Chicken Piccata with Fried Capers

Chicken Piccata is a favorite of mine, but I spent a lot of time avoiding it because my kid isn't a fan of the white wine often used in the sauce. By tweaking the recipe to lean on butter, lemon juice, and chicken stock, it becomes a family favorite that we can enjoy whenever the mood strikes us. If you want to use dry white wine in the sauce, add a quarter cup while reducing both the chicken stock and lemon juice portions by 2 tablespoons each.

I want to talk a bit about the fried capers. I discovered that if you fry the large capers, they begin to open up or bloom. The result is a crunchy, briny bit of joy that is nothing short of stunning. They are excellent in this dish, but consider adding them to salads, sprinkling them on your next bowl of homemade hummus, or using them as a garnish for your next steak or pork chop. I will admit that I have been known to just snack on them too!

I like serving this tangy chicken on a mound of tender pasta, steamed white or brown rice, or even atop of generous scoop of mashed potatoes. A lightly steamed or sautéed green vegetable (i'm thinking green beans or asparagus) make an excellent side dish. Pour a glass of your favorite chilled white wine and call it dinner!

Chicken Piccata with Fried Capers

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste - I used Ruth Ann's Muskego Ave Chicken/Fish Seasoning
  • ½ cup cornstarch, for dredging
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup brined capers
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin

Season the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper. Dredge in cornstarch, shake off excess and set aside.

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter with 5 tablespoons of olive oil. When the butter and oil start to sizzle, add the capers and fry until the buds open slightly and are crisp. Remove to a dish and set aside.

Add the chicken breast pieces and sauté for 3 minutes per side, until the chicken is browned. Remove the pan from the heat; remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Carefully pour the lemon juice and the chicken stock into the warm pan. Return the pan to the heat and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.

Put the chicken breasts back into the pan and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the sauce and whisk really well. Sprinkle with the fried capers and lemon slices. Serve over your favorite pasta or rice.

  • Yields: 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes