Classic food is a classic for a reason. Chicken piccata has always been a favorite and a menu item I'd usually order at a nice Italian restaurant. I've been trying to work more fish into my diet and substituting salmon for chicken in this Easy Lemon Salmon Piccata recipe was a delicious swap. This could also work with cod or halibut, but I like the meatiness of the salmon for this recipe.
What type of salmon to use
Not all salmon is created equal in flavor or sustainability. Wild caught salmon tends to have less fat than farm raised salmon and is a little less forgiving when cooking due to this.
Farm raised salmon will have a brighter hue and thicker fat ribbons, which make it a bit harder to overcook. I recently read an article from Bon Appetit that went into the differences between types of salmon. If you want to check it out, I'll link to the article HERE
For either type of salmon, ensure that the skin is removed and the portion sizes are an even thickness.
Why use salmon for Easy Salmon Piccata
If you are a picky seafood eater like myself, salmon is a good option to start with because of its mild flavor and its wide range of seasoning options.
I usually buy my fish frozen, which although a bit taboo in the restaurant world, is a totally acceptable act for a home chef. Since my boyfriend is allergic to seafood, I usually keep it on hand in the freezer until there's a night when I'm eating alone.
How to Thaw Frozen Fish
- Keep fish frozen, do not thaw in fridge
- Keep fish in vacuum sealed packaging
- Submerge fish in a bowl of cool water. If the fish is floating, place a bowl on top of the fish to keep it submerged
- Thaw for 20 minutes or until softened throughout. Cook immediately.
What is Piccata sauce made out of
Piccata sauce is made out of a combination of white wine, capers, butter and lemon. Easy Salmon Piccata also includes garlic, chicken stock and a bit of corn starch.
- Dry White Wine
- Chicken Stock
- Corn Starch
- Lemon Juice
Is there a substitute for capers
Whether you don't enjoy capers or don't have them on hand, there are a few options. One of the easiest substitutions is to use olives in lieu of capers. Black, Green or Kalamata olives work well, especially when chopped up to a similar size as capers.
Another option is using green peppercorns. These are not as spicy as black peppercorns, but do have a pronounced taste.
Due to this being a seafood dish, it does not have a long shelf life. To store any leftovers, place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Unfortunately this is not a dish I would suggest freezing.
Easy Lemon Salmon Piccata
- 2 6oz Salmon Filets Skinless
- ½ Cup Flour
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 4 Garlic Cloves Minced
- ½ Cup White Wine Dry
- 1 Cup Chicken Stock
- 2 Tsp Cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 4 Tbsp Capers Drained and Rinsed
- Season salmon well with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off excess.
- Melt butter is a skillet on medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, add salmon. Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until salmon reaches desired level of doneness. Remove salmon and set aside.
- Add in garlic cloves and cook until softened. Stir in white wine and use to deglaze the pan and scape up anything that has stuck.
- Mix together chicken stock and cornstarch to create a slurry, then add to the pan. Add lemon juice and capers and cook mixture until slightly thickened. Feel free to adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add salmon back to pan and turn to coat with sauce. Serve with pasta or vegetables and enjoy!
This photo shows how cute Arya is even while begging for food! She was upset that I would give her guacamole (which had onions and peppers which are poisonous to cats) so she decided to lay down on the chips and not let us get to them!