Giada De Laurentiis' Simple Tip For Luxurious Chicken Piccata

Chicken piccata delivers in all the right ways. It's a fast, tasty meal you can pull together on a hectic weeknight without much effort or prep work. Served alongside crusty bread, potatoes, or pasta with an extra spoonful of luscious, glossy sauce, the final product will feel more elevated than seems possible with its simple ingredients and minimal instructions. However, even the simplest dishes can go awry, leaving you with dry chicken, a pan full of burnt butter, or a lackluster sauce.

Giada De Laurentiis thought of everything in her take on this dish, giving home chefs all the hacks they need to overcome the potential pitfalls of chicken piccata — without overcomplicating things. With the help of a dusting of flour, a one-two punch of delicious fats, and maybe a little more broth than technically called for, you end up with super juicy, lightly briney chicken swimming in a scrumptious sauce. This recipe, brilliant in its simplicity, will work its way into your weekly dinner rotation in no time.

Pair butter with olive oil for perfectly seared chicken

There are a few small things in De Laurentiis' chicken piccata recipe that make the dish stand out, but the star of the show? Combining butter and extra-virgin olive oil in the pan before searing your chicken. In this one simple step, you're maximizing the flavor potential of your dish, giving both the delicious buttery flavor and a higher smoke point from the olive oil. With a higher smoke point, you can perfectly sear your chicken without having to clean burnt butter out of your pan and start over.


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Pairing two fats also adds richness and depth of flavor to your chicken and the pan sauce you spoon over top. Since chicken piccata is typically made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, adding an extra fat component helps you compensate for some of the complexity of flavor lost by omitting the chicken skin and bones. Once the chicken has been seared and your sauce is simmering, put the chicken back in to finish cooking and absorb the silky, flavorful sauce. De Laurentiis recommends melting a few extra pats of butter before plating to make things even more irresistible.

Giada's other tip for next-level chicken piccata

While doubling fats is key to this recipe's brilliance, one other component contributes to elevating the dish — coating the chicken in flour before cooking. It sounds too simple to be significant, but in doing so, you're encouraging a crust to begin developing as soon as the dry surface of the chicken is placed in a hot skillet. The intense browning that results, called the Maillard reaction, creates aroma, flavor, and texture that our brains interpret as delicious.

The flour also helps create a perfectly thickened pan sauce, losing its raw flavor as the chicken cooks and then teaming up with the remaining fat, chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers (Italian capers, since this is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe) that is the perfect accompaniment. For extra sauce to pour over pasta or sop up with crusty bread, increase the broth by a quarter cup and leave a little extra flour on the chicken. It will stay in the pan and give you a greater sauce-to-chicken ratio.