There's something about coming home after a long day of work and pulling out my cutting board, a knife, and a sauté pan that instantaneously starts to relax my million-miles-a-minute mind. Once I begin cooking, I'm completely at ease. I'm not thinking about the latest crisis at work, how I haven't had a chance to maximize social media, or the fact that my laundry is piling up beyond comprehension.
Most nights I don't care if it takes an hour to get dinner on the table, because I thoroughly enjoy the process, and Kevin prefers to eat later in the evening after he's decompressed for a little while. On the occasion that I DO need to get dinner done in a flash, easy meals like this chicken piccata can be a total lifesaver. Meals like this also help when you have to make dinner for your husband on your lunch break because you've scheduled two happy-hour dates on consecutive nights, and you feel guilty leaving him to fend for himself.
While chicken piccata isn't necessarily something I'd share here, I've had some requests for slightly easier, lower-ingredient recipes, and I'm happy to oblige. Oftentimes when the words easy and five-ingredient get thrown around, it's automatically assumed the recipe isn't worthy of a gourmet dining experience, but that doesn't have to be the case. While humble in its ingredient list and preparation, five-ingredient chicken piccata is totally worthy of your family dinner table any day of the week, and, in my opinion, refined enough to serve at a dinner party.
I like for my chicken to be a pretty thin portion, so you can either buy two large breasts and split them down the middle, or just flatten each breast out with a meat mallet or — if you're like me — a giant rolling pin.
Each breast is seasoned liberally with salt and pepper, and you really want to make sure to not skip this step; since we are only using five ingredients, each layer needs to be optimally seasoned. The next few steps go quickly, butter is added to a hot pan, and the chicken breasts are thrown in until they're golden brown on both sides. They're then transferred to a plate and covered with foil while you make the sauce.
While the pan is still hot, quickly add in the white wine, scraping up all of the brown bits at the bottom of the pan as the liquid reduces. Once the wine has cooked down, lemon juice is added, simmered for a minute, and then another two tablespoons or so of butter are swirled in for a velvety finish. The chicken is added back into the pan, and the whole dish is finished off with a sprinkling of salty capers.
From start to finish, this comes together in about 20 painless minutes, and better yet, there's only one dish to clean . . .
- 4 small or 2 large chicken breasts
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons capers
- Chopped parsley, optional
- Slightly pound out the chicken breasts. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Once butter has melted, add chicken breasts, and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
- Remove chicken from pan and transfer to a plate. Tent with foil.
- With the heat on medium, add in white wine, scraping up brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer until reduced by half. Add lemon juice, and simmer another minute. Add remaining butter, and stir into sauce. Add chicken back into the sauce, and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Top with capers, and then garnish with parsley, if using.
- Main Dishes, Game
- North American
- 4 chicken cutlets
- Total Time
- 20 minutes