Healthy Chicken Piccata

Healthy Chicken Piccata 

This lightened up and healthier Chicken Piccata packs in all the same classic flavors but without all the extra fat and calories of a traditional chicken piccata. The chicken is lightly breaded and served with a garlic butter and caper sauce that has so much flavor. Piccata lovers will also want to try this Shrimp Piccata and Cauliflower Piccata Pasta.

I have always had a little bit of a love/hate relationship with Chicken Piccata. If I had to guess, I would say it's because of the capers. As a kid, I was on the “hate” side of my Chicken Piccata relationship, which was rare for me since I was the type of kid who would fight my Dad for the last sardine and almost cry when I had to order off the kids menu.

Honestly, I really did fight for the last sardine. That’s weird, right? Then, as I got a little older I began a bit of a love affair with this chicken dish. The lemons, capers, and buttery sauce...delicious! That is until I started working at a restaurant that served chicken piccata and therefore had to endlessly try to explain to people what capers were. This, as you can imagine, is a challenge for most people, much less a fifteen year old. “Umm, green, salty pea-type things” was my answer most of the time I think, and usually didn’t satisfy the customer.

But, you'll be pleased to know I once again overcame the hate and I am back on the love bandwagon. I do so love the flavors of Chicken Piccata and surprisingly it wasn’t too hard to lighten up. If you use a little less butter and oil you can get almost the same flavors without all the fat and calories. I didn’t use white wine in my Chicken Piccata, but you could easily substitute 1/2 cup of white wine for 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. It makes a perfect, quick meal.

Chicken piccata with capers, shallots, and a butter garlic sauce on a plate with parsley on the side.

How do you make Healthy Chicken Piccata?

This dish is as easy to make as it is to eat!

First, sprinkle the chicken cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper.  Then spread some flour out on a large plate and gently coat each chicken breast with flour. Set aside.

Next, melt butter over medium-high heat in a skillet or pan. Add olive oil to the butter, this helps things cook more easily. If your pan tends to stick, add a touch of cooking spray as well.  Add the chicken breasts and cook for 4-5 minutes per side until they are browned and cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, mix together 1 tsp of flour into 3/4 cup of chicken stock and set aside. Take the chicken off the skillet when it's done cooking and put on a plate. Cover with a tent of foil to keep it warm.

Add a touch more olive oil to the pan., Then add the shallots and the garlic to the pan. Cook this all around for 2 minutes until it starts to become fragrant. Make sure to store often so that the garlic doesn't burn.

Then add some chicken stock to the shallots and garlic, scraping the browned bits off the bottom. This part isn't burnt - this is where all the flavor is. Cook this mixture for about 5 minutes longer, until the broth is nearly evaporated.

Then it's time to finish the sauce. Add the chicken broth and flour mixture to the pan. Stir until smooth. Bring the whole mixture to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer. Let it cook until it reduces by about half and thickens. Finish the sauce by stirring in the butter, capers, mustard, lemon juice, and parsley.

Serve the chicken covered in this yummy piccata sauce.

What is the difference between Chicken Piccata and Chicken Francese?

Not a ton of difference between these two dishes to be honest. Chicken Francese is dipped into flour just like picatta, but then it's also dipped again in an egg mixture. The other difference is piccata has the capers and francese doesn't.

How many calories are in Chicken Piccata?

Typical chicken piccata dishes have around 500-600 calories. This lightened up version has just 290 calories. The main difference the calories and fat are lower is that there is significantly less butter and oil used. Additionally, the chicken is only lightly breaded in flour.

How to add wine to the sauce?

I didn't cook with wine for this recipe. But if you want to know what kind of wine is recommended to deglaze the pan, I just go with whatever white I have laying around. (Old wine is great for cooking with.)

If you want to know what wine to drink with this dish, then Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Blanc are all nice wine pairings that go with the lemony sauce in the piccata.

What is a good substitute for capers?

Are you on the caper hate train? You're not alone. I know plenty of people who never outgrew their hatred of capers from their youth. I have found a good substitute is to use green olives. I like to slice them in halves or quarters before adding them to the sauce.

You can also use pickles, green peppercorns, thyme, caper berries, or anchovies in this dish to achieve that briny, salty taste.

Even if you have hated Chicken Piccata in the past, won't you give this a try? I think you'll find a whole new appreciation for this slimmed-down version.

Chicken in piccata sauce with parsley, garlic, lemon, and shallots on a plate with capers in a jar on the side.

Side Dish Ideas

Calories 290, Total Fat 11g, Total Carbohydrate 10g, Protein 35g, Serving Size 6 oz

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