The first time I ever had chicken picatta, I was at California Pizza Kitchen. I had no idea what capers were, but it was chicken, lemon, and pasta, so I figured I’d try it. I instantly loved the flavors. Moist, dredged chicken over thin angel hair pasta is drenched in a bright, zingy lemon sauce. Capers add a pop of brine to counter any sweetness from the cream-based sauce. To this day, it is still my order of choice at CPK.
Trying to make it at home seemed daunting, probably because I was worried about making a chicken picatta that would meet the same standards as the restaurant. The lemony chicken pasta I’ve made before is similar, but heavier than this recipe.
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut in half
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup AP flour
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup diced shallots
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley leaves
1) Salt a pot of water, and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.
2) Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Dredge the chicken in flour.
Don’t let the chicken sit too long with the flour before cooking. It won’t be as crispy.
3) Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, flipping once, for about 4-5 minutes per side.
4) Melt 2 Tbsp butter in the skillet again. Add the garlic and shallots. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes.
Don’t wash the pot! The brown stuff from the chicken will help flavor the sauce.
5) Stir in the chicken broth, wine, and lemon juice. Cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
6) Slowly whisk in heavy cream until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the capers.
I don’t think I let my sauce thicken enough, but at least the flavor was good.
7) Serve pasta with sauce and chicken.
Final Thoughts: There are a few food bloggers whose recipes I will always recommend. Chungah of Damn Delicious is one of those bloggers. Her recipes never fail to be delicious and easy to execute. I wish I had let my sauce thicken, but it had a strong lemon flavor. Boyfriend dislikes capers, but I love the “pop” of brininess. Any tips on improving the consistency of the sauce?