Is there anything the Italians don’t know how to make delicious? Chicken piccata is no exception and is one of those very underrated dishes.
It is easy to make and requires minimal preparation and cooking. A delicious dish in mere minutes. But, no meal is complete without a few accompaniments!
So, what can you serve with chicken piccata? Chicken piccata is traditionally served with angel hair or spaghetti pasta and/or a salad with chicken piccata (in addition to capers and lemon slices in the dish). Because chicken is generally versatile, you can also pair chicken piccata with rice or a similar grain as well as many vegetables.
In this article, we will be looking at chicken piccata, how to make it, and how to pair flavors with it.
Then we will be looking at the best categories of food that will pair amazingly with chicken piccata and hopefully give you some ideas on how to serve it as well.
What is Chicken Piccata?
If you’ve never heard of chicken piccata, don’t worry too much as it is more popular in some areas of the world than others. However, we think that everyone that has tried it can agree that it is absolutely heavenly.
In short, chicken piccata is made from chicken breasts that have been coated in flour, then sautéed in real salted butter. While sautéing the chicken breasts, capers and lemon slices or wedges are added into the pan.
These ingredients add that special flavor to the chicken and are what makes piccata, piccata. Many people also add a dollop of cream cheese or tablespoon of cream to add that something extra.
Chicken piccata is an incredibly easy and straight forward recipe. We’ll explain how to do it below, but first we’ll go over what to serve with it.
There are many ingredients you can add to customize it to you and your family and it can also be served at almost any occasion. This means that you can also customize the accompaniment you plan on serving with it.
This mouth-watering dish is frequently served at a romantic dinner or a very special occasion like birthdays or engagement parties. Again, this makes choosing an accompaniment super easy – just choose the romantic stuff!
What To Serve With Chicken Piccata
Chicken piccata is actually very easy to pair other food with. Think about it this way, what would you serve with normal chicken?
That’s what chicken piccata basically is; it just has some additional flavorings that can easily be matched with a side.
Chicken is very easy to pair food with because of its very neutral flavor and texture.
Something very important to take into consideration, however, is that chicken sometimes can come out very dry. It is important to choose pairings that will help mask the dryness, should yours be just that.
This means sauces, juicy salads, and most importantly, grains and pulses!
If your chicken piccata has special additional ingredients that have very unique flavors (like the traditional capers and lemons), try to stay away from those flavors in your sides and pairings.
Adding a very lemony salad dressing over your salad will distract from the lemony flavor of the piccata, for example.
With traditional piccata, the best accompaniment is either a pasta or salad, or both.
Finally, here are some of our personal favorite dishes or categories that pair wonderfully with any type of chicken piccata.
Again, you can customize the accompaniments according to your piccata and create a beautiful harmonious meal.
We love a starch! Pasta is our favorite amongst them (just kidding, all starch is fantastic!).
But there’s something about pasta that just works with virtually any dish, especially chicken.
There are plenty of reasons pasta is a classic for chicken piccata.
Many Shapes to Play With
Pasta comes in many shapes and sizes which means you can create a certain feel on the plate.
For a romantic Lady and the Tramp style-dinner serve spaghetti noodles! For a fun and exciting family get-together, why not try wagon wheel or colorful fusilli?
We’ll talk about this more later, but you can also pull the chicken and make stuffed pasta shells or chicken piccata lasagna! It’s truly versatile.
You should note, however, that angel hair or spaghetti pasta are the traditional choices for chicken piccata.
We’re all for experimentation, but there’s also usually a good reason foods get paired together over and over, so when in doubt, go for the tried and true. Classic doesn’t mean boring!
Pasta doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Today there are tons of different types of pasta ranging from vegetable-based (like spinach pasta), grain-based (lentil pasta), and of course, gluten-free options.
Pasta is a very easy ingredient to work around. It has a very neutral flavor and subtle texture. It will literally not take away from anything unless you add a bunch of overwhelming ingredients to it.
Having such a blank canvas makes it very easy to pair foods with the chicken piccata.
You can make a plain buttery and garlic pasta side, or jazz it up with some roasted tomatoes and herbs. There is literally nothing you can’t do with pasta.
Here are some pasta dish ideas that will work great with chicken piccata:
- (Warm) Garlic butter angel haired pasta
- (Warm) Roasted vine tomato pasta or a tomato-based pasta
- (Warm) Cheesy mixed herb pasta bake (coriander, parsley, and thyme)
- (Cold) Fusilli pasta salad with olives, gouda, and piqanté peppers
- (Cold) Pesto pasta with fresh basil leaves
- (Cold) Coleslaw pasta with corn and carrots
When in doubt, salad it out! Not only does salad pair well with the breaded chicken, salad is always a fantastic way to round out any past dish – which is how chicken piccata is typically served.
Plus, salads can be made with practically anything these days. As long as it’s cold, it will make a great accompaniment that is refreshing and flavorful.
When choosing the type of ingredients to work within a salad, look at the main dish.
For a traditional chicken piccata, it is quite easy to choose a salad as there are very minimal flavors in the chicken.
The best type of salad would be a fresh garden salad or Greek salad to compliment the lemony flavor of the dish – just be mindful of avoiding dressings that are too acidic.
Here are some other fresh ideas that will work great with chicken piccata:
- Peach and rocket salad with red onion, spiced chickpeas, and feta cheese.
- Grilled pineapple and cucumber salad with a Mediterranean tomato mix and fresh basil
- Garden salad with raw roasted cashew nuts
- Beetroot, couscous, feta, and wild rocket salad with a roasted seed mix
Vegetables are always a great side dish to serve with any type of chicken, especially this chicken piccata, but be careful of how you make it.
We do not recommend roasting plain vegetables and serving them with chicken. This is because roasting dries out food, and if your chicken is also dry, you just end up with a dry desert on your plate.
To prevent this from happening, try using different, just as delicious, cooking methods.
Steaming or boiling a variety of vegetables is very healthy and preserves both the nutrients and colors, making your plate look more appetizing and appealing.
Pick vegetables with strong flavors that will add to the dish, such as those sweet bell peppers or zucchini, flavorful and hearty mushrooms, healthy aromatic greens like spinach or asparagus…you get the idea.
We like to lightly grill most of these veggies, but bell peppers would be just as good raw – all the cool, sweet contrast of a salad, but with greater simplicity.
Another guilty pleasure of ours is making a vegetable bake. These might not be as healthy as steamed veggies, but they sure are as delicious. To stick with a romantic theme, try making a side of ratatouille.
A classic veggie bake is one with a béchamel (white sauce) on top and some cheese. Other forms can include one with a pastry crust or even a veggie cottage pie.
A roasted vegetable “salad” with a balsamic dressing is also surprisingly refreshing – as long as it’s not dry.
You can also incorporate vegetables into many other sides like a pasta dish. Make a roasted zucchini and squash pasta or a garden pea and spinach spaghetti.
Here are some vegetable accompaniments that will work great with chicken piccata:
- Balsamic-covered grilled mixed roast vegetable salad (marinated vegetables)
- Rainbow roasted spiced baby carrots (star anise, cloves, thyme, and honey)
- Cheesy mushroom and cauliflower baked with béchamel sauce
- Lightly grilled bell peppers, onions, and asparagus with garlic and olive oil
- Vegetable tian with parmesan topping
And did you think we would forget about the good old potato? Never!
Although chicken and potato are always beloved, we recommend going easy on this hearty starch when it comes to chicken piccata.
Since this dish is already breaded and can feel a little heavy, pairing it with lighter foods such as angel haired pasta, a salad, or delicate grilled veggies is heavenly. But pairing it with chunks of filling potato throws off that balance.
If you love potatoes too much to leave them out, bake them in smaller pieces to help them crisp up and add contrasting veggies like onions and sweet peppers to the mix. Or swap pasta for buttery, soft sweet potato wedges to add a little flavor to the dish.
Here are some potato dishes that will work great with chicken piccata;
- Mix small potato chunks into another veggie roast
- Creamy and cheesy mashed potato (you can add a variety of herbs)
- Sweet potato wedges
- Sweet mashed potato
- Potato Gratin with pecorino cheese and thyme (or Hassel back potatoes)
- Mashed potatoes with bacon and onion filling
Grains and Pulses
This time we didn’t place all of the starch together into one group. That is because all starch won’t work with chicken.
Serving it with even a fine piece of bread won’t do anything for the dish and certainly won’t make it less dry.
Pasta is one starch that definitely works, but the other is grains and pulses.
We suggest making a very flavorful rice with spices and small vegetables like peas. We love using the Middle East and India as inspiration for delicious and unique rice dishes.
These cuisines incorporate many ingredients from nuts, dried fruits, spicy sausages, and cured meats, to fresh herbs, vegetables, and a large variety of spices.
Risotto and Pilaf are also very classic rice dishes that can be made instead of plain rice.
Risotto is a rice dish that uses Arborio rice, vegetable stock, and white or rose wine. The rice is simmered over a low heat for almost an hour until all of it has been gently cooked to perfection.
Risotto often is flavored with mushrooms, spinach, or beetroot.
Pilaf is very similar to risotto but gets cooked in fat before being cooked in the liquid. This is to cook off the starch that creates the creaminess you see in risotto. Pilaf can also be flavored like risotto but works better with fresher additions.
Couscous, quinoa, and lentils are also fantastic choices that are neutrally flavored and can be spiced up to fit your chicken piccata. They are prepared in different ways, but can be used as rice would have been.
These type of sides will add an exotic feel to the plate and is definitely not very common everywhere.
Here are some grains and pulses ideas that will work great with chicken piccata:
- (Warm) Lentil and tomato dal or this delicious tomato-less dal
- (Warm) Baked lentil stew (cooked lentils, then baked with sauce and toppings)
- (Warm) Multigrain mushroom pilaf
- (Cold) Asian bean salad with carrots, coleslaw, zucchini, and an Asian salad dressing
- (Cold) Millet and Mediterranean tomatoes salad (with pickled onions)
How To Incorporate Chicken Piccata Into Other Dishes
The best and easiest way to create different dishes with chicken piccata is by pulling the chicken breast.
When the chicken is in this form, there are thousands of things you can do with it.
You can create a delicious and easy chicken bake, chicken salad, or incorporate it into a traditional dish. Chicken piccata tacos, burritos, quesadillas, roti’s, stuffed pitas, and even risottos or paellas.
These dishes work especially great if you have some leftover piccata and don’t know what to do with it.
How To Make Chicken Piccata
Now that we’ve talked about what to serve with your chicken piccata, let’s go over how to make it, just in case you’re planning your meal ahead of time.
This dish is very straight forward and you don’t even really need quantities.
All you need are chicken breasts (however you like them, bone-in, skin-on, etc.), flour, butter, capers, and lemon. You can also incorporate any additional ingredients or sides that you like.
Here are the basics for making a chicken piccata:
- Prepare your chicken the way you like it and as needed. Depending on your chicken you. may want to debone or skin it.
- Next, you can dredge the chicken meat in flour and set them aside.
- Melt a dollop or two of butter in a frying pan and add the chicken.
- Sauté the chicken breast for about 3 minutes before turning over.
- Once you turn over the chicken, add the capers and lemons. The juices from the chicken will make a nice basting sauce that you can toss over the chicken as it cooks.
- After another 3 minutes for the other side, lower the heat and if your pan is very dry, add some stock or water to deglaze. Allow the chicken to cook another few minutes until fully cooked through and the juices run clear.
How To Make The Recipe Unique
One way we love to make piccata is by using orange slices and wedges instead of lemon. You may want to add orange juice while cooking to keep it moist.
It has a whole different flavor profile that is also refreshing and adds much sweetness. You can also try other citrus fruits like grapefruits or kumquats.
You really do make a recipe your own with garnishes, so try being creative there. Definitely serve the lemon slices (or whichever citrus you end up choosing) with the chicken. It looks pretty and adds more flavor.
Add some toasted flaked almonds to add additional texture and flavor, or some sesame or sunflower seeds. These both add nutritional value and works as a garnish.
Freshly chopped herbs also add a ton of freshness in flavor and presentation. Italian parsley (flat-leaf parsley) or coriander is our personal favorites, but don’t hesitate to use thyme or even some sage.
Up Next: How To Reheat Chicken Piccata