Chicken Piccata (Stuffed or Traditional)
Chicken Piccata is an easy family favorite and this recipe brings it to you two ways: stuffed with asparagus and Parmesan or authentic thinly sliced, golden cutlets – both irresistibly delicious! This Chicken Piccata recipe is uber simple to make yet looks super impressive! Thinly sliced chicken OR Parmesan asparagus stuffed chicken is dredged in flour, lightly pan fried until golden, then drenched in a sultry, creamy lemon, butter caper sauce. Serve this one pot Chicken Piccata over pasta, potatoes or rice with a big green salad and breadsticks and you have one of the most tantalizing dinners of all time!
Servings Prep Time
3-6 servings 15minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-6 servings 15minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Chicken Piccata
Ingredients
CHICKEN
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts(approx. 21 oz.), patted dry
  • 3tablespoons flour
  • 1tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder, salt, lemon pepper, paprika
  • 9-12 asparagusends trimmed
  • 1/4cup finely freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3tablespoons olive oil
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter
SAUCE
  • 3tablespoons minced shallots
  • 3-4 garlic clovesminced
  • 1 1/4cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2cup heavy cream
  • 1tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3tablespoons lemon juiceto taste
  • 3tablespoons capersdrained
  • 1/4tsp EACH salt, pepper
Instructions
CHICKEN
  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Partially cut the chicken breasts in half through the equator to create a pocket, leaving one side intact. It should open and hinge like a book.
  3. Whisk the flour and all seasoning together in a shallow dish. Close the chicken and dredge each breast in the mixture then transfer to a dry surface.
  4. Open the chicken and add 3-4 asparagus pieces inside each chicken breast then evenly top with Parmesan cheese. Fold chicken closed and secure with toothpicks. Rub extra flour mixture over the top to fix smudges.
  5. Melt the butter in the olive oil in a large (12-inch) cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until nicely browned (it won’t be cooked through). Transfer chicken to a plate, don’t wipe out skillet.
SAUCE
  1. If needed, drain oil from skillet so you are left with about 1 tablespoon. Add shallot and sauté while scraping up the drippings for 2 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds.
  2. Whisk chicken broth with cornstarch and add to skillet along with heavy cream, lemon juice, capers, salt and pepper. Simmer until reduced by half and slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
BAKE
  1. Add chicken back to pan and cover with foil.
  2. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165˚F. Serve with pasta (I love linguine), rice or mashed potatoes.
Recipe Notes

How to Make traditional Chicken Piccata

There are only a few minor changes you will make to the easy Chicken Piccata recipe if not stuffing the chicken: 

  • Use Chicken Cutlets:  First, you will slice the chicken breasts all the way through to create six cutlets. To do this, place the chicken breast on a cutting board and slice through the equator of the chicken to create two equal pieces. You can also purchase chicken halves at the grocery store or ask the butcher to do it for you.
  • Pound to Even Thickness:  Your chicken should be pretty thin already after slicing (we’re aiming for ¼-inch), but make sure it is even by placing chicken in between parchment paper, plastic wrap or a freezer bag and pounding with the smooth side of a meat mallet or side of a can. Thin, even pieces of chicken allow the inside of the chicken to be cooked through in the same amount of time it takes for the outside to become beautifully golden. 
  • Dredge Chicken:  Instead of adding Parmesan to the inside of the chicken with the asparagus, add it directly to the flour coating and increase the flour to 1/2 cup.
  • Cook Chicken:   The instructions for cooking the chicken are the same, but you will need to cook the chicken in two batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan and make sure the chicken is cooked through (internal temp of 165 degrees F) because it is not finishing in the oven.
  • Make Piccata Sauce:  Follow the same instructions for making the piccata sauce.  You can either add the chicken directly to the skillet or for crispier chicken, plate the chicken then pour the sauce over top.

Tips for the Best Chicken Piccata

  • Even chicken breasts:  Whether you’re making traditional Chicken Piccata or stuffed Chicken Piccata, you want to pound the chicken to an even thickness so it cooks evenly. 
  • Don’t slice apart.  If making asparagus Chicken Piccata, make sure you cut a deep pocket in the chicken without slicing all the way through. 
  • Thin chicken breast:  For traditional Chicken Piccata, start with chicken breasts that have been sliced in half to create thin cutlets.  This will provide thinner chicken than just pounding small chicken breast thin.  Thin chicken will cook quickly and give you a larger ratio of crispy outside. 
  • Use a cast-iron skillet:  Use a large 12-inch cast iron skillet so you can brown the chicken and make the sauce in the same pan.  The brown bits from browning the chicken infuse the sauce with a depth of rich, complex flavor that cannot be achieved any other way.
  • Don’t overcrowd pan.  If you make the stuffed Chicken Piccata recipe, you shouldn’t have any problem not overcrowding the pan because we are cooking just three chicken breasts.  If you make traditional Chicken Piccata, you need to brown the chicken in two batches so each cutlet has maximum room to sizzle in the buttery oil.  If the chicken is too close, it will steam instead of brown.
  • Keep chicken warm.  If working in batches, you can keep the seared pieces warm by transferring to a baking sheet and placing in the oven at 200 degrees F.
  • Microwave lemons. Ever since I learned this tip years ago, I use it all the time! Microwave your lemons for 15 seconds and be amazed at how much easier they are to juice (and how much more juice you get)!
  • Fresh Parmesan.  Use freshly grated Parmesan for the best flavor and for the best melting ability.  Pre-shredded cheeses are coated in anti-clumping chemicals which inhibits their melting ability.
  • FINLEY grated Parmesan. When shredding the Parmesan, make sure you are using the smallest, prickly holes of the grater so it becomes powdery.
  • Garnish!  Often garnish can just be for looks but parsley really enlivens the flavors. Make sure to chop it finely so it’s evenly distributed and discretely flavorful without getting stuck in your teeth.
  • Amp up the lemon.  If you like more lemon flavor, sprinkle your portion with lemon zest.