Pork Piccata: because chicken shouldn’t get all the tangy, lemony, caper-y fun!
Also known as the dish that this person who hasn’t bought a boneless, skinless chicken breast in years makes on a weeknight. A fancy, yet not stressed out, weeknight… because this dish takes like 30 minutes or less.
The key to this Pork Piccata is pounding out your pork so that it’s about 1/4 inch thick. You can either buy normal, thicker cut pork chops, then cut them in half pre-pounding (I sniggered writing that) or pick up those thin sliced pork chops that grocery stores often carry and then flatten them just a tad more.
If you want to snip a few more minutes off the cooking time, you can make them with the un-pounded, straight from the package thin pork chops, but you will lose a smidge of the tenderness (and stress relief) that comes from giving ’em a good bash and the pork chops will take a little longer to cook through. Whichever works best for you!
You know by now that I’m sparing in my use of special flours, but I do love how cassava flour (I use this one) gussies up this dish. The light dredging of cassava flour helps give you a lovely golden brown Pork Piccata and the little bit added to the sauce helps give it the smooth mouthfeel of a traditional piccata, without needing to add butter.
When it comes to keeping this AIP friendly, you’ll want to find capers that aren’t in a brine that contains distilled vinegar or citric acid. I’m not sure that I’ve ever found capers like that, so I like to use salted capers instead of those in the brine. Just make sure to give them a good rinse or even soak them for a few minutes & drain them before you measure them out, otherwise your Pork Piccata’s gonna be hanging out in Overly Salted Town. We hate that place.
- Four 6 oz / 170 g boneless pork chops or 8 3 oz / 85 g thin sliced boneless pork chops, about 1½ lbs / 680 g total
- ½ cup / 75 g cassava flour (I like this one)
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 3 tbsp / 45 ml lard or avocado oil, divided
- SET UP: Preheat the oven to 225 F / 110 C. Line a baking tray with foil and place an oven safe cooling rack on top. Place the tray in the oven to warm.
- POUND: If you're using typical pork chops that are about 1 inch / 2.5 cm thick, cut them in half through the middle, making sure each piece is edged with a little fat. You don't need to do this with the thinner chops. Place each piece of pork chop between two layers of parchment paper and use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to pound them into ¼ inch / 6 mm thick pieces.
- DREDGE: Combine the cassava flour and salt in a bowl. Dip each piece of pork into the seasoned flour to lightly dredge and coat evenly, shaking off the excess before transferring to a plate.
- BROWN: Heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add half of the fat or oil and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add half of the pork pieces and cook until lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the pork pieces and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the browned pork to the rack in the oven. Add the remaining fat or oil to the pan and repeat the process for the remaining pieces of pork, then transfer them to the oven to keep warm.
- SIMMER: Add the capers to the pan and cook for 30 seconds or so. Add the white wine, half of the chicken broth and the lemon juice, stirring up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook, bubbling gently, until the sauce reduces a little, about 2 minutes.
- THICKEN: Mix the cassava flour together with a little cold water and whisk together to make a slurry. Add the cassava slurry to the pan and stir continuously until you have a smooth but overly thickened sauce. Add the remaining chicken broth to the pan and stir to combine and thin down the sauce. Taste and add additional lemon juice, if you like. If the sauce is too thick, add another splash or two of water or chicken broth, to taste. Stir in the fresh parsley and remove the sauce from the heat.
- SERVE: Pour a little of the lemon caper sauce over each piece of pork. Garnish with extra parsley and lemon slices if you like. Serve immediately.
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