Chicken Piccata with Orange, Capers and Tarragon

Chicken Piccata With Orange, Capers And Tarragon


Thin slices of chicken dredged in seasoned flour and sauteed in butter. The dish is finished with a zesty a la minute pan sauce from the flavorful pan drippings, enhanced with orange juice, capers and tarragon.
  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Views: 16,705
  • Success: 100%


Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

• 1 to 2 oranges
• 2 tbsp capers
• 4 to 5 sprigs tarragon
• 2 to 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• sea salt (to taste)
• freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
• 4 skinless, bonelss chicken breast halves


To prepare your mise en place, zest (about 1 tbsp) and juice the orange (about 1 cup), rinse and drain the capers, remove the tarragon leaves from the stem and chop. Gather the sherry vinegar, butter and olive oil. Set everything aside.

Place the flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.

To prepare the chicken, lay a plastic wrap on a cutting board, Place the chicken and cover with wax paper (1). Using a meat mallet (2), flatten each breast with a hitting-sliding motion from the center to the outside edge. Pound to a uniform thickness of about 1/4" -inch, being careful not to make holes. Then, lightly season each chicken breast with salt and pepper. Dredge both sides of the chicken in the seasoned flour, shake off the excess and transfer to a plate. Discard the leftover seasoned flour.

Step 2: Cooking the Dish


To cook the dish, heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet (3) until foam subsides.

Slide the chicken in a single layer and cook until golden brown on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes. With kitchen tongs, turn the chicken and brown the other side, about 1 to 2 minutes. When done, transfer the chicken to a large plate and keep warm covered with a foil.

Step 3: Finishing the Dish

• sea salt (to taste)
• freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


To finish the dish, remove the pan from the heat and add the orange juice and sherry vinegar. Return the pan to medium heat and reduce the sauce scraping up any brown bits and pieces left from the pan.

When the sauce has reduced, add the orange zest, capers (4), tarragon and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and cook for another minute. Season to taste, if necessary. Slip the chicken and any juices back to the pan. Turn the chicken over to moisten them evenly with the mixture.

Transfer the chicken to a large serving platter, pour the sauce on top and serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

(1) Two sheets of plastic wrap would stick together and may not allow the meat to flatten evenly.

(2) If you don’t have a meat pounder, you can also use a rolling pin or a small pan.

(3) If your pan is not large enough, you may want to cook the chicken in two batches using 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter for each batch.

(4) If you like capers, double the amount called for in the recipe. For the best flavor, you can use salt-packed capers found at upscale markets or Italian specialty stores instead of capers packed in vinegar or brine.

You can also try turkey breast, turkey tenderloin, pork tenderloin and of course veal instead of chicken breasts.

We like a lot of sauce but if the amount of orange juice is too much for you, just reduce the amount and drink the rest.


  • Liz S
    Liz S
    My husband was going to make the duck breast recipe for Valentines Day but for the first time our local source did not have any. It was a last minute scramble to decide what to cook and this chicken really hit the mark. The sauce is wonderful and the chicken was extremely tender. I highly recommend it.
  • Terry F
    Terry F
    How would this turn out? Should something be added to balance the tartness of the lemon?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You ask how will this dish turn out if you use lemon juice instead of orange juice, I am going to dare to say, that it is going to be more lemony than orangy (sorry, I couldn't resist). By that I really mean, it is going to have a stronger tart-like lemon flavor than a more subtle orange flavor. Orange juice when it reduced generally becomes sweeter, while reduced lemon juice not so much. If you are going to use lemon juice, you may want to try using less of it or perhaps use a bit more sherry to balance any added tartness. With all of that said many recipes for Chicken Piccata are made with lemon juice. Cheers!
  • Terry F
    Terry F
    LOL - good answer! I should have expected that but the tip about using sherry to balance out was worth asking. Thanks!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    I've never heard of this and not sure I can get it anywhere. could I just mix sherry with vinegar? Is it sweet sherry? Thanks!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    If you have not tried sherry vinegar, I do suggest that you try to find it as it is delicious! It has a beautiful deep, rich, slightly sweet, nutty, complex flavor profile that is great in many dishes. If you cannot find it, then you could use sherry or even a bit of port or marsala with a touch of vinegar. Another substitution would be to use balsamic or red wine vinegar. You may or may not need to add a touch of sugar to offset the acidity. Here is a great site for substitutions in general. You may also find this article about sherry vinegar helpful. At least it may persuade you to search it out :-)
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    I found it at World Market! I wasn't expecting that. I'll get back to you and let you know how it turns out. Thanks!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    Everyone loved it. The dish was a complete success. My husband kept talking about it all night. So, I'll be making it again in the future. Thanks Rouxbe!
  • Dan P
    Dan P
    This was my first crack at making a Rouxbe recipe. Turned out great. I was impressed that I could do this! My wife sat at the island and drank a glass of wine while I cooked (that used to be my job!). Thanks for a great recipe and great pan frying lesson to get it right!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Dan- We are so thrilled that you had such a successful experience with Rouxbe. And equally pleased that your wife had the opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine while watching you cook! That's what it's all about, food and family. Enjoy!
  • Lea
    Over two weeks ago, my new stove was finally installed but work has been so busy I haven't had time to use it! Tonight I made time and boy did I learn something: an 18 year old stove and a 2 week old stove cook very differently. I almost burned the butter/oil/chicken because I'm used to having to crank the heat all the way up. Luckily, I was able to turn it down in the nick of time. I love my new stove and look forward to learning it as I progress through the courses. The jury's still out on my opinion of the dish. I've made chicken piccata with lemons, capers, and shallots before but this was a new flavor profile for me. There was a sweetness I'm not used to. It wasn't bad...just foreign to my palate. I've boxed up my leftovers and look forward to giving this a try again later tonight/tomorrow.

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