
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 Tablespoon capers
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- In a bowl combine the lemon slices, garlic halves, and sugar and set aside.
- Place a chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a heavy skillet or rolling pin until about ¾-inch thick. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
- Sprinkle ½ teaspoon kosher salt and pepper on both sides of all of the breasts. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet and cook the chicken for 5 minutes on each side until done all the way through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and keep warm.
- Add the sliced lemon mixture to the pan and cook until for one minute or until the lemons begin to brown. Return them back to the bowl.
- Wipe out the skillet with paper towels and return to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan along with the shallot, minced garlic, oregano and thyme. Cook for 1 minute. Add the wine to the pan and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Reduce the wine until nearly evaporated. Add in ½ teaspoon kosher salt, chicken stock, and flour and whisk together. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has reduced and is slightly thick. Remove from the heat. Whisk in remaining butter and capers. Return the chicken and any juices to the pan and turn to coat in the sauce. Top the chicken with the lemon slices and parsley. Serve with noodles and fresh asparagus.