Last Updated on August 25, 2023
This easy recipe for paleo chicken piccata is deliciously tangy and made with healthy ingredients. Not only will your whole family love it, you can make it for a fast weeknight dinner.
Paleo Chicken Piccata
Back in the day, I made chicken piccata regularly for company or special occasions. It’s one of those meals that’s easy to make, but the presentation is so beautiful, and the meal so delicious, people think you’ve slaved away.
The problem with traditional piccata (well, it’s not a problem, unless it’s a problem – if ya know what I mean..) is that the chicken is dredged in wheat flour and the pan-sauce finished with lovely pats of cold butter swirled in. (BIG FAT sighhhhh…)
What Is Chicken Piccata?
Traditional chicken piccata is a classic Italian dish that combines tender chicken breast with a tangy and flavorful sauce.
The chicken is typically pounded thin, coated in flour, and then sautéed to golden perfection. The star of the show, though, is the delectable sauce made from a combination of lemon juice, capers, and white wine or chicken broth.
This combination creates a vibrant and zesty flavor profile that perfectly complements the mildness of the chicken. Chicken piccata is often served with pasta or a side of vegetables, making it a versatile and satisfying meal option for an easy dinner.
Why This Recipe Chicken Piccata Is So Good
This healthy chicken piccata recipe uses unbreaded chicken, making it an allergy-friendly version for the AIP, Paleo, and GAPs diets. There’s an SCD option too. In addition, the tangy flavorful sauce is light and citrusy, imparting a delectable flavor your whole family will love.
The creamy, lemony sauce with salty capers poured over chicken is so delicious you’ll want to lick the plate!
Paleo Chicken Piccata Ingredients
To make chicken piccata that’s paleo, AIP, GAPS, and SCD complaint, you’ll need the following ingredients. For the measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom.
- chicken breasts
- Himalayan sea salt
- coconut oil, or fat of choice
- olive oil
- homemade chicken stock or chicken bone broth
- fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
- capers drained and rinsed (optional rinse)
- garlic cloves, minced
- shallots, thinly sliced
- arrowroot starch (omit for GAPS and SCD)
- fresh parsley
- coconut cream
Feel free to use some black pepper if you are not strict AIP.
What Cut of Chicken to Use
You will want to use boneless skinless chicken breasts for my gluten-free chicken piccata recipe. In a pinch, I have used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and it was really tasty too, but we definitely prefer to use chicken breasts.
Preparing the Chicken
Instead of pounding the chicken flat to make lemon chicken piccata, which can result in tearing the flesh, you will simply butterfly cut the chicken breasts.
How to Butterfly-cut Chicken Breasts
To butterfly cut chicken breasts, follow these simple steps:
1.) Place the chicken breast on a clean cutting board, with the pointed end facing towards you.
2.) Hold a sharp knife parallel to the cutting board and make a horizontal cut into the thickest part of the breast, about halfway through the thickness.
3.) Open up the chicken breast like a book, ensuring that it remains attached on one side.
4.) With the knife parallel to the cutting board, make a second horizontal cut through the thicker portion of the breast, again about halfway through the thickness. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
5.) Open up the chicken breast completely, flattening it out.
How to Make Paleo Chicken Piccata
Making this paleo chicken piccata recipe is very easy! It’s a quick meal you can throw together for a weeknight dinner.
Here’s how to cook the chicken:
1.) Start by preheating the oven to 300F.
2.) Prepare chicken by slicing each breast in half horizontally (see above for instructions on how to butterfly-cut chicken breasts). Salt both sides and set aside.
3.) Next, heat a large skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add coconut oil and olive oil and swirl to distribute evenly.
4.) Working in batches, cook the thinly sliced chicken on both sides until golden brown and remove to an oven-proof dish.
5.) Keep the flattened, seasoned, and cooked chicken breasts warm in the oven and when the last batch is finished, add it to the oven-proof dish and keep in the oven.
Making the Paleo Chicken Piccata Sauce
Now that your chicken is cooked and being kept warm, you’ll move on to the flavorful lemon caper sauce.
1.) Once chicken is finished, add the garlic and shallots (and a little more olive oil if the pan is dry). Stir for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
2.) Next, add the chicken broth and lemon juice to the pan and stir, loosening any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
3.) Add the capers and allow the pan sauce to bubble and reduce for a few minutes.
4.) Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make a slurry with the arrowroot and water, mixing together until arrowroot is dissolved. Add to the pan sauce and stir well.
5.) Remove the chicken from the oven and arrange on a platter. Pour the accumulated juices into the pan sauce.
6.) Next, add a heaping tablespoon of coconut cream and stir well into sauce.
7.) Lastly, add parsley and stir. Taste and add salt, if needed.
8.) Pour sauce atop chicken and serve. Garnish with lemon slices is you desire.
The creamy lemon sauce is made using coconut cream. I like to use the Natural Value Coconut Cream, but Aroy-D would also work nicely. Alternatively, you could refrigerate a can of coconut milk, then scoop the cream off the top to use.
Tips for Making Paleo Chicken Piccata
- Instead of pounding the chicken to make it thinner, butterfly cut it instead.
- Season the chicken and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before searing to lock in those flavors.
- Make sure not to overcook the chicken or it will be dry.
- You can use tapioca flour in place of the arrowroot.
- Grill lemon slices and place over the dish as a garnish.
Storing Leftover Chicken Piccata
Store leftover paleo chicken piccata in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and the freezer up 2-3 months. Heat it up in a skillet on the stove as the microwave will dry the chicken out.
What to Serve With Chicken Piccata?
The creamy flavors of citrus taste delicious over any AIP pasta, such as spaghetti squash “noodles,” zucchini noodles, or hearts of palm noodles. Personally, I think the hearts of palm noodles complement it perfectly because they have a slight tangy taste to them, reminiscent of artichokes.
Other serving suggestions:
Questions About Making Paleo Chicken Piccata
Can You Freeze Chicken Piccata?
You can store chicken piccata in the freezer using an airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat it, thaw it first, then use a skillet to warm it on the stove over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes.
Should I Rinse the Capers First?
Capers are generally really salty and can contain an excess of sodium from the packaging. Rinsing the capers first allows the natural tanginess of the capers to come through, without extra salt.
What is a Chicken Cutlet?
Chicken cutlets are boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been sliced horizontally into thin, even pieces. If you need help cutting the chicken properly, scroll up for instructions on how to butterfly-cut chicken breasts.Print
Chicken Piccata (AIP, Paleo, GAPs & SCD Option)
- Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
- 4–6 chicken breasts
- Himalayan sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, or fat of choice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or chicken bone broth
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
- 1/4 cup capers drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot (omit for GAPS and SCD)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 heaping tablespoon coconut cream
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Prepare chicken by slicing each breast in half horizontally. Salt both sides and set aside.
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan with straight sides on medium. Once hot, add coconut oil and olive oil and swirl to distribute evenly.
- Working in batches, brown chicken on both sides and remove to an oven-proof dish.
- Keep chicken warm in the oven and when the last batch is finished, add it to the oven-proof dish and keep in the oven.
- Once chicken is finished, add garlic and shallots (and a little more olive oil if the pan is dry). Stir for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add chicken broth and lemon juice to the pan and stir, loosening any browned bits.
- Add the capers and allow the pan sauce to bubble and reduce for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make a slurry with the arrowroot and water, mixing together until arrowroot is dissolved. Add to the pan sauce and stir well.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and arrange on a platter. Pour the accumulated juices into the pan sauce.
- Add heaping tablespoon of coconut cream and stir well into sauce.
- Add parsley and stir. Taste and add salt, if needed.
- Pour sauce atop chicken and serve.