Lemon chicken piccata for two is my latest date night dinner for two recipe. Chicken breasts seared and cooked in a lemon caper broth that's then tossed with pasta before serving.
If my husband has one flaw, it's that he doesn't love olives or other briny things. It's okay, though, really, because my daughter and I share the jars of pickles, olives, and sauerkraut in our fridge. My kid loves garlic-dill sauerkraut, and I can only imagine what the other kids at school think at lunchtime when she chows down on it. I don't mind one bit, because the brand I buy is raw, making it great for her gut health.
Capers, though, are a tough sell for Camille. When I make my Chicken Cacciatore for Two, she picks around the capers. I can't understand why; I frequently remind her that a caper is like a tiny pickle. I'm wondering if their shape reminds her of peppercorns, which she knows to avoid?
Lemon Chicken Piccata with Capers
The story has a happy ending: this Lemon Chicken Piccata is what won Camille over with capers. She now loves capers and takes delight in their sour punchy bite. Finally, she's on my side again!
While my husband still picks around the capers in this Lemon Chicken Piccata, he does admit that the buttery lemon sauce on the noodles is delicious. He loves this chicken dinner for two. I secretly saw him eat a caper or two last time I made it, too.
I love this chicken dinner for two also because I can toss it all together in one pan right before serving. Yes, you have to cook the pasta in a separate pot, but after draining, the noodles go right into the pan that the chicken cooked in.
How to make lemon chicken piccata:
- Melt butter and olive oil in a small cast iron skillet.
- Sear small chicken breasts on each side until golden brown.
- Add chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers to the pan.
- Place a lid on the pan, and continue to cook until the chicken registers 165-degrees F.
- To toss the pasta in the pan sauce, remove the chicken breasts. Toss everything together, and add the chicken back in. Enjoy!
It's just easier to remove the chicken from the pan for a minute while you toss the noodles in the sauce. You want every inch of noodles coated in this delicious buttery, lemony pan sauce. Oh, this is the heavy 9" skillet that I use for this recipe.
I use spaghetti noodles, because that's what I always keep on hand, but angel hair pasta is more traditional. Use your favorite noodles!
Cooking for two tips:
If you're making this for a romantic dinner for two, make it once to practice first, ok? It's never a good idea to make something for the first time on a date night. That is, unless one or both of you are pretty adept in the kitchen and you have two sets of hands in case anything goes wrong.
The only tricky part about this dish is having the pasta ready at the same time as the chicken. If you bring the pasta water to a boil the same time you start searing the chicken, it should be fully at a boil when it's time to add the sauce ingredients to the pan. While the chicken finishes cooking all the way through in the sauce for 8-10 minutes, the pasta cooks. Everything is done at the same time like magic! I love it when that happens!
So grab two plates, and a bottle of your favorite white wine (I love the crispness of Pinot Grigio here to match the acidity of the lemon), and enjoy this romantic dinner for two!
Lemon Chicken Piccata
Lemon chicken piccata for two.
- 6 ounces spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- fresh parsley, for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- In a 9" heavy skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Place the flour in a shallow dish, and dip the chicken into the flour, dusting off the excess. You want a thin coating of flour all over the chicken breasts.
- When the butter is sizzling in the skillet, carefully place each chicken breast in the pan. Sear the breasts on each side until golden brown. Don't worry about cooking the chicken all the way through at this point, just get each side golden brown.
- At this point, your pasta water should be at a rolling boil, and this is the best time to add the pasta to the boiling water. Now that both sides of the chicken is golden brown, lower the heat to medium-low, and pour in the chicken broth, lemon juice and capers. Cover the skillet. Let the chicken simmer until it registers 165-degrees F in the thickest part.
- Drain the pasta and have it ready on the side.
- Once the chicken is done, move it to the serving plates, and add the cooked pasta to the skillet to soak up the chicken pan sauce.
- Divide the pasta between the serving plates, and serve topped with fresh parsley.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 766Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 177mgSodium: 685mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 64g
Wow, a terrific selection of lemon goodness. Thank you
Christina Lane says
I'm so glad you're a lemon lover like me, Beth :)
Chicken Recipes says
Dear. it's looking so nice. can I make it without "butter"?
Christina Lane says
sure, that sounds okay to me :) Use olive oil :)
Chicken, lemon and pasta go sooo well!! I love cappers so much, they remind me of my childhood summer holidays in Mallorca with my best friend! We would go cappers picking with my BFF grandparent. He owned the most amazing cappers plantation and we would get ice cream as compensation for all the hard work. Whicc basically constested on picking the cappers and fool around all day!! Had so much fun those days! hehe
And now I think I feel old by thinking how much time has gone by evern since...
It's amazing how food can transport your mind to all sorts of memories, isn't it fun? :-)
Rochelle Bochner says
Do you think it would work with zucchini-noodles or Spaghetti Squash instead of pasta?
Christina Lane says
Yes, that sounds delicious!
CJ | A WELL-READ TART says
Yumm!!! This looks so tasty. I live in a house divided, too. My husband LOVES capers; I am much less fond of them, lol. He also got me to eat piccata dishes by promising lots of lemony butter sauce, and pasta with which to sop up said sauce. We have a regular recipe for chicken piccata that we use, but it serves 6 -- and we are only two! So, I will be trying your recipe. :-)
I noticed you have lemon slices in the skillet in the first and third photos, but don't include them in the recipe (some piccata recipes DO use slices of fresh lemon in the creation of the sauce). I seem to have a particular sensitivity to bitter flavors, as in: any bitter ingredients overwhelm my taste buds and I can't taste anything else. If I were to use lemon slices in a piccata recipe, the bitterness in the pith of the lemon slices would be all I could taste. However, the skin of the lemon does contribute a lovely lemon flavor. Since you're going to be squeezing a lemon or two for the lemon juice in the sauce, a nice thing to do (and what I do, when making piccata) is to remove just the yellow part of the skin from the lemons in long strips (pole to pole; vertically) using a vegetable peeler, prior to squeezing them. If you want, you can stack the strips and cut them into julienne for a neater appearance. Just add the strips to the sauce when you add the broth, lemon juice, and capers. Adding the strips really bumps up the lemon flavor, and makes the finished dish even prettier!
My very picky husband loved this. We will make it again.
gail dinkel says
OH WOW I love lemon and chicken. this looks like my kind of meal yummyTFS