Italian cuisine stands as the global epitome of culinary excellence, offering a plethora of flavors and delicacies. Among these, Chicken Piccata, with its zesty sauce, stands out as a beacon of irresistible taste.
For those looking to enjoy all the taste life has to offer but with a gluten-free filter, it may sound daunting to venture into the unknown when it comes to making food choices. But worry not, as your gluten-free preferences won’t stop you from enjoying a chicken piccata bursting with flavors.
What is Chicken Piccata?
Chicken piccata is an Italian classic dish. It is made of thin, tender, and breaded chicken breast cooked in a lemon butter-caper sauce. Its versatility is part of its appeal. It can be served as a side dish alongside rice, veggies, and pasta or as a main course.
To make this, you will have to dredge the chicken in flour to create that characteristic crispy coating when it is sautéed in a combination of butter and olive oil. Then, the chicken is cooked until each side gets that enticing golden brown color, and then it is removed from the pan.
The sauce is then made by deglazing the pan with white wine, lemon juice, and chicken broth. Capers, garlic, and parsley are added to the sauce, which is cooked until it thickens.
Since iron is an important mineral for pregnant mothers, my love for lean meat grew when I had my second son. I made lots of chicken dishes, including chicken tikka masala, but hey, I love the chicken piccata more.
What does Chicken Piccata taste like?
Chicken piccata has a unique combination of textures and flavors that can’t be resisted by the majority of palates.
The taste of chicken piccata can be described as tangy, with a tart punch as a result of the lemon used, while the butter eases the tanginess, creating a rich, tangy, creamy, juicy, and crispy chicken dish.
The taste of chicken piccata could vary sharply, depending on what was used in the sauce. Ingredients like white wine and shallots add rich depth to the sauce. You will have to try it to understand the goodness.
Is Chicken Piccata Gluten-Free?
Traditional Chicken Piccata is not gluten-free as all-purpose wheat flour is used to dredge the chicken before it is cooked, making it unsafe for individuals with celiac disease or nonceliac gluten sensitivity.
However, there are lots of ways to modify this dish, and you wouldn’t even know it is gluten-free. You can use (or request) gluten-free all-purpose flour instead of regular flour for dredging. I use cornstarch because I love the taste I derive.
Another option is to skip the dredging part and cook the chicken without coating, but you will be sacrificing that crunchy texture, which I don’t recommend. You should just get yourself a jerk chicken instead of this step.
While dining out, communicate your dietary restriction to the chef so they can take precautions and substitute a possible gluten-containing sauce with a gluten-free sauce, since everyone has a secret sauce they use to create a signature taste around their brand. Also, if you’re making it at home, check the ingredient labels and be sure it is free from gluten.
Is Chicken Piccata healthy?
The chicken breast used for this recipe contains over 128 calories per 3-ounce serving, 26 grams of protein, zero carbs, and 2.7 grams of fat. It also contains vitamins B12, iron, zinc, copper, and tryptophan, which are all necessary for proper bodily function and muscle development.
However, when this chicken is sauteed with butter and olive oil, its saturated fat and calorie content increases significantly. To make this dish healthier, you can use less butter and olive oil or substitute them entirely with avocado oil.
Fresh ingredients such as lemon juice, capers, and parsley used in chicken piccata make it healthy (provided it is eaten in moderation and healthier cooking methods are used). Consider serving it with a side of vegetables or salads to add nutrients and balance the meal.
Does using gluten-free flour affect the taste or texture of the dish?
Unfortunately, when you use gluten-free flour for dredging the chicken, the taste is usually impacted. Almost all gluten-free flour has a unique taste that is noticeably different from wheat flour.
However, sorghum flour is the only gluten-free flour that has a taste and texture that is almost exactly like wheat flour. You can always substitute your wheat flour recipes with sorghum flour, and you will barely notice.
Gluten-Free Sides to Elevate Your Chicken Piccata Experience
Your gluten-free chicken piccata can be complemented with these tantalizing side dishes:
- Roasted Vegetables:
Enhance your plate with a vibrant array of oven-roasted vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and bell peppers. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with gluten-free seasonings for a burst of color and flavor.
- Quinoa Pilaf:
Elevate your grain game with a gluten-free quinoa pilaf. Cook quinoa with gluten-free broth, toss in sautéed vegetables, and finish with a squeeze of lemon for a light and nutritious side.
- Mashed Cauliflower:
Swap traditional mashed potatoes for velvety mashed cauliflower. Steam cauliflower until tender, mash with garlic and herbs, and indulge in a creamy, gluten-free alternative.
- Caprese Salad with Avocado:
Take the classic Caprese salad up a notch by adding creamy avocado slices. Drizzle with a balsamic glaze and sprinkle with fresh basil for a refreshing gluten-free side.
- Polenta Fries:
Transform polenta into crispy fries by slicing and baking until golden. Serve with a gluten-free dipping sauce for a delightful twist on the classic.
- Gluten-free Pasta:
Almost all Italian dishes are much more enjoyable with the signature pasta on the side, but pasta isn’t always gluten-free. Good for you! You can always switch to gluten-free pasta and never miss out on this amazing side.
- Gluten-free Lebanese vermicelli rice:
This is one of my favorite sides of the lot. It is made with long-grain rice and short strands of vermicelli noodles toasted in butter before they are both cooked. The result is usually exciting for the palate. You can try our Lebanese vermicelli recipe.
Gluten-Free Chicken Piccata Recipe
Being gluten-sensitive shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying any meal. I only substitute gluten-containing ingredients with gluten-free ingredients. Here is my favorite way to make gluten-free chicken piccata:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup gluten-free flour (consider rice flour or almond flour)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup of gluten-free chicken broth
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
Preparing the Chicken:
Start by seasoning the chicken breasts with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then add flavor to your chicken by delicately dredging each chicken breast in gluten-free flour, ensuring to shake off any excess.
Cook the Chicken:
- In a large skillet, prepare to cook your delicious piccata by heating olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Witness the transformation as the chicken breasts cook and bubble in the skillet, cooking for approximately 4-5 minutes per side until they achieve a golden brown hue and a state of culinary perfection.
- Now Imagine yourself as a premier chef and remove the chicken from the skillet, setting them aside in anticipation of their flavorful reunion.
Making the Sauce:
- Protect your sauce from unneeded mixing of flavors by deglazing the skillet with white wine, gracefully scraping up any browned bits left behind.
- Introduce the gluten-free chicken broth, the tang of lemon juice, and the burst of capers, allowing them to intertwine while they simmer for 5-7 minutes to reduce the sauce to a harmonious consistency.
Finish the Dish:
- Now, like a chef in his final moments of cooking a premium dish, reunite the cooked chicken with the sauce, ensuring each piece is bathed in a savory composition.
- For an encore, consider a swirl of butter to add a touch of richness to the already delectable sauce.
- Garnish the masterpiece with a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley before serving.
The traditional chicken piccata recipe calls for the chicken to be dredged in wheat all-purpose flour, which means it is not suitable for you if you have gluten sensitivity of any form.
However, that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying this dish, as you can make your dietary restriction known if you’re dining out or you can make the chicken piccata at home and substitute the gluten-containing ingredients.