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Chicken piccata

Piccata (sometimes spelled picatta outside Italy) is an Italian dish of thin pan-fried flour-dredged meat in a sauce of lemon juice, butter, parsley, and often capers.[1][2] In Italian cuisine piccata is prepared using veal (piccata di vitello al limone, lit.'veal piccata with lemon'),[3] whereas in Italian-American cuisine, chicken is more commonly used. A similar dish, pesce spada con capperi e limone, is made with swordfish.[4]


Piccata, the past passive participle of piccare, literally means 'larded', 'seasoned', or 'pounded flat'.[5]


The meat is cut into thin slices and flattened to an even thickness with a tenderizer. It is seasoned and dredged in flour before being browned in butter or olive oil.

The sauce is made using pan drippings; lemon juice and white wine or chicken stock are added and reduced. Chopped parsley and often capers are added; sometimes also shallots or garlic. After reduction, butter is stirred in to finish the sauce. It is often garnished with slices of lemon.[6]

In the United States, it is usually served with a vegetable or starch, such as pasta, polenta or rice. In Italy, veal piccata is a secondo (lit.'second') and would be served after the pasta (or other starch) course.

In Japan, piccata is typically made from pork without lemon. It is first seasoned with salt and black pepper, then dredged in flour, and sautéed in beaten egg, often mixed with Parmesan or similar cheeses.

See also

Media related to Piccata at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ "piccata". Treccani Encyclopedia (in Italian). Retrieved 2023-12-08.
  2. ^ "Ricetta Piccata di vitello al limone - RicetteMania". Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  3. ^ Del Conte, Anna (2013). Gastronomy of Italy: Revised Edition. ISBN 978-1862056589.
  4. ^ "Pesce spada con capperi e limone". Academia Barilla - l’arte della gastronomia italiana. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  5. ^ Galarza, G. Daniela (May 12, 2022). "Chicken piccata is saucy, speedy and works with a mushroom swap".
  6. ^ "Quick And Simple Chicken Piccata". Retrieved 31 October 2017.