I have this recipe for chicken piccata that I’ve been making for years. It’s one of the first things I learned how to cook, and over the years it’s just had shortcuts and adaptations added to it so much that it barely resembles the original. But it’s beloved around here, so I wasn’t sure whether or not to try this recipe. It didn’t seem like it needed improving upon. But I make a pork piccata from America’s Test Kitchen that’s pretty amazing, so I thought anything from Cook’s Illustrated had to be good.

I was right.

This recipe from The Best Skillet Recipes is so much better. Better than the original recipe I’ve been using. Chicken piccata is a real treat now, and a sufficiently different take from pork piccata that they’ve both gone into rotation.

Chicken Piccata
Serves 4 (This is fun for company, or you can halve it like we always end up doing)

2 lemons
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 small shallot or 1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle slot, set a large ovensafe platter on the rack, and preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Halve 1 lemon lengthwise. Trim the ends from one half and slice crosswise 1/8″ to 1/4″thick and set aside. Juice the remaining lemon half and whole lemon to get 1/4 of juice and set aside.

Halve the chicken horizontally, pat dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge the cutlets in the flour, one at a time.

chickenpiccata2Shake off the excess flour and transfer to a large plate.

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place 4 cutlets in the skillet and cook until lightly browned on one side, 2- 2.5 minutes.

chickenpiccata3Flip the cutlets and cook until the other side is lightly browned, another 2-2.5 minutes.

Transfer them to the platter in the oven, add the remaining oil, and repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Add the shallot (or garlic) to the empty skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant, 30 seconds.

Stir in the broth and lemon slices, scraping up browned bits.

Bring to a summer and cook until reduced to 1/3 cup, about 4 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and capers, bring to simmer, and cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 1 minute). Off heat, add butter and whisk until it melts and thickens the sauce.

Stir in the parsley.

chickenpiccata8Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately (with some nice buttery pasta, the best ever).