IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Alton Brown's Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata
Chicken PiccataTODAY


  • 3 ounces white wine (I usually go with a Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 4 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 lemon, sliced into 8 wafer-thin slices, plus 1/2 lemon for 1 1/2 tablespoons juice
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained but not rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Kitchen equipment
  • beaker or measuring cup
  • gallon freezer bag
  • meat pounder
  • 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan
  • Chef notes

    There are plenty of piccata recipes out there, but I love this one because it’s built on chicken thighs which are cheap and much more flavorful than breasts. 


    Combine the white wine, broth and lemon juice in a beaker or measuring cup. Set aside.

    Season the thighs with 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper.

    Place the flour in a gallon freezer bag and add one thigh to the bag. Seal, and shake to coat. Then open the bag just enough to allow air out. Place the thigh on a sturdy counter or cutting board and flatten that sucker with a meat pounder, flipping the bag once during the process, until the thigh is about 1/4 inch thick. Remove to a plate and repeat with the rest of the thighs.

    Place a heavy, 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid over high heat for 1 minute.

    Add 1 tablespoon each of the butter and the oil to the pan. When the butter just stops bubbling, carefully add 4 of the thighs. Cook, gently shaking the pan, for 90 seconds, then flip and repeat for another 90 seconds.

    Remove the chicken from the pan, add another 1 tablespoon each of the butter and oil, and when the butter is melted, add the remaining 4 thighs and cook as before.

    Remove the chicken from the pan and immediately add the mushrooms and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

    Toss or stir to sauté for 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms start to turn golden on the cooked sides.

    Stir the mushrooms out to the circumference of the pan and add the capers right into the middle. Stir, cooking for another minute.

    Add the chicken back to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Distribute the lemon slices across the top of the chicken, add the wine mixture and slap on the lid. Braise thusly for 5 to 7 minutes, until the chicken is cut-with-a-fork tender.

    Evacuate the thighs (discard the lemon slices atop) to a serving platter. Increase the heat to high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the sauce. Boil gently, stirring constantly until it reaches sauce consistency, about 30 seconds, then pour it over the chicken. Grind on some more pepper and top with the parsley. Serve with rice or noodles, if you like.

    Technique Tip

    If you don’t want to mess with boning, go with boneless, skinless thighs; otherwise, you’ll need a thin sharp knife for boning.