Chicken Piccata with Orange, Capers and Tarragon

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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: 15,917
  • 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.