Lighter Chicken Piccata

Lighter Chicken Piccata

When my husband I were still dating, there were a couple of dishes that I would make for him that he absolutely loved. One of those was Chicken Piccata. He gave me a copy of the Joy of Cooking for my 22nd birthday, and it became my go-to guide for making classic recipes (this was way back in the olden days when the internet was not all that useful!). I looked to the Joy of Cooking for guidance on dinner parties, on pancake making, on all-american dishes like tuna casserole, and how to do stuff I never knew I needed to do – like cream chicken for recipes like Chicken Pot Pie! Who knew!


One of our favorites was the recipe for Chicken Piccata. What I love about the Joy of Cooking is that they didn’t bow to 80’s/early 90’s pressure to “diet” things up. So, while their version is absolutely delicious – butter and flour do play an important role!  I hadn’t made Chicken Piccata in a few years, but suddenly I had a taste for it. Though I needed a slightly healthier version. In the version I made, the chicken gets pounded, sprinkled with a little flour on each side, and then a tangy pan sauce is made from white wine, chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers. I served it with spaghetti and steamed mixed vegetables, although rice, roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes also pair well.

Lightened-Up Chicken Piccata

Lightened-Up Chicken Piccata


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (German: Schalotte - or onion)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth or prepared boullion, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers (German: Kapern)
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Place each chicken breast half in a large Ziplock bag; pound thin using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle both sides of each piece of chicken with a little bit of flour, just a light dusting.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add shallots (or onion) to pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add wine; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  5. Cook until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add 1/4 cup broth to reserved 1 teaspoon flour; stir until smooth.
  7. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth to pan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half (about 5 minutes).
  8. Stir in flour mixture; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  9. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, juice, and capers.
  10. Place 1 chicken breast half on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle each serving with about 2 teaspoons parsley.
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Healthier Chicken Piccata - only 365 calories, this a fast, easy, tastes great and is family friendly! -


  1. I've never heard of this dish, it looks beautiful!
  2. Thank your for the inspiration. My kids love chicken breasts and pasta, so I guess they will love this meal (I hope that amount of wine do them any harm ;))
  3. this looks delicious! i love anything with pasta!!
  4. This looks so good! I'm going to have to try this. One Awesome Momma
  5. Looks delicious! I pinned myself a reminder...can't wait to make this classic dish!
  6. This sounds delicious. And I love that you were dating your husband at 22! So young.
  7. I love the Joy of Cooking! It has an answer for everything. Your chicken piccata looks delicious!
  8. Looks delicious, will for sure test it out soon!
  9. One of the most favourite dishes in our house!!! We could have this twice a week hahaha
  10. Comfort food indeed! I once had Chicken Picanta that was drenched in lots of butter, and haven't tried it ever since. I would prefer your lighter version any day.
  11. I was recently in Zermatt....ordered chicken piccata for dinner. It looked almost identical to chicken schnitzel. No lemon or capers or butter sauce. I asked the waiter and he ensured me it was piccata using cheese and flour instead of bread crumbs I think it is for schnitzel. I was really disappointed. Can you explain how this piccata could be called piccata?
    • Dear Daniel, according to my Swiss friend, Piccata Milanese is just as you described it, that's the Northern Italian version. I think our Piccata with lemons and capers is more of a southern Italian/Sicilian version. Sorry that you had a bad experience!

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