Simple Lemon Chicken Piccata

Simple Lemon Chicken Piccata

Simple lemon chicken piccata is one of the easiest most delicious weeknight dinners on the planet. It is hands down one of our regular favorites and it has been for years. The recipe skips the breading of the chicken, makes the most perfectly brown and tender skillet chicken, and creates the most to-die-for lemon caper sauce.  Make it in 30 minutes or less!

Only cooking for two? Instead of 4 chicken breasts, just make two and keep the rest of the ingredients the same. We do this all the time. 

Simple Lemon Chicken Piccata

What is Chicken Piccata?

Piccata when used to define a dish means when meat or fish is sautéed in a sauce that contains lemon, butter and spices, usually briny. In this particular recipe, that holds true 100%. The garlic-lemon-caper sauce starts with a butter base that helps brown the chicken. Then the briny salty flavor comes from the capers. It is  obsessively delicious.

Cooking with White Wine 

Most of the time, I skip white wine, especially on those extra busy weeknights when dinner needs to hit the table in 30 minutes or less. But you can absolutely use white wine to develop another layer of flavors. I recommend using something you will also drink a glass of. I aim for a crisp wine such as – Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. A lot of restaurants use chardonnay, however I do not like to drink chardonnay so I never use it for cooking.

To incorporate the white wine into the recipe, you would add it between step 4 and 5 below. Once the chicken is brown, remove them from the skillet. Deglaze with about 1/4 cup of wine and let it reduce to almost gone. Then continue with step 5. 

What to Serve it With Chicken Piccata

The garlic-lemon-caper sauce is too good to leave behind on the plate. Make sure to mop it up with pasta, couscous, or garlic break. Thin spaghetti is our favorite pasta choice, but you could use just about anything. 

Also served with a quick fresh peppery arugula salad is a great balance of flavors and textures. To make a simple side arugula salad, in a bowl add your freshly cleaned arugula leaves toss with fresh lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon and add a pinch or two of salt. This quick salad could not be any easier, we have this a lot during the summer. 

Simple Lemon Chicken Piccata

Simple lemon chicken piccata is one of the easiest most delicious weeknight dinners on the planet. Perfectly browned and tender skillet chicken, with the best garlic-lemon-caper sauce. Make it in less than 30 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Pasta, Weeknight Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy recipe, chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 Thin Chicken Breasts or Cutlets
  • 1 tsp Salt -divided
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 TBSP Butter
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic - peeled and smashed
  • 1 Lemon - cut 3-4 slices from one ½ of the lemon and keep ½ of the lemon not sliced
  • 2 TBSP Flour
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 TBSP Capers, drained


  • Pay dry and season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Add in the smashed garlic, one-two lemon slices and the chicken breasts. Brown the chicken breasts, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
    If you are using a stainless steel pan the chicken breasts may stick to the bottom of the pan, it will loosen up and become easier to flip once it's browned. Do not try to peel the chicken off, it will come off when it's ready to flip..
  • Once the chicken in browned on both sides, remove from the skillet and place it on plate to set aside. It is okay if the chicken is not cooked all the way through, it will go back in the pan to finish cooking.
  • Add the flour to the bottom of the pan and let is cook for about 30 seconds - 1 minute.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and the remainder two or three lemon slices. Use a wooden spoon or plastic whisk to incorporate the flour and stock together, breaking up the flour clumps.
    If you are using a stainless steel pan, using a wooden spoon or plastic spatula, scrape up the browning marks from the bottom of the pan for more flavor.
  • Turn the your heat to medium-high to reduce your chicken stock by half, until you get your preferred sauce consistency. If you over reduce and the sauce is too thick, add in a splash of water. About 5 minutes.
    Squeeze in the juice of your remaining ½ lemon, be careful to scoop out seeds. Add in ½ tsp of salt.
  • Remove the garlic and lemon slices. Reduce the temperature back to medium, add the chicken back into the skillet with the sauce. Add in the capers. Cook until the chicken is done, about 1-2 minutes.







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