Chicken piccata is my absolute favorite week-night meal. It's simple to throw together but also makes an absolutely gorgeous dish. If you're in a bind for time, buy thinly sliced chicken breasts to save yourself the effort. I like to add a bit of heavy cream to the sauce at the end to help tone down the bite of the lemon. If you like your sauce a bit more tart, you can omit the cream.
Cost: Approximately $4.89 per serving.*
Skill Level: Intermediate
Time to Make: 1 hour
2 large lemons
6 thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Wondra (or flour)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small shallot
1-14.5 ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons capers, drained
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
16 ounces angel hair pasta, for serving
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
Prep Ingredients: Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add Wondra to a shallow dish and coat each chicken breast with Wondra, shaking off the excess. Set aside. Mince the shallots and the parsley. Cut lemon in half length-wise. Trim the ends from one half and slice thinly, cross-wise. Juice the other half and set aside. Prepare pasta according to package instructions and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high until very hot and shimmering. Cook the chicken in batches until crispy and browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to an oven safe dish and keep in a 200ºF oven. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and cook the remaining chicken breasts. Add them to the oven.
In the same pan, add the shallots and sauté until translucent. Add the chicken broth and and lemon slices, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until lemon slices are very soft and the sauce as reduced, about 20 minutes. Add the capers and lemon juice and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and stir in the butter, heavy cream, and minced parsley. Simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened a bit.
Stir in reserved pasta water and add angel hair pasta to the sauce, using tongs to evenly coat the pasta with the sauce. Remove from heat.
To serve: Divide pasta between bowls and top with one chicken breast. Arrange a few lemon slices on top of the chicken (they're delicious, I promise!). Enjoy!
*Note: Common pantry items such as sugar, salt, oil, and herbs are not factored into the cost of the recipe.
Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work at 2U, shoot for Time Out New York, and love to cook delicious recipes in my spare time!