Chicken Scaloppini with Olives, Lemon, and Capers

Yield: 4 servings

This is inspired by the Tuscan meals I enjoyed in San Gimignano. I make this when I’m feeling nostalgic and hankering for the sun on rainy west coast days.

  • 2 boneless chicken breast, halved
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 12 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup heavy (35–40%) cream (optional)
  • Lemon wedges to serve


Flatten each piece of chicken breast and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Drench it in the lemon juice.

Place the flour in a shallow bowl and drag each chicken piece through it to thoroughly coat, shaking off any excess flour.

Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and then sauté the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a warm plate. Don’t wipe out the frying pan.

Add the garlic and shallot to the pan and sauté, still over medium heat, until the shallots have softened slightly. Pour in the wine and scrape up any bits. Reduce the wine by half and then add chicken stock, capers, and olives. Stir to combine, add the parsley and basil, cook for about another 5 minutes, add the cream (if using), stir, and simmer until thickened (don’t let it reach a boil).

Add the chicken to the pan and simmer gently to warm the chicken all the way through.

Serve with fresh linguini.