Lemon Chicken Picatta with Parmesan and Spinach Orzo



boneless, skinless chicken breast2 pounds

Dry Goods

white flour.5 cup
table salt1 teaspoon
freshly cracked pepper.5 teaspoon
olive oil4 tablespoons
orzo2 cups
chicken broth.5 cup
non-pareil capers2 tablespoons


baby spinach2 cups
onion1 small
garlic2 cloves
lemon juice.25 cup
lemon zest1 tablespoon


grated parmesan.5 cup


Chicken piccata feels ‘fancy’ enough for dinner parties (I won’t tell anyone how easy it is if you don’t tell anyone!) and it makes for banging leftovers; that lemon sauce only deepens in flavor as it sits.

  1. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Alternatively, pound the chicken into thin cutlets.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour with salt and pepper. Add the cut chicken pieces and toss to coat.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Add the chicken pieces in an even layer and cook, turning once or twice until browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan once browned, and set aside. Do not wipe the pan.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, boil the orzo. Fill a medium pot with water halfway, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook, testing occasionally for doneness, about 5-8 minutes. The orzo is done when completely soft all the way through, but still retains a bit of chewy bite. Drain orzo and then return to the pot.
  5. Remove the pot from heat and add in parmesan, then season with salt and pepper. Stir the orzo to thoroughly combine the parmesan, then add the fresh spinach. Toss the spinach with the cheesy orzo until spinach has softened and wilted, then set aside until service.
  6. After the chicken has cooked and has been removed from the pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. 
  7. While the oil is heating, thinly slice the onion and mince the garlic. 
  8. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring often, 5-8 minutes until they have started to soften. Add the garlic and stir to combine.
  9. Add the chicken broth to the pan, deglazing the onions, and use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  10. Add the lemon juice, zest, and capers, and stir to combine. Let the sauce come to a simmer, then add the chicken back to the pan.
  11. Cook until the chicken is heated through and fully cooked, about 3-5 minutes, then serve with the orzo.

Prep Plan

Prep it for later:
1. Cut chicken or pound into thin cutlets about ¼” thick. Transfer to a resealable bag or container.
2. Cook the orzo according to the instructions in Steps 4-5
3. Chop the onions and garlic and transfer to a resealable bag or container.
Cut chicken will store for up to 4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. Cooked orzo and cut onions and garlic will store for up to one week in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.

You’ll need:
1 bag or container of cut or pounded chicken
1 bag or container of cooked orzo
1 bag or container of chopped onions and garlic

Prepare from prepped:
1. Follow the instructions in Steps 2 to 3 to cook the chicken, and set aside.
2. Heat the orzo gently over medium heat with half a cup of water, stirring often, until the water has dissolved.
3. Add to the orzo the salt and pepper, parmesan cheese, and spinach. Remove from heat and stir until the spinach is wilted.
4. Cook the sauce according to the instructions in Steps 6-9, cooking the onions and garlic at the same time and stirring often to not let the garlic burn.