Get ready to impress your family and friends at dinner with this mouth-watering Pork Piccata recipe. Everyone will love this easy Italian American main dish featuring lemon, capers, and seasoned bone-in pork chops.
Do you love Italian food? It’s one of my most favourite world cuisines to explore. I love all the recipes from authentic Italian classics like Osso Bucco alla Milanese and classic Pappardelle Bolognese to the ‘Americanized’ Spaghetti Bolognese and Creamy Chicken Marsala. When you’re cooking Italian American, it’s the best of both worlds!
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Pork Piccata with Lemon and Capers
Today, I’m sharing an authentic Italian recipe… with an American twist. This Pork Piccata recipe creates the same bright and zesty lemon sauce as the Italian version. However, it features pork chops as the main protein instead of pounded veal cutlets.
So, how does this recipe work with this alternative protein? The secret is to buy the thinnest bone-in pork chops you can find. This allows the meat to be fried quickly, then added back into the luxurious lemon and caper sauce. The whole dish is ready in under 20 minutes total time!
Can we talk about the piccata sauce? It’s a rich and buttery sauce that brings a luxurious feeling to the palate. The richness is cut sharply by the bright acidity of lemon juice and accented by the briny pop of capers.
This dish is not for the faint of heart. It’s full of contrasting bold flavours that somehow bring out the best in each other.
In Italy, this dish is served after the pasta course as a secondo. However, in America we like to combine it with a starch to make a complete dinner plate. As the sauce is so flavourful, I recommend pairing this pork dish with a simple pasta such as spaghetti or angel hair pasta.
What is Piccata?
Contrary to popular belief, the Italian culinary term ‘piccata’ refers to the ‘flat pounded meat’ in this dish and not the sauce. However, in general it also refers to the entire dish using this preparation when it’s served along with the sauce.
In Italy this dish typically features veal scaloppini, which are pounded flat and dredged in flour before frying while the Americans tend to use chicken and make chicken piccata. However, this preparation also works well with swordfish as is customary in the Milanese region.
The protein is quickly fried, then removed from the pan. Then, the sauce is made with the pan drippings, fresh lemon juice and white wine or chicken stock. Other ingredients include shallots or garlic, capers, chopped parsley, and slices of lemon. The whole glorious sauce is then finished with a generous amount of butter.
Ingredients in Pork Piccata
Other than the change in protein, this recipe remains true to the original Italian version. I did not deglaze the pan with white wine before adding the chicken stock. However, you can add this step once the garlic becomes fragrant (just before you add the broth).
- Pork Chops
- Olive Oil
- Chicken Stock
Using a bone-in pork chop is a little strange in a scaloppini recipe. It is near impossible to pound the meat around the bone. However, I find that bone-in chops tend to hold onto moisture, remaining tender and juicy through the cooking process.
Buy the thinnest bone-in pork chops you can find, no more than 1/2 an inch thick. Alternatively, you can by boneless pork chops or slice up pork tenderloin, then pound the chops or sliced pork loin to 1/2-inch thickness before dredging and frying.
The key factor for success in this pork chop recipe is to not over cook the pork. It should be cooked to at least 145 F or a few degrees over that, at most. I recommend using a meat thermometer so you can keep a close eye on the meat temperature as it cooks.
As always, when a recipe calls for a relatively small amount of ingredients, the freshness and quality of the individual ingredients is the key to the most delicious result. Use freshly ground black pepper, real garlic (not garlic powder!), homemade or high-quality store-bought chicken stock, and fresh parsley.
How to Make Pork Piccata
Prepare the Pork Chops
To begin, pat the pork chops dry using a paper towel. Season chops on both sides with salt and freshly cracked black pepper then lightly dust each side with flour. Shake off excess flour.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Carefully lower the porkchops into the pan, allowing for space in between each pork chop. Cook until one side is a caramelized golden brown (about 4-5 minutes), then flip it over and cook the other side to the same colour.
Use a meat thermometer to determine when the chops reach 145 F near the bone. This is the temperature when pork is safe to eat. Do not overcook the pork, or it will be tough and chewy. Transfer pork chops to a plate.
Prepare the Sauce
To make the sauce, start by sautéing the minced garlic in the skillet for a minute or two, until it becomes fragrant. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup white wine (if using) and allow the alcohol to cook out before moving on. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers.
Bring the liquid mixture to a boil in the skillet over medium heat, scraping up browned bits as it simmers. When the sauce starts to thicken, turn off the heat and add 3 tablespoons unsalted butter. Stir it in until it becomes fully incorporated into the sauce. Place the meat back in the pan and spoon the sauce over pork chops.
What to Serve with Pork Piccata
Garnish the pork chops in sauce with lemon slices and 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley then serve over your favourite carbohydrate. I might suggest something as simple as plain buttered noodles, your favourite pasta, or even mashed potatoes.
However, you can also serve it with a lovely risotto, roasted vegetables (asparagus!), sautéed vegetables (like kale or spinach), stuffed artichokes, or Caesar salad.
Storing and Reheating the Leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place the pork chops in an oven-safe pan along with 2 tablespoons of chicken broth. Cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes.
You can cover the pork chops with foil and put them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you make this Pork Piccata with Lemon and Capers recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 4 bone-in pork chops; 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic; minced
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 lemons; one juiced and one sliced for garnish
- 1/4 cup capers; drained and rinsed
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley; chopped
- Wipe the pork chops dry using a paper towel. Season both sides with salt and freshly cracked black pepper then lightly dust each side with flour. Shake off excess flour.
- Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan or cast iron skillet. Carefully lower the porkchops into the pan, allowing for space in between each pork chop.
- Cook until one side is a caramelized golden brown (about 4-5 minutes), then flip it over and cook the other side to the same colour.
- Use a meat thermometer to determine when the chops reach 145 F near the bone. This is the temperature when pork is safe to eat. Do not overcook the pork, or it will be tough and chewy. Transfer pork chops to a plate.
- Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for a minute or two, until it becomes fragrant. Then add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers.
- Bring the liquid mixture to a boil over medium heat, scraping up brown bits as it simmers. When the sauce starts to thicken, turn off the heat and add butter. Stir it in until it becomes fully incorporated into the sauce.
- Add the pork chops to the pan and spoon the sauce over top. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley then serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 515Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 706mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 43g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.