Easy Lemon Chicken Piccata (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)
This lemon chicken piccata has been a huge hit at our house. Our kids in particular are hooked on it. It's a very simple meal and it comes together in about 30 minutes so it's a great meal for busy weeknights. It’s Paleo/AIP, and Whole 30 friendly.
If you’re looking for more dinner ideas, definitely take a look at my AIP Chicken Recipes roundup post.
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Ingredients Needed for Lemon Chicken Piccata
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts- These will be cut in half horizontally to form thin cutlets. You could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs or even pork cutlets for this if you prefer.
- Sea Salt
- Cassava Flour -This is used for coating the chicken before you cook it. While I think cassava flour works best, if you don’t have it or can’t use it, other flours can work too. Tapioca starch is a good option that is AIP compliant. If you can have almond flour (not elimination phase compliant), it works well too.
- Coconut Oil or Olive Oil- Either one works well here. Avocado oil is an option as well.
- Coconut Oil - Coconut oil gives this sauce a nice velvety texture and it thickens up a bit as it cools but if you prefer not to use it, olive oil or avocado oil would be ok as well. Just keep in mind the sauce will not thicken as well when it cools since these oils are unsaturated and liquid at room temperature.
- Garlic Cloves
- Lemon Juice- Use fresh lemon juice if possible for the best flavor
- Chicken Broth
- Capers -Capers can be a bit tricky when it comes to AIP compliance. Most contain just vinegar and salt. The label usually just says “vinegar” so it’s hard to know for sure what type it is but it’s a safe bet that it’s white vinegar.
Unfortunately, distilled white vinegar is not usually compliant because it is often derived from corn. If it’s derived from something else like beets, it may be fine but it can be hard to find this information out.
I use these capers which I get at Kroger. They’re made with wine vinegar which is technically AIP compliant if you cook the alcohol off. I figure there’s a very small amount of alcohol in wine vinegar anyway and an even smaller amount in the capers, plus, we are cooking them…so I roll with it and use these. It’s easier than spending an hour on Amazon looking at every single capers label.
- Sliced Lemon- You toss a few sliced lemons into the sauce towards the end of cooking. This adds a little extra flavor, but mostly just looks prettier. This is completely optional though.
- Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley- As with the lemons, this is optional but looks very nice.
How to Make Lemon Chicken Piccata
Lightly salt each chicken cutlet on both sides
Dredge the chicken pieces in cassava flour and shake off any excess.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium-high and cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove them from the pan and set them on a clean plate.
In the same pan, over medium-high heat, add the 1/4 cup coconut oil for the sauce. As it melts, scrape the chicken pieces from the bottom of the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic. Saute it for about a minute, then add the broth, lemon juice, and capers.
Simmer for 3-4 minutes on medium heat, then add in the capers and sliced lemons (optional).
Add the chicken back to the pan, lower the heat and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
Arrange the chicken cutlets on plates, then spoon the extra sauce over the top. Garnish with sliced lemons and parsley.
- There are two sauce choices for this recipe because I could not choose! The main sauce listed for this recipe was the one my kids and their friends all voted for. The second sauce (which is included in the notes section of the recipe card), is a creamy sauce which I really like but I was out-voted. Anyway, my family did say the two taste pretty similar and they liked both, so choose what sounds good to you!
- Use a Non-Stick Pan if Possible- I usually use a regular stainless steel pan for health reasons but when it comes to cooking breaded meats, I prefer using a non-stick pan because it is so much easier and I don’t have to use as much oil. However, I did try this recipe in a stainless steel pan, and it went fine- I just had to use a little more oil than I would for the nonstick pan.
- Utilize the Delicious Chicken Bits Left in the Bottom of the Pan after cooking the chicken. This step is super important for achieving a nice rich flavor in the sauce! However, if the chicken bits start getting burnt, it’s better to clean out the pan a bit with a wet cloth so the burnt taste doesn’t make its way into your sauce.
- There are a Few Ways to Go About Getting Chicken Cutlets- Chicken cutlets are simply thin pieces of chicken. You can buy them this way at the store or slice each breast in half horizontally along the side to get 2 cutlets live we’ve done in this recipe. You can also pound them thinly using a meat mallet.
CAN YOU FREEZE LEMON CHICKEN PICCATA?
You probably could freeze it but I’d really recommend eating it fresh if possible. The breading and sauce are the tastiest right out of the pan.
I hope you loved this recipe. Which sauce version did you try? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought!
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This post is shared on the Paleo/AIP Recipe Roundtable.
Lemon Chicken Piccata (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)
- Lightly salt each chicken cutlet on both sides using about 1/2 tsp salt total for the four pieces (maybe slightly less depending on size.
- Place the cassava flour on a plate for dredging. About 2 tbsp is all that's needed but adding a little more may make it easier to get things covered.
- Dredge the chicken pieces in cassava flour and shake off any excess. Set aside on a clean plate.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil over in a pan over medium-high for about a minute (may need slightly more oil if not using a nonstick pan). Add the chicken cutlets to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove them from the pan and set them on a clean plate.
- If possible, leave the leftover flavorful chicken bits/residue in the pan- this makes a big impact on the sauce. If it's burnt, clean out the pan a bit with a wet cloth.
- In the same pan, over medium-high heat, add the 1/4 cup coconut oil for the sauce. As it melts, scrape the chicken pieces from the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic. Saute it for about a minute, then add the broth, lemon juice, and capers.
- Simmer for 3-4 minutes on medium heat, then add in the capers and sliced lemons (optional).
- Add the chicken back to the pan, lower the heat and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Arrange the chicken cutlets on plates, then spoon the extra sauce over the top. Garnish with sliced lemons and parsley.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced white onion
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2/3 cup full fat coconut milk
- 2-3 tbsp capers
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Follow steps 1-5 above for preparing the chicken.
- Heat the oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes scraping the leftover chicken bits off the bottom of the pan, then add the onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes, then add the garlic. Continue cooking for another minute.
- Add the broth, lemon juice, coconut milk, thyme, and garlic powder.
- Simmer for 3-4 minutes to reduce the liquid. Add the capers.
- Add the chicken back to the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes to heat the chicken.
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