Chicken Tender Piccata a new take on an Italian classic.

The word Piccata in Italian means “Annoyed”. I’m not clear as to why this amazing dish got named Chicken Piccata.

Why is it called Chicken Tender Piccata?

My thoughts stem from the capers in the sauce being shallow fried. While the capers shallow fry they slightly burst open. Hence being annoyed, maybe? Thoughts anyone?


Chicken Francese in cast iron skillet


What is the difference between Chicken Piccata and Chicken Francese?

Both recipes consist of a butter sauce, yet the sauce for Chicken Piccata has capers which help elevate the dish. Both can be made from Chicken, Vela or Fish.

  • Classically, Chicken Piccata only flours the chicken before pan frying.
  • Chicken Francese dredges the protein in egg and flour before frying.



How to Make Elevated Chicken Tender Chicken Piccata

Chicken Tender Piccata w/ Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

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This is my take on Chicken Piccata giving it a makeover in flavor and texture. The first thing we are doing will be using a special part of the Chicken. The Chicken Tender. This part of the Chicken is simply perfect for this recipe. The portion size is spot on and helps with the cooking times as well. By the time the Chicken Tender is golden brown and delicious, the Chicken is cooked.

Here’s a diagram of the sections of a whole Chicken

Notice the Chicken Tender is attached to the underside of the Breast

diagram of whole chicken for chicken piccata.


chicken tender piccata with lemon butter caper sauce

Step by Step Instructions for Making Chicken Piccata

-Let’s Begin

Start by adding three pieces of bacon to the skillet that we will be shallow frying the Chicken Piccata in and turn on to medium heat. The idea is to cook the bacon to gather the bacon grease. This bacon grease will season/flavor the oil we’ll be cooking the chicken tender piccata in shortly.

adding bacon to skillet the chicken piccata will be cooked in

Take one chicken tender at a time and place between plastic wrap and lightly pound out the chicken. The key is to not over-pound the chicken or the texture will be destroyed. You can use whichever cut of chicken you like.

pounding out the chicken for chicken piccata

Chicken Picatta – Setting Up The Breading Station

We will be using a standard breading procedure. Which means into flour first, then egg bath, lastly the breadcrumbs.

  • Chicken into flour first (coats the chicken and helps the egg stick)
  • breading station for chicken piccata - flour
  • dread chicken in flour for chicken piccata


  • Then into the egg (the egg sticks to the thin layer of flour)
  • dread procedure into the egg for chicken piccata
  • Lastly into the breadcrumbs and cheese (the egg help the breadcrumb stick and creates a nice crust once we shallow fry the chicken)
  • dreading in breadcrumbs for chicken piccata
  • Next, add around one and a half cups of oil to the same skillet we cooked the bacon in and turn the heat to medium/high. To test the temperature of the oil you can sprinkle a very small amount of flour into the oil. The reaction should help you determine if the oil is hot enough. You can always use a temperature probe to check. You’ll want the oil around 325 degrees, but not lower than 325.
  • Add your first round of chicken to the oil. KEY: Be sure to not overcrowd the skillet or the oil temperature will drop too much and you risk having oily chicken piccata.
  • pan frying the chicken tender piccata
  • Pan fry the chicken tender piccata for around 3 to 4 minutes. All depending on how thick your pieces of chicken are cut. When the chicken is this thin, the chicken will be done cooking once you reach GDB ( Golden, Brown & Delicious ) If using chicken tenders, other larger piece may need to be finished in the oven. Over temperature also at 325.


Making the Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

Super Simple – Start by chopping one medium-sized shallot and one small Roma tomato into medium/small pieces. Just make sure you cut them small enough.

With the skillet over medium-high heat add 1/2 cup of olive oil & 2 oz of high-quality butter and melt.

adding oil to skillet for the lemon caper butter sauce for chicken piccata

Next step is important. Fry the capers in the olive oil and butter. This will flavor the sauce and create a nice texture on the capers. Warning, the capers will burst and pop in the hot oil. Having a skillet cover will help reduce the mess. The capers only need to be fried for about one minute.

shallow fry capers for chicken piccata Next, add in the shallots and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. The idea is to cook off the rawness of the shallot, then add in the tomatoes and cook an additional few minutes.

cooking the shallot for the lemon caper butter sauce

To finish the sauce add about 1 to 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice and finely chop some parsley and add to the sauce. Lastly, taste season & adjust. Like, does it need a pinch of salt?  Likely 🙂

finishing touches to chicken piccata


How to Make Elevated Chicken Tender Chicken Piccata


chicken tender piccata

Chicken Tender Picatta w/ Caper Butter Sauce

Easy Italian classic. Perfect for weekend dinners that don't take long to make.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken Piccata
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 264kcal
Author: Steven Pennington


  • Package of Chicken Tenders Use whichever part of the chicken you like best
  • 1 Cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup of Seasoned Bread Crumbs I used Italian flavored
  • 1/2 Cup of Italian Blend Cheese use what you like or omit the cheese
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3 Slices of Bacon
  • 1 Cup of Olive Oil Do not use extra Virgin
  • 2 oz of Butter half stick

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 medium shallot small/medium chop
  • 1 Roma Tomato diced
  • 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil Do not use extra Virgin
  • 2 oz of Butter half stick
  • Sea Salt To taste
  • Italian Parsley Garnish
  • 1 Lemon Garnish & Presentation


The dredge

  • Take 3 bowls and place them close together and fill one with 1 cup of flour, next bowl 3 eggs mixed, the last one adds 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of standard bread crumbs and 1/2 cup of Italian cheese blend.
  • Place a skillet with 3 pieces of bacon on medium heat and cook the bacon. We are looking to use the leftover bacon grease as seasoning to our oil that will be used to cook the chicken with.

Chicken Prep

  • Layout plastic wrap and place one chicken tender in the middle and cover with the plastic wrap. Using a kitchen mallet pound the chicken tender into shape making sure to not over pound. Chicken Tenders are very soft and will not take much effort to get into a nice shape for frying. Season each piece with sea salt.
  • pounding out the chicken tenders


  • Add 1 cup of olive oil & half a stick of butter to the pan to shallow fry the Chicken Tenders with. The same pan you cooked the bacon in. Melt butter over low heat while you dredge the Chicken.
  • Take one piece of chicken and place into the flour and cover on all sides. Then into the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. I suggest pressing down on the chicken while adding the breadcrumbs. Helps the bread crumbs stick and gives a better-finished texture.
  • Turn up the heat to medium-high now. Once up to temperature add in the chicken making sure to not overcrowd the pan. That brings down the temperature too much and will cause the chicken to become oily. Just don't add the chicken all at once and you'll be good.
  • Fry to golden brown perfection. You can "hold" the chicken in the oven on low until your ready to eat. Just don't leave it in there very long.


  • In a clean pan add 1/2 cup of olive oil plus 2oz of butter and melt. Add the capers to the pan and shallow fry for about one minute. Add in the chopped shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Mostly just trying to cook off the rawness of the shallot. Then add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt along with a squeeze of lemon.


  • Add chicken to a plate and spoon the caper butter sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon. A squeeze of lemon is always nice.
  • Enjoy


Chicken Tender Piccata w/ Lemon Caper Butter Sauce


Serving: 2pieces | Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 455mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g


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