Chicken Piccata – Paleo & Whole30

Chicken Piccata is a brilliant example of how you can take a tried-and-true, classic recipe and make it Paleo and Whole30 compliant without sacrificing an ounce of flavour. As always, it doesn’t hurt that the dish comes together in around 2o minutes, making it perfect for busy folks and those of us who are just impatient and hungry!

Chicken Piccata Paleo Whole30 Easy Recipe Dinner Idea

Piccata recipes typically involve pan-frying a thin piece of meat or fish before using the same pan to make a lemon-caper sauce. There are many variations of the classic Italian dish. You can make it with swordfish or trout, veal or pork scallopini, or chicken breast, as I have done here. Traditionally, the protein is dredged in flour before frying so that it gets nice and crispy. The pan then gets deglazed with white wine and lemon juice before being finished with butter. The finished product is bright, citrusy and briney, all of which goes perfectly with the crispiness of the meat or fish.

Chicken Piccata Paleo Whole30 Easy Recipe Dinner Idea

How is this Chicken Piccata Whole30 and Paleo?

  1. The chicken is dredged in Tapioca flour (also referred to as Tapioca starch), a wonderful alternative flour that also makes amazing pancakes (see here). It is not as gritty and more neutral in flavour than coconut flour. Not as expensive as almond flour. And more heat-stable than most alternative flours. It also gets super crispy with even the lightest dusting over the chicken.
  2. Piccata recipes rarely call for seasoning the meat with more than salt and pepper. I like to kick it up a notch (damn right that’s an Emeril Lagasse reference) by ‘bamming’ the chicken with some spicy smoked paprika. Why waste an opportunity to add flavour?
  3. Rather than deglazing with white wine, I use stock – especially bone broth if I have some laying around in the freezer. It’s not that I have any particular issue with using wine here. But even if I were not doing a round of Whole30 or following a Paleo routine, I would still use stock because it tastes better.
  4. Piccata is traditionally finished with a pat of butter. This step is optional in my opinion but if you choose to go that route you can easily use ghee instead. It adds a beautiful layer of richness and gives the piccata a bit of a sheen.

I hope you like it and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cheers,

Ronny

INGREDIENTS:

2 chicken breasts – sliced lengthwise or pounded approximately 1/4 inch thick

1/2 cup Tapioca starch – or more if required

2-3 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1 shallot – finely sliced

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp capers

3-4 lemon wheels

3 tbsp fresh parsley – finely chopped

1/2 cup chicken stock

3-4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp spicy, smoked Spanish paprika

1 tbsp ghee (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Slice chicken breasts lengthwise into 1/4″ filets. Season all sides with salt, pepper and paprika.
  2. Preheat 2-3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly dredge the seasoned chicken breast filets in tapioca starch.
  4. Carefully add the dredged chicken filets to the hot oil and pan-fry for 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Note, depending on size of skillet you may have to work in batches.
  5. Transfer browned chicken to a paper towel-lined tray.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, shallots, lemon wheels and capers to the same pan used to brown chicken. Sauté for 60 seconds. Deglaze with chicken stock and lemon juice.
  7. Using a wooden spoon, scrape off any brown bits that formed on the bottom of the pan. Bring the stock to a light simmer and reduce by half. Finish the sauce by stirring in a knob of ghee (optional).
  8. Return browned chicken to the pan, give everything a quick toss to coat and garnish with chopped parsley.
  9. Serve overtop of zoodles or pureed cauliflower.

28 replies on “Chicken Piccata – Paleo & Whole30”

Hey Jerry, Coconut flour is fairly loose and crumbly and probably would not stick the dry chicken as well as the tapioca starch. It will also impart quite a bit of coconut flavour to the dish, which may not be what you’re after here. I can tell you that I also made this without any flour at all (just chicken and seasonings) and it came out really nicely. So if you can’t get your hands on tapioca flour just yet, you can simply skip it altogether.

Hey Lita, you can definitely use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is cooked to at least 165F. Otherwise, you’ll know it’s safe to consume when the flesh is an even, pearly white and the juices run clear.

Hi! I only have regular Paprika, should I use this or leave it out completely? I’m also, feeding kids, so spicy is not a good option for them…

Hi Elissa! Regular paprika will work as well. You won’t get the smokiness, which is something I love, but you will get some nice colour and a bit of flavour! If the kiddos aren’t OK with spice, feel free to omit! Let me know how it goes!

Made this tonight and it was amazing! My 1 and 3 year old devoured it too. In case you are wondering it is also kid approved! I had to sub arrowroot since I decided to make this last minute and didn’t have Tapioca starch but it was still delicious. Thank you!

Hi there! Noticed the note about the tapioca flour and reasons for it vs others however I already have arrowroot flour. Does this work as well?

This was AMAZING, and so quick! Definitely going to be in the regular dinner rotation. I served mine over lemon cauliflower rice. Also used a bit of bacon fat & ghee to cook the chicken in, regular paprika as well as arrowroot instead of tapioca flour. Perfect. thank you!

Just made this tonight and it was delicious! The only thing is that the chicken was a tad “slimy” I think from the tapioca? I have heard that can happen. Any tips on how to avoid that next time? Thanks!

This looks so delicious!! I am about to start my first Whole 30 and would love to make this. I might be blind, but is there a printer friendly version of just the recipe?

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