An Italian restaurant staple, but lightened up. This lighter chicken piccata is lower in calories, but not lacking in flavor. Thinly sliced chicken breast is dredged in seasoned flour, and pan seared in light butter. A simple sauce of lemon juice, chicken stock and capers is built in the same pan and simmers with the cooked chicken to develop even more flavor. Simple when it comes to ingredients, this dish can be thrown together in under 30 minutes for a delicious and easy homemade meal.
All about chicken piccata, and why this recipe is “lighter” than the original
Chicken piccata is a simple recipe, made with chicken breast cutlets dredged in flour, pan-seared and simmered in a simple sauce of butter, lemon juice, capers, and either white wine or chicken stock. This recipe is a staple in most Italian-American restaurants, and is bright and lemony in flavor. It is easy to make for a simple dinner at home, but also appealing and delicious enough to serve to guests.
So what makes this version “lightened-up?” – truthfully, the ingredients here are simple and haven’t been altered much, since they already are on the lighter-side. Since chicken breast is the star here, there isn’t much to alter to make this version a lighter one. The main changes I made to lighten this recipe up is using light butter rather than traditional butter, and also reducing the amount of oil used to cook the chicken. I prefer to use olive oil spray instead of lots of olive oil when I sauté the chicken. Otherwise, the remaining ingredients of flour, spices, lemon juice, chicken stock, and capers remain the same.
What you will need to make lighter chicken piccata
- chicken breast, thinly sliced
- You can use full chicken breast, and slice them into 5-6 thinner pieces.
- all purpose flour
- If you are eating gluten-free, you can use gluten-free flour.
- garlic powder
- dried oregano
- onion powder
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- olive oil spray
- light butter
- I use this one.
- lemon juice
- Fresh lemon juice is preferred, equivalent to the juice from 1-2 lemons.
- chicken stock
- Do not use reduced sodium; if you do, you will have to adjust the salt later on.
How to make lighter chicken piccata
Start out by adding the flour, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, salt and pepper to a shallow bowl. Mix to combine the ingredients. Thinly slice the chicken breast into 5-6 pieces, and dredge each one thoroughly in the flour mixture.
Preheat the frying pan over medium high heat, and add the olive oil spray and 1 tablespoon of the butter. The chicken should be cooked in batches to prevent overcrowding; this is what ensures a golden crust on the outside. Cook the first batch (about 2-3 pieces of chicken) in for about 2-3 minutes per side, then remove from the pan. Add more olive oil spray, another tablespoon of butter, and cook the remaining chicken. Remove the second batch of chicken from the pan.
Next, add the lemon juice and chicken stock to the pan, along with the capers (anywhere from 2-4 tablespoons, depending on your taste preference). Simmer the sauce, and add the cooked chicken pieces along with their residual juices to the pan. Simmer the chicken for about 5 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan and plate it; stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into the sauce and whisk to incorporate it with the other ingredients. Then, pour the sauce over the chicken to serve.
What do I serve this with?
I love serving a dish like this over mashed potatoes with a side vegetable! Mashed potatoes are the perfect vessel to soak up the delicious pan sauce.
Lighter Chicken Piccata
- large frying pan
- 1.25 lb chicken breast thinly sliced into 5-6 pieces
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- olive oil spray
- 1/4 cup light butter divided- I use I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
- 1/3 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed; equivalent to 1-2 lemons
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2-4 tbsp capers drained and rinsed; use 2-4 tbsp depending on your preference. I used 4 tbsp.
- Slice the chicken breast into 5-6 thinner slices.
- Add the flour, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, salt and pepper to a shallow bowl. Mix together.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture.
- Preheat the skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil spray and 1 tbsp of butter to the skillet.
- Working in two batches, add 2-3 chicken pieces to the pan and sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown.
- Remove the chicken from the pan, and add more olive oil spray and another tbsp of butter to sear the second batch.
- Once the chicken is removed from the pan, set aside.
- Add the lemon juice and the chicken stock to the pan along with the capers.
- Simmer the sauce and then add the chicken back to the pan.
- Simmer the chicken for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan to plate.
- Add the remaining 2 tbsp of butter to the sauce and whisk in. Pour the sauce on top of the chicken.
- 2 WW points (blue and purple plans)
- 4 WW points (green plan)
You might also enjoy these easy one-pan chicken recipes, served with delicious pan sauces but lightened-up: