Food - Drink
Chicken Piccata Vs Scallopini: What's The Difference?
Chicken piccata and chicken scallopini are classic Italian dishes that feature butterflied chicken breasts bathed in a lemon-caper butter sauce. Since these dishes share the same ingredients, and the unique lemon-caper sauce is called piccata sauce, you may wonder what makes scallopini a different dish that requires its own name.
"Piccata" means "lard" or "buttered" in Italian, and is also derivative of the French word "piqued," meaning sharp. Chicken piccata calls for thin slices of meat that are dredged in flour, cooked, and served with piccata sauce; the dish is defined by its sauce, as implied by its name, while chicken scallopini puts more emphasis on the meat.
Chicken scallopini derives from the Italian word "scaloppine," referring to how the meat is cut. To scaloppine chicken or veal, it is first butterflied, then pounded thin like a scallop, but from there, scallopini can actually be served with any sauce; this makes scallopini a less specific dish, where the only real requirement is thin cutlets of meat.
Chicken piccata is technically a type of scallopini, and is perhaps the most common way in which scallopini is prepared, which is why the two dishes are so easy to confuse. Piccata is about piccata sauce, while scallopini is about how the meat is sliced, so feel free to use any meat for your piccata or any sauce for your scallopini.