This chicken scallopini is breaded chicken cutlets that are cooked until golden brown, then coated in a creamy lemon and caper sauce. A classic restaurant style dish that’s easy to make and is always a hit with both kids and adults alike.
Chicken scallopini is one of those dinner options that looks fancy, but is actually surprisingly quick to make. The combination of crispy chicken with lemon just cannot be beat!
What does scallopini mean?
The Italian word “scaloppine” means small scallops, but in modern terms, this dish has become associated with meat that is sliced and pounded thin into cutlets. The cutlets are typically breaded, either in flour or in breadcrumbs. After that, the meat is seared to golden brown and cooked with a lemon sauce.
How to make chicken cutlets
For this recipe, you’ll need thin pieces of chicken. Start by cutting chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Sometimes you can find chicken breast that have already been sliced in half, they’re typically labeled as “thin cut” chicken breasts. Place your chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap, and use the flat end of a meat mallet or a heavy pan to pound the chicken flat.
How do you make chicken scallopini?
Dredge your chicken cutlets in a mixture of flour, salt and pepper. Cook the chicken in olive oil until it’s crispy and golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan, then mix melted butter and flour together to form the thickening agent for the sauce. Stir in white wine, chicken broth, lemon juice, capers, garlic and heavy cream. Let the sauce simmer until thickened, then return the chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for the perfect chicken
- Place your chicken breasts in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you cut them in half, it makes the process go a lot easier when the meat is partially frozen.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best for the sauce; skip the bottled lemon juice.
- Serve your chicken immediately, as the coating on the chicken will start to soften as it soaks up the sauce.
- Serve your chicken over pasta, mashed potatoes or rice, with a green vegetable on the side such as broccoli, asparagus or green beans.
Chicken scallopini variations
This chicken is delicious as-is, but you can absolutely add other ingredients to customize this dish to your tastes.
- Protein: Try using slices of pork loin or veal for a different flavor and texture.
- Vegetables: You can add veggies to this dish such as artichoke hearts, mushrooms, spinach and zucchini.
- Flavorings: Feel free to add other ingredients to the sauce such as grated parmesan cheese, dried Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, olives or sun dried tomatoes.
More delicious chicken dishes
- Homemade Chicken Fingers
- Baked Chicken Meatballs
- Slow Cooker Chicken Breast
- Chicken Stew
- Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
Chicken Scallopini Video
For the chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons capers
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- lemon wedges for garnish optional
For the chicken
- Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. If your chicken breasts are labeled thin cut, you can skip this step.
- Place each chicken piece in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Use the flat end of a meat mallet or a heavy pan to pound the chicken to 1/2 inch thick.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and pepper.
- Dredge each chicken piece in the flour mixture.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and cover to keep warm.
For the sauce
- Melt the butter in the pan. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute.
- Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until wine has reduced by half, whisking occasionally.
- Stir in the chicken broth and heavy cream. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until sauce has just thickened, Turn the heat to low.
- Stir in the lemon juice, capers and salt and pepper.
- Return the chicken to the pan. Spoon the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve, garnished with lemon wedges if desired.