Like a black leather jacket or a fresh pair of Chuck Taylors, some things never go out of style. Ditto for chicken piccata, whose staying power can be attributed to simple flavors that complement each other beautifully. Lightly dredged chicken breasts, pan-fried to golden-brown perfection, are finished with a bright lemon-caper sauce. So fresh and so clean (clean!). Serve it next to a twirled mound of angel hair pasta, and you've got all the makings of a bona fide classic.
Peel and mince shallot. Zest lemon, halve, and juice. Quarter grape tomatoes. Stem and mince parsley. Pat chicken breasts dry. On a separate cutting board, cut each breast into three pieces. Place on a clean work surface, cover with plastic wrap, and gently pound cutlets with a heavy object to a uniform thickness of ⅓". Season both sides with ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper.
Dredge the Chicken
Mix flour and ¼ tsp. salt in a mixing bowl. Dredge chicken cutlets in flour-salt mixture, shake off excess, and place on a plate.
Cook the Chicken
Heat a large pan over high heat. Add 1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil and chicken cutlets to hot pan and cook on one side until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Flip cutlets and cook until chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees, 2-3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.
Cook the Pasta
Add pasta to boiling water and stir constantly, 30 seconds. Cook until al dente, 3-5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and strain pasta in a wire-mesh strainer. Return pasta to pot, toss with 2 tsp. olive oil, and set aside.
Cook the Sauce
Return pan used to cook chicken to medium heat. Add 1 tsp. olive oil and shallot to hot pan and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in reserved pasta cooking water, chicken base, and ½ tsp. lemon zest. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove from burner and whisk in butter. Add half the sauce (reserve remaining for chicken), tomatoes, 1½ Tbsp. lemon juice, and half the parsley (reserve remaining for garnish) to cooked pasta. Toss to combine.
Finish the Dish
Add capers to remaining sauce in pan. Place three cutlets on a plate and drizzle with remaining sauce. Place a serving of pasta next to chicken and garnish dish with remaining parsley and remaining lemon zest.