Chicken Picatta is a relatively quick cooking, elegant restaurant-style dish. It’s easy to make and one of my personal favorites. I’m always recommending it to friends who haven’t made it, for a change of pace. It’s totally delicious! Thinly pounded chicken breasts are dredged in flour, sauteed in olive oil, and then simmered in a smooth, light, broth-lemon-wine sauce (made with everyday staples). Some cooks use dry Marsala (a fortified Sicilian wine)…so there’s room for your own preferences here – and the chicken pieces can vary in size, as long as the thickness of each piece is consistent (about 1/4-inch). This economical dish is guaranteed to impress your family as well as your guests. My perfect side dish for this is lightly buttered, wide/flat pasta noodles (such as tagliatelle) and a green veggie such as broccoli.
Sauce ingredients include staples from your pantry/fridge: Butter, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, sherry or wine and chicken broth. The sauce color (not the flavor) will vary accordingly.
Chicken breasts are halved horizontally, pounded with a mallet (if needed) into about 1/4-inch thick pieces. The overall size of each piece is up to you – I halved them in this picture.
The pieces are dredged in flour, then sauteed in olive oil and butter until golden – then removed and set aside while the remaining sauce ingredients are added and brought to a boil. The pieces are returned to the pan and warmed in the sauce. (This is a 3/4 recipe, which I sauteed in one batch in a 5-quart saute pan).
Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Makes 4 to 6 main-course servings
4 ( 6-ounce each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
3/4 cup cooking sherry or dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio)
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, sliced, for garnish
Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally. If needed, fatten the chicken breasts to a 1/4-inch thickness between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Cut each piece in half (for 8 total pieces) and lightly season with salt and pepper. Spread the flour on a plate and dredge each piece until coated evenly. In a skillet or saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil over medium-low heat. Saute half of the floured pieces until a light golden color, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and the remaining oil to the pan. Cook the remaining pieces.
Turn the heat to low, add the lemon juice, wine and chicken broth to the pan. Loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a whisk, and bring to a boil. Add the remaining butter and reduce to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan and heat thoroughly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter or large flat bowl. Pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with parsley and serve.