Chicken Picatta

Chicken Picatta is one of my all time favorite dishes. What’s not to love? It’s buttery, its lemony, it’s pungent and just a little salty…any more good things and I would have to marry it. The recipe is extremely simple, and though it takes about an hour from start to finish including prep time, it’s worth it. Also…don’t even think of substituting olive oil here. Butter is judge, jury, and executioner…it’s the whole deal.

Chicken Picatta


4 Chicken cutlets(no need to pound them)
1 Stick of butter
Juice of 4 lemons
2/3 Cup of wine
1 Tsp. capers, drained
1 Tsp. prepared demiglace (HUGELY important – do not leave this out!)
2 Cups flour
1 Tbsp. poultry or Italian seasoning

1) Put the flour, seasoning, and chicken in a large bowl or ziploc bag, coating the chicken. 

2) Melt the butter in a pan over medium high heat.

3) When the butter starts to foam, add the chicken to the pan (you may have to do this in two batches so the chicken doesn’t overlap).

4) When the chicken starts to turn opaque around the edges, wait about 30 seconds more, than check to see if there is a bit of a golden color on the chicken. If there is, flip it. If there isn’t, wait.

5) Leave the chicken on its second side JUST long enough to turn opaque. The chicken cooks a second time, and all you are doing here is sealing in the juices. You want it basically raw so it doesn’t overcook when it finishes cooking in a bit. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve for later. 

6) Pour the wine in the pan. It will smoke a lot – consider yourself warned. Scrape up the tasty bits with a whisk – this is called deglazing. 

7) Add the lemon juice, capers, and demiglace.

8) Whisk to combine, add the chicken back to the pan, and cover.
9)Let it cook for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is JUST cooked through. Taste for seasonings. 
The secret to this chicken is twofold. The first is that you do NOT overcook it – you just brown it on one side to give it a bit of a crispy crust, and then gently poach it in the sauce so it stays moist and incredibly tender – these actually cut with a fork. The second secret is the demiglace – this reduced chicken stock is so rich and gelatinous that it gives the sauce all the salt that it needs, and adds a thickness and body that is otherwise difficult to achieve. The sauce magically seems to thicken with it and the residual flour left in the pan from the chicken. The butter makes the sauce rich, the wine adds acidity, and the capers add a tart punch that gives the sauce depth and roundness. This is delicious over pasta or mashed potatoes.

Give it a try and you will find yourself asking the same question as I: What’s not to love?!


  1. Sippity Sup says:

    Chicken Picatta is one of my favs too. I like it extra sour. GREG

    • I’m adding this to my saved rpciees for sure. I LOVE capers (even though they’re full of sodium). This looks simple and easy and I have everything on hand!

  2. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Greg-me too! If it doesn't make my mouth pucker, it ain't there yet!


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