Where Is Chicken Piccata From? Exploring Its Italian Roots

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Where is chicken piccata from?” you’ve come to the right place to learn about its fascinating origin. This beloved dish has traveled through generations and continents, securing its place as a global culinary favorite.

Starting out as a simple dish, chicken piccata has evolved into a classic that enjoys widespread admiration around the world. Whether you prefer the traditional recipe or enjoy modern twists, this story will captivate anyone with a love for good food.

So, grab your apron and prepare for a delicious exploration. We’re about to dive deep into the origins of chicken piccata!

History of Chicken Piccata

Chicken piccata traces its roots to the Lombardy region in Northern Italy, where it originally featured veal. The term “piccata” means “to prick” or “to pierce” in Italian, hinting at the traditional method of tenderizing the meat. This culinary technique is linked to the French term “piqué,” reflecting the blending of culinary practices across cultures.

Busy Italian street food market with chefs preparing large pans of traditional cuisine.

The adaptation of chicken instead of veal over time marked a shift in the recipe’s evolution, making it more accessible and popular. This transformation showcases the way many dishes evolve, adopting elements from different cultures and languages.

By the mid-20th century, Italian immigrants had introduced chicken piccata to the United States, where it quickly became a beloved dish. Featuring a vibrant sauce of lemon, capers, and butter, chicken piccata is now a favorite worldwide, often served with pasta, rice, or vegetables.

This dish exemplifies how food can transcend borders, bringing people together through its delightful mix of flavors and shared history.

Related Article: If you found this exploration of the origins of chicken piccata intriguing, you might also enjoy our guide on what to serve with chicken piccata. It’s full of ideas to make your chicken piccata meal even better!

Chicken Piccata Around the World

Chicken piccata has changed over the years, fitting into different cooking styles and tastes worldwide. As it left Italy and spread to other places, each region put its own spin on the dish. They used local ingredients and ways of cooking, making versions that were unique to their area.

United States

In the United States, it is common to find chicken piccata recipes that include garlic and white wine in addition to the classic lemon-butter-caper sauce. This American twist adds depth to the sauce and enhances the overall flavor profile of the dish.


In France, chicken piccata, known as “poulet au citron,” is a popular choice among food enthusiasts. French chefs often use local ingredients and cooking techniques to put their own spin on this classic dish. Some variations include the addition of cream or Dijon mustard to the sauce, giving it a richer and more complex flavor.

Chicken piccata with lemon wedge on a plate.


“Hähnchen Piccata” is a favorite among those looking for a hearty and satisfying meal in Germany. German chefs often serve this dish with spaetzle or potato dumplings, creating a comforting and filling dining experience. The sauce may also be thickened with flour or cream, adding a creamy texture to the dish.


What is chicken piccata?

Chicken piccata is a classic Italian dish made with thinly sliced chicken breasts, dredged in flour, pan-fried, and served with a sauce made from lemon juice, butter, capers, and white wine or chicken broth.

How has chicken piccata evolved over time?

Originally, chicken piccata featured a simple preparation of thinly pounded chicken sautéed with lemon and wine. Over time, particularly in American cuisine, variations emerged incorporating capers and different sauces to enhance the dish’s flavor profile.

How is chicken piccata traditionally served?

Traditionally, chicken piccata is served with a side of pasta, rice, or vegetables. The tangy and rich flavor of the sauce pairs well with plain or lightly seasoned sides to balance the dish.

What are some common variations of chicken piccata?

Common variations of chicken piccata include adding ingredients like artichoke hearts, mushrooms, or sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce. Some recipes also substitute the traditional white wine with chicken broth or add herbs like parsley for extra flavor.