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Fried Chicken & Cornmeal Crêpes with Buttermilk Piccata Syrup

Sharon Sorensen | May 25, 2023

For this recipe, 2023 National Cornbread Cook-off competitor Sharon Sorensen took one of her favorite dishes and added a cornbread twist. Inspired by the classic flavors of Chicken Picatta, her dish combines fried chicken with cornmeal crêpes and a lemony, buttery, caper-studded syrup.

Prep Time
25 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Cook it With Our
Cornmeal Crepes


Cornmeal Crêpes

3 cups milk
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1.5 cups fine-ground yellow cornmeal 
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Zest of two lemons
5 tablespoons vegetable oil

Fried Chicken

2½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 10 serving pieces 
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons of your favorite fried chicken seasoning mix
¼ cup vegetable oil (more if necessary to fry all the chicken)
3 tablespoons butter

Buttermilk Piccata Syrup

1½ cups white sugar
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup butter
¼  cup bottled concentrated lemon juice
¼ cup capers
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
Lemon slices, finely chopped tomatoes, and fresh parsley (for garnish)


  1. Make the cornmeal crêpes. Add all crêpe ingredients into a blender except for cooking oil. Blend until smooth and let stand for a few minutes while you prepare chicken. Once the batter has set, preheat a 9 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high, then add ½ tablespoon of oil to the pan. Measure ½ a cup of batter and pour into the center of the pan to make a crêpe, flipping halfway through cook time. Stack cooked crêpes with a sheet of parchment between each. Repeat with remaining batter until all crêpes are cooked.
  2. Prepare the chicken. Place each piece of chicken between parchment paper and pound to ½ inch thickness. Combine buttermilk and paprika together in a container large enough to hold all the chicken pieces, then place each chicken portion into the container and cover. Let chicken marinate while you cook crêpes in step 1; once ready to bread and fry, combine flour, cornmeal, and fried chicken seasoning. Dredge both sides of each piece of marinated chicken, pressing flour mixture into the chicken.
  3. Fry the chicken. In a 12 inch cast iron skillet, heat ¼ cup of vegetable oil and the butter on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add as many chicken pieces as possible without crowding the pan, then fry 4 to 5 minutes per side until crispy. Watch the oil carefully and reduce the heat if you notice smoking. Once cooked, remove the chicken pieces to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  4. Make the syrup. In a dutch oven, heat sugar, buttermilk, butter, and lemon juice over medium heat until boiling. Stir in capers. Remove pot from heat and add baking soda—the syrup will likely foam up quite a bit, so be sure to use a large pot.
  5. Assemble crêpes. Place each piece of fried chicken into a crêpe, and fold as desired. Top with syrup, garnish with lemon slices, tomatoes, or parsley and serve immediately.
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Contributed By: Sharon Sorensen

Sharon Sorensen lives in Hyde Park, Utah and competed in the 2023 Cornbread Cook-off with this cornmeal-loving take on Chicken Piccata. Learn more about the National Cornbread Festival and the Lodge National Cornbread Cook-off here!

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