Turkey piccata is a lot like chicken piccata, but since we’re using a bigger bird… I like to use bigger bolder flavors too! Plate this up with a few of the sides below and everyone will come running to the table.
What is Piccata Sauce?
Piccata comes from the French word piqué, meaning sharp, as in piquant. Piccata sauce is a buttery lemon sauce made with a fare amount of fresh lemon juice and salty capers. This dynamic duo does make this sauce quite sharp indeed! But in a very good way, especially when it’s served with turkey, chicken or veal.
Turkey Piccata Ingredients
- Turkey breasts
- Olive Oil
- Chicken broth
- Lemon juice
- Caperberries and/or capers
- Spices: salt, pepper & garlic powder
How to make Piccata Sauce
For the full recipe and amounts scroll down to the recipe page. But here it is at a quick glance.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet
- Dredge turkey in flour
- Brown turkey on both sides until it’s golden brown and delicious!
- Remove turkey and add a 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour to skillet
- Stir over medium low heat until golden brown and add shallots
- Stir in chicken broth & lemon juice
- Add capers and/or caper berries & whisk in butter until sauce is smooth
- Serve immediately or add turkey breasts to sauce and keep warm until ready to serve
How to serve turkey when it’s not Thanksgiving or Christmas
It never fails. Every year at Thanksgiving, we always say, “Why do we only have turkey at Thanksgiving? It’s so good!” Years ago, they only way you used to be able to buy turkey in the store was frozen and whole. Typically, it was hard to find except around the holidays. Thankfully, we are no longer limited to turkey deli meats at the cold cut counter or the ginormous frozen bird in the center isle. Today, it’s easy to find cutlets, hind quarters, thin slices of boneless breast meat ready to go. Turkey piccata is an easy way to enjoy turkey without all the holiday fuss.
This lemony butter sauce with capers is delicious with chicken, fish, turkey, pork and veal. You can also add a little white wine when you add the chicken broth. Another tasty addition to the sauce to try is adding little minced garlic and shallots after you remove the turkey. Lower the heat and cook them until they’re soft. Then add the butter and flour and continue with the rest of the recipe. So good! Which ever you use, make sure it’s a thin slice of meat.
A good way to thin out your meat is by putting it in a large ziplock bag or between to pieces of plastic wrap and gently pounding it with the smooth edge of a mallet or (better yet) the bottom of a pan in a circular motion.
Can Turkey Piccata be Made Ahead of time?
You betcha! Not only can you make the whole dish ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but you can make the sauce and freeze it too. It will keep in the freezer for 3 months easily. You can freeze the turkey in the sauce for 3 months too.
To warm it back up, let it thaw in the refrigerator over night or run it under cold water until thaws. Pour the sauce into a skillet and whisk it vigorously until it starts to steam, then add the turkey back in and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the turkey is heated thorough.
Has your sauce separated? No problem! Just whisk in a little more butter and it will come back together. Delish!
BONUS MAKE AHEAD TIP: When freezing, freeze in small amounts. Dish freeze and will thaw faster this way. It’s also easier to pull out enough for 1 person or several. After thawing out a frozen meal, it will not refreeze well. So make sure you only pull out what you need.
What side dishes go with Turkey Piccata?
Since Turkey Piccata is so lemony and quick to make, I love to throw together a Garlic Parmesan Salad to go with it. A fast oven roasted asparagus with tomatoes and feta is another favorite side. Of course you can never go wrong with steamed broccoli and rice. If you want to stay traditional, pasta is the way to go! But if I had to pick my favorite sides to share a plate with turkey piccata… I’d serve it with sautéed mushrooms, buttered peas and a generous helping of homemade pasta and maybe a refreshing sauvignon blanc. Divine!!!
Go Big or Go Home
Turkey has a subtle flavor that works beautifully as a blank canvas for seasonings and sauces. And, most importantly, it’s not chicken. As much as I like the turkey’s little cuz, sometimes I just get bored of chicken. Turkey is a great alternative, especially with the right sauce!
The only other major change I made was switching out the capers for caper berries. If you’ve never had a caper berry (and you like capers) you are in for a treat. They’re little more tart, aka sour, and they’ve got more crunch to them than their smaller cousins. I figured if you’re using a Godzilla sized chicken, why not use a Mothra sized caper?
I served it over a black pasta made with squid ink and held my breath. As the results came in around the dinner table, I was exceptionally pleased! Everyone loved it!
Turkey Piccata with Caper Berries
- 2 thinly sliced turkey breast pieces about 6 ounces each
- 4 tablespoons butter separated
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoon flour
- 2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth (optional)
- 1/2 cup caper berries or 1/4 cup small capers (you can always add both!)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet.
- While the butter is melting, put 1 turkey slice into a zip lock bag and pound thin with a meat mallet, using the flat side. Remove and lightly salt and pepper. Repeat with the other turkey breast.
- When the butter has melted, add the shallot and gently saute until softened. Push to the side of the skillet.
- Add the turkey breasts and brown on both sides. Remove the meat to a side plate.
- Melt the other 2 tablespoons of butter and add 1 1/2 tablespoon flour.
- Let the flour bubble and when it starts to turn from white to light brown, whisk in the chicken stock and wine.
- Whisk until it thickens, then add the juice of 1 lemon.
- Put the turkey back in the sauce and add the caper berries.
- Cover and keep on a very low simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with pasta or rice. Sautéed mushrooms and butter peas go very with this too. For beverages you might light sparkling water with lemon, homemade fresh lemonade with a splash of club soda, or a sauvignon blanc. Enjoy!