Piccata Pan Sauce

Piccata is a bright and salty pan sauce usually served over chicken cutlets, but it works over any protein.

The following amounts will make enough sauce to cover 2-4 cutlets of protein (1-2 servings).

2-4 servings of sauce

Time: 15 mins

By Keith McBrayer

The recipe breakdown originally appeared in The Mouthful, our weekly food newsletter for the curious home cook.

Keith McBrayer

Keith McBrayer



  • Roux base

    • flour
      a spoonful
    • cooking oil
      15 ga spoonful
  • Acidic elements

    • white wine
      120 ga heavy splash
    • lemon juice
      15 ga spoonful
    • capers
      30 g2 spoonfuls
  • Aromatics

    • garlic
      , thinly sliced
      1-3 cloves
    • lemon zest
      a pinch
    • black pepper
      a sprinkle
  • Final adjusters

    • butter
      , cubed
      45 ga few knobs
    • parsley
      , chopped
      a handful
    • salt
      to taste


Step 1: Start the roux & aromatic base

Add the cooking oil to a pan over medium-low heat. Add flour and garlic, and toast over medium heat until fragrant but no color develops. Add in the black pepper & lemon zest to their flavor.

Step 2: Deglaze with the acidic elements

Before the garlic or flour browns, with white wine. The sauce should simmer immediately and begin to up from the flour base.

Add the capers & lemon juice. If the sauce is already thick at this point, add a bit more wine (or water) to thin it out to a fairly loose consistency (the butter will thicken it back up to a glaze in the next step).

Step 3: Adjust sauce & serve

Turn off the heat. Stir in one cube of cold butter at a time to into the sauce and thicken it into a loose glaze. Stir in chopped herbs, and adjust with salt as needed.

Serve immediately over a cooked protein of choice.



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