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Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata

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chicken-piccataThis Chicken Piccata makes for a wicked easy mid-week dinner, that your family will love and guests will ooooooh and ahhhhhh over. Lighter than classic piccata, but still full of bright lemon notes as well as the famed briney capers. I use fresh herbs, and dry white vermouth to bring out the herbal flavors. And its darned near the ‘perfect’ chicken meal!

Dry white vermouth is great for cooking. It is a fortified wine and keeps for a long time, whereas opened non-fortified wine will oxidize and go bad after opening. I keep it on hand along with marsala wine, and a sweet red vermouth (not used for cooking mind you, but used in cocktails). Of course if you don’t have vermouth, any white wine you might have on hand for drinking will substitute well.

So with apologies to my italian ancestors, Julia Child and professional chefs everywhere, I’m giving you my tweaked recipe for Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata. Serve this chicken piccata with grilled or steamed asparagus and a fresh salad. What could be easier and more delicious ?

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata

Gently charring the lemons intensifies the flavor
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Debbie


  • 3 small meyer lemons cut into thin rounds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves halved
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 3/4-inch thickness
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 teaspoon grated shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 1 oregano sprig
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1/2 cup vermouth any dry white wine will work
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon capers rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • Combine lemon slices, sugar, and halved garlic in a medium bowl.
  • Sprinkle chicken with 3/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat the skillet.
  • Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done.
  • Remove chicken from pan to plate and keep warm.
  • Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat the skillet.
  • Add lemon mixture to skillet; cook 1 minute or until lemon slices are lightly browned, turning occasionally.
  • Return lemon mixture to bowl and keep warm.
  • Lightly clean pan with paper towels.
  • Heat pan over medium heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons butter to pan; swirl until butter melts.
  • Add shallots, 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic, oregano sprig, and thyme sprig; and cook 1 minute.
  • Add vermouth or white wine to pan, gently scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  • Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates and is reduced well.
  • Add remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, stock, and flour to pan, stirring with a whisk.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 3-4 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 2/3 cup.
  • Remove pan from heat; discard oregano and thyme sprigs.
  • Stir in remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and capers, stirring until butter melts.
  • Return chicken and any juices to pan; turn to coat with sauce.
  • Top chicken with lemon mixture. Sprinkle with parsley.


adapted from The Joy of Cooking, 1964 edition
Watch the lemon mixture closely so as to only char the rinds. You're not trying to burn the inside fruit, if you do so the sauce will have a burnt taste.


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  1. Sue says

    Oh I am definitely going to try this one it looks delicious. Thanks so much for sharing with us at #AnythingGoes link up.

  2. Mumbling Mel says

    This looks so yummy! Iv been looking for new recipes to eat healthier and I think this looks amazing! I will have to try this! Although I have to admit I’m not the cook in my house, my lovely hubby is talented in that dept so I will have to pin this for him! :)