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Carb Diva's Chicken Piccata


Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

Tangy and succulent chicken piccata

Tangy and succulent chicken piccata

I love the taste of lemon. It's such a clean, bright flavor.

And lemon makes me think of summer—lemonade, lemon meringue pie, lemon bar cookies, lemon in salads and sauces.

And lemon with chicken, specifically chicken piccata.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

15 min

20 min

4 servings


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half (see note below)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • flour, for dredging (see note below for explanation)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced

How (and Why) to Butterfly a Chicken Breast

"Butterflying" is a butchering technique that will give you a thin, quick-to-cook piece of chicken. In this recipe you have two chicken breast halves. By butterflying and then cutting in half you will have 4 thin chicken breast portions.


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge (see note below) with flour and shake off excess.
  2. Place 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Melt over medium-high heat. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate.
  3. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in the same manner as described above. Remove your pan from the heat and place the chicken on the plate.
  4. In the same pan add the lemon juice, broth, and capers. Return to the stove and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Taste for seasoning.
  5. Return all chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a platter. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

What is Dredging?

In cooking, the word dredge means to coat an item of food in flour or breadcrumbs before cooking it. In this recipe, you are coating the butterflied chicken breast halves so that when they are sautéed they will quickly become golden brown with crisp edges.

  • If you do not add a coating of flour, your chicken will be cooked but pale, or golden but dry and overcooked.
  • Do not dredge the chicken and let it sit—the flour will become sticky and pasty. Dredge only when you are ready to cook.
  • Do not allow a heavy coating of flour—gently pat the chicken pieces to remove the excess flour. You want a very light dusting of flour.
  • And please throw away the flour that does not adhere to the chicken. Do not return it to your container of flour.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Chicken breasts are low in fat and high in protein.
  • Butterflying the chicken makes the portions thin, so they cook quickly.
  • Citrus provides a bright flavor which means that you can use less salt (you won't miss it a bit).
  • Capers have a briny tang.
  • Parsley adds color and contrast.

© 2014 Linda Lum


Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 03, 2015:

Hi vocalcoach - I'm sure glad you found this. I appreciate your stopping by. Please let me know when you try this--would love to get some feedback.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on January 03, 2015:

Believe it or not, I wasn't sure I could butterfly a chicken breast. The video was a big help. I, too am a lemon lover and will make this delicious recipe for dinner. Thanks!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 03, 2015:

pstraubie48 that is so kind! Thank you for reading my hub. I hope you give it a try. Have a great Saturday!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 03, 2015:

Hi peachpurple. I didn't know that--hammering sounds so much more fun than butterflying. Thanks, and have a great day.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 03, 2015:

O yes...I can almost smell the lemons as this is being prepared. The lovely thing about it is that it wakes up flavors in so many of our foods.

Great share.


Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 03, 2015:

Oh so butterflyand dredging is our so called hammering and coating chicken

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on November 01, 2014:

Well, FullOfLoveSites that makes me happy. I hope you find the time to prepare it and let me know if you like it. Thanks for stopping by.

FullOfLoveSites from United States on November 01, 2014:

Your post makes my mouth water.. yummy.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on October 31, 2014:

Nancy Hardin, Thanks for stopping by. Actually, my daughter was asking what she and I could cook together on Sunday (she wanted something chicken and lemon, and I had forgotten about this recipe). I hope that you do prepare it soon, and let me know if you like it.

Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on October 31, 2014:

I do love Chicken Picata, but haven't made it for too long. Your recipe makes me want to prepare it soon. I could almost taste it as I read.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on October 31, 2014:

Konstantinos, what a sweet thing to say! For me, cooking is not a mindless activity to provide something to eat. (I can easily gain that from a bag of chips.) Cooking, good cooking, should tell a story. Please try this recipe, and let me know what you think.

Konstantinos Valsamidis from London on October 31, 2014:

That looks like a reason to start cooking again!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on August 27, 2014:

Bill - I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for stopping by.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 27, 2014:

The word "chicken" is all I need. I'm not big on recipes, but chicken will get me here every single time. Thanks for this. We will try it.

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