Whole30 Skillet Chicken Piccata

Growing up, my favorite dish that my Mom made was her “Baked Lemon Chicken”. Oh my gosh it is good– chicken cutlets baked in a thick, rich buttery lemon sauce. I crave this dish on the reg, and I still have her make it for me when I go home. 

When I am doing a Whole30 Challenge, I always crave this dish so of course I had to recreate it to be Whole30 Approved. I have worked so hard on this recipe and I cannot tell you how excited I am to share it with you today. It is freaking perfection– if you served this to a crowd (which you should if you are entertaining) and told them it was Whole30 approved, they wouldn’t believe you. My husband didn’t believe me when I told him it was a Whole30 version because you can barely tell the difference! *applause* I should also mention that my picky 4 year old and 1 year old enjoyed it as much as we did! No lie!

The sauce is what is so good about this dish, so I highly recommend you to serve it over some cauliflower rice to soak up the good sauce or even zoodles would do. It goes great with roasted potatoes and any roasted green veggie. Enjoy!

side notes: What the heck is arrowroot flour you ask? it is a wonderful grain free, paleo-friendly, gluten free thickener and emulsifier. It comes from the root of the arrowroot plant. When cooking Whole30 friendly, I sub this when a recipe calls for Cornstarch and Flour. I bought mine at Wholefoods in the gluten free baking section, or you can order it on Amazon here. I highly recommend keeping this in your pantry if you are currently doing a Whole30 Challenge.


Whole30 Skillet Chicken Piccata
Serves 4
Delicious chicken cutlets simmered in a lemon-caper sauce that will change your life! Whole30 and Paleo approved, it just doesn't get much better than this recipe.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 2 lbs. Chicken Cutlets
  2. kosher salt, to taste
  3. black pepper, to taste
  4. paprika, optional
  5. 1/2 cup arrowroot flour/starch
  6. 3 tbsp. ghee
  7. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  8. 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  9. 1.5 cup chicken broth
  10. 1 lemon (ends removed) and very thinly sliced. After you slice it, remove all the seeds.
  11. 2 heaping tbsp. of capers, drained (add more or less to taste if you want)
  1. A chicken cutlet is a chicken breast butterflied open. You can either do this yourself, or purchase it already like this. Once you have your chicken into "cutlets" break them down so that they are cut in half, lenthwise, and no longer attached to each other.
  2. Season chicken on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper, to taste. I also like to lightly dust mine with paprika, but not necessary.
  3. Place arrowroot flour in bowl.
  4. Now, individually place each of the chicken cutlets into the flour and dredge both sides so that they are evenly coated in the flour. Set aside on a clean plate while you finish dredging the rest of the cutlets. There will be a little of the arrowroot flour left in the bowl, don't discard it yet, you'll need a little for the sauce later.
  5. Now, heat a large skillet (be sure the skillet has a lid that fits it) over medium-high heat. Add in 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. ghee. Swirl the pan so that the ghee melts then, brown your chicken cutlets in batches so that you don't overcrowd the pan--I do about 3 at a time and brown each side for about 2 minutes (they don't need to be cooked through, just lightly browned). Once both sides are brown, set them aside on a plate and continue to brown all of the chickens. About halfway through this process or when the oil is all soaked up, add in 1 more tbsp. of olive oil and 1 more tbsp. of ghee.
  6. Once all of your chicken is brown, reduce heat to low.
  7. Add in 1 tbsp. of ghee and swirl pan until it is melted. Now, scoop up 1 heaping tbsp of the leftover arrowroot flour and add it to the pan, whisking contantly until the flour is broken up and is no longer lumpy in the ghee.
  8. Now add in the minced garlic and constantly whisk, being careful not to burn it, and let it soften for about 30 seconds.
  9. Pour in chicken broth and whisk until all the brown bits on the bottom from the chicken are scraped up.
  10. Turn heat up so that the sauce is lightly simmering and, stirring occasionally, let it simmer for about 2-5 minutes or until you notice that the sauce is starting to thicken up.
  11. Toss in the capers and the sliced lemon, stir that in.
  12. Now nestle all of the chicken back into the sauce, you gotta work it a bit to get it all in there depending on your skillet size but its okay if not all of the chicken is completely submerged. You just want to be sure that each cutlet is at least partially submerged in the sauce so that none of them dry up.
  13. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook, covered, for at least 30 minutes. You want to make sure the chicken is fork tender. ((To get mine really tender and if you have the time, let yours simmer for 30 minutes covered, stirring occasionally to reposition the chicken cutlets in the sauce. Then, I reduce mine to its lowest setting and cook for 30 more minutes! It is sooo tender if you do it this way but either way, it is delicious.))
  1. If you are NOT on the Whole30, you can sub the Arrowroot Flour for regular flour, and sub the ghee for butter! But I swear, it tastes the same both ways!
The Defined Dish http://www.thedefineddish.com/

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  • April G
    January 8, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    I tried this recipe last night and it was yummy! Thank you! This is my first time using arrowroot flour. I have used yuca flour for a few Whole30 recipes and I have found them both a little difficult to work with. The flour seems to absorb the moisture so easily (like cornstarch) and not coat the protein (fish or chicken) well and then sticks in the pan when browning. Just wondered if you find this and if you have any tips for success.

  • Constance Thakker
    May 3, 2017 at 1:36 am

    I just started following your blog because I was so impressed with your recipes when you were the guest on Whole30. I have thought about starting the program but could never find recipes that I liked. Your recipes look sooo yummy- it inspired me to start! I made this tonight and it was fantastic-even better than my classic picatta. My whole family loved it- even my 3 year old. I served it with steamed green beans and smashed red potatoes with chives and evoo. Thanks for such a great recipe- this will definitely be made again.

    • Alex
      May 3, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Constance, thank you so much for your sweet message!!! I am so happy my recipes will help you get through your first Whole30!! I love this recipe so much and I am glad your family does, too!! 🙂 Best of luck during your Whole30! You got this!

  • Skillet Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Chicken – The Defined Dish
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  • Sara
    June 5, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    I made this last night and it is my new favorite Whole30 meal! I paired it with your mashed potatoes and some sautéed zucchini. Amazing! I will make this a thousand times over. Very comfort-foody. Love it! Thanks!

    • Alex
      June 6, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Hooray!! So glad!

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  • Missye
    July 26, 2017 at 12:12 am

    I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious!! Everyone loved it!! And it was easy to make. Yay! Can’t wait to make it for my son who is away at camp right now. He will love it too! Thank you.

    • Alex
      July 26, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Oh good!!!

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  • Kathryn
    July 31, 2017 at 2:18 am

    I, too, found you during your whole 30 takeover and now you are one of my favorite bloggers! I cook a lot of chicken piccata- this has become my favorite- you don’t miss the white wine at all! Thanks for the amazing recipe.

    • Alex
      July 31, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      Thank you so much, kathryn!! I am so glad you enjoy it as much as my family does 😉