I make my mom’s favorite family recipes all the time, a legacy of her Italian upbringing and my half-breed desire to keep that connection alive. One of my kids’ favorites from Nana’s Cookbook is her Lemony Chicken Piccata Recipe.
Traditionally, chicken piccata is known for its capers and white wine sauce. Sometimes a little lemon juice is added for flavor, but our mom was a BIG lemon fan. Her version includes the juice of two large lemons, and boy is it delicious!
Mama Bailey’s Lemony Chicken Piccata Recipe is actually pretty easy to make even though there are several steps. Although mom made hers with chicken breasts, I prefer boneless and skinless chicken thighs for more flavor. I’ve gotten this recipe down to a quick and easy method, which I am happy to share with you here.
Mama Bailey’s Lemony Chicken Piccata Recipe
(serves a small herd)
- 2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs, flattened
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbs fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tbs fresh basil, chopped
- 2 cups white wine
- 2 large lemons, juiced
- ½ cup capers
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 lbs pasta of your choice (depending on how many people you are feeding!)
- Grated parmesan cheese
Prepare the chicken
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a frying pan, pour ½ cup olive oil and set on low heat.
Flatten the chicken thighs between two pieces of wax paper, using a kitchen mallet. (If you don’t have a mallet, you can use the flat bottom of a small pot.) Pound the chicken flat to about an inch or so thick.
In three separate bowls, put the flour, scrambled eggs with salt and pepper, and bread crumbs. Dip each piece of chicken into the flour to coat, then the egg mixture, then finally coat with bread crumbs. Raise the heat on the frying pan to medium, and cook each piece of chicken until browned on each side. Add olive oil as needed to keep the pan bottom well coated for frying. When browned, place the chicken into a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
Create the sauce
In the same frying pan, add another ½ cup olive oil. Cook the onion and garlic until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the wine, lemon juice, parsley and capers. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to combine flavors.
Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts, making sure to spread evenly. Sprinkle with basil and pop into the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes. When you remove the pan, the juices should be bubbling.
While the chicken is in the oven, cook the pasta, drain and put back into the pot. Coat with about ¼ cup of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking.
Plate It Up
First put a healthy scoop of pasta on the plate, then top with pieces of chicken and ladle juices over both. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired, and serve with a side vegetable like broccoli rabe or asparagus.
I hope you enjoy Mama Bailey’s Lemony Chicken Piccata Recipe as much as our family does!