Skillet Chicken Piccata

February 13, 2020 Updated: February 13, 2020
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Growing up, my favorite dish that my mom made was her baked lemon chicken. I crave this dish on the reg, so I still have her make it for me when I go home. I very much look forward to these chicken cutlets baked in a thick, rich, buttery lemon sauce. This is my version, which I make in a skillet for even easier weeknight prep. I also use clean, Whole30-compliant ingredients, but don’t worry, it’s still just as decadent and comforting as the original.

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serves 4

  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken cutlets (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon), plus lemon sliced for garnish (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for serving

Season the chicken cutlets on both sides with the salt and pepper and set aside.

Pour the arrowroot onto a large plate or a wide bowl. Lightly dredge each individual cutlet in the arrowroot until evenly coated, then shake off any excess. Place the dredged cutlets on a clean plate and continue until all are complete.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Working in batches so as to not overcrowd the skillet, carefully add the cutlets and cook until golden brown on both sides, 3–4 minutes per side. The chicken does not need to be completely cooked through, just golden brown. Transfer to a parchment-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.

Reduce the heat to low, add the ghee to the skillet, and swirl to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring to prevent burning, about 30 seconds. Stir in the capers, chicken broth, and lemon juice. Increase the heat to a simmer. Nestle the chicken into the sauce and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with the parsley and fresh lemon slices, if desired, and serve.

Note: A chicken cutlet is a chicken breast that has been butterflied so it opens like a book. You can either do this yourself, or purchase it already done. Once you have opened your chicken into “cutlets,” finish the cut through the center so that they are divided in half lengthwise and no longer attached to each other. You should be left with two separate, thin pieces of chicken.

Excerpted from “The Defined Dish: Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes” copyright 2019 by Alex Snodgrass. Photography copyright 2019 by Kristen Kilpatrick. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.