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Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata

  • Author: Debbie
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Gently charring the lemons intensifies the flavor


  • 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


  1. Combine lemon slices, sugar, and halved garlic in a medium bowl.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with 3/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat the skillet.
  5. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done.
  6. Remove chicken from pan to plate and keep warm.
  7. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat the skillet.
  8. Add lemon mixture to skillet; cook 1 minute or until lemon slices are lightly browned, turning occasionally.
  9. Return lemon mixture to bowl and keep warm.
  10. Lightly clean pan with paper towels.
  11. Heat pan over medium heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons butter to pan; swirl until butter melts.
  12. Add shallots, 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic, oregano sprig, and thyme sprig; and cook 1 minute.
  13. Add vermouth or white wine to pan, gently scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  14. Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates and is reduced well.
  15. Add remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, stock, and flour to pan, stirring with a whisk.
  16. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 3-4 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 2/3 cup.
  17. Remove pan from heat; discard oregano and thyme sprigs.
  18. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and capers, stirring until butter melts.
  19. Return chicken and any juices to pan; turn to coat with sauce.
  20. 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.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: American