Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Recipe for Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Sage and Capers

These Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Sage and Capers are easy for a work-night dinner.

(Updated with improved and step-by-step photos, March 2012.)  I first posted this recipe for Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Save and Capers back in 2005, when I made it for a quick after-work dinner after a busy day teaching school.  I'd had it on my list of recipes needing updated photos for quite a while, so when I recently found myself with two chicken breasts thawed in the fridge and thinking about something for dinner, it was a win/win decision to cook it again.  I made this when it was nearly dark outside, so I used my Lowel Ego Lights to take the photos, and although I prefer natural light, I'm happy with the new photos compared to what I took in 2005 with the little point and shoot camera I had then.  Best of all, I liked the chicken as much as I did the first time, and this was a great dinner.

I found this recipe originally in a cookbook called Lose Weight the Smart Low-Carb Way, and the recipe called for butter stirred into the sauce at the end.  To make it more South Beach friendly, I reduced the amount of butter the first time I made this, and this time I skipped the flour and just browned the chicken in olive oil.  The recipe does have a tiny bit of cornstarch, an ingredient I use very sparingly, but it's such a small amount that I wouldn't worry about it.  When I make this again I might make a tiny bit more sauce, so I'll make a note of that in the recipe.

Trim all visible fat from the chicken breasts and then put them one-at-a-time into a heavy plastic bag and pound until the chicken is an even 1/4 inch thick.

Mix the chicken stock and capers and the cornstarch and water so they're ready to go as soon as the chicken is done.

Season the chicken on both sides with rubbed sage, Vege-Sal (or salt), and black pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan and saute chicken until it's nicely-browned on the first side, about 3-4 minutes.

Then turn and cook about 3 minutes more on the second side.  (Chicken will feel firm, but not hard to the touch when it's done.)

Remove chicken to a serving plate, add the stock and capers, and cook about 2 minutes, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Then whisk in the cornstarch-water mixture and cook about 1 minute more, until sauce starts to thicken.  Add 2 tsp. butter and stir until it's melted into the sauce.  Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

And here's the original photo of this dish that I took with my point-and-shoot camera back in 2005!

Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Sage and Capers
(Makes 2 servings; recipe adapted from Lose Weight the Smart Low-Carb Way.)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade (or more; see note at the end of the recipe)
1 T rinsed capers
about 1/2 tsp. Vege-Sal (vegetable seasoned salt) or salt
about 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
about 1/2 tsp. dried rubbed sage
2-3 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cornstarch mixed into 2 tsp. cold water
2 tsp. butter (or margarine)

Trim all visible fat and membranes from chicken breasts, then place one at a time in a heavy plastic bag and pound until 1/4 inch thick. (Don't worry if the chicken changes shape, getting it an even thickness is what's important.) Mix chicken stock and capers in small bowl. Mix cornstarch and water in small measuring cup.

Rub both sides of chicken with Vege-Sal or salt, pepper, and sage.  Use a frying pan which will hold the chicken without crowding. Heat pan, then add olive oil and heat again. When oil is hot, add chicken and saute over medium heat until chicken is well browned on both sides and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.  (The chicken is done when it feels firm but not hard if you press on it with a finger.)

Remove chicken to serving plates and add stock and caper mixture to pan, scraping the bottom to get any browned bits. Cook 2 minutes, stir in cornstarch mixture and cook about 1 minute more. Stir in the 2 tsp. butter until it's melted into the sauce. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Recipe Note:  I wouldn't have minded a little more of the flavorful sauce with this recipe so next time I might use 2-3 T more chicken stock, another tsp. of capers, and a tiny bit more cornstarch.

South Beach Suggestions:
This recipe uses a tiny bit of butter and cornstarch, both of which are not really recommended for the  South Beach Diet, but the amount used of these ingredients is so small that I wouldn't worry about it.  I would probably eat this for Phase 2 or 3 though, so I could have rice to go with the extra sauce.

More Delicious Ideas with Chicken Breasts:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Chicken Breasts with Cilantro and Red Thai Curry Peanut Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Pan-Grilled Chicken with Green Olive, Caper, and Lemon Relish from Kalyn's Kitchen
Game Changing Lemon Chicken Breasts from More Than Burnt Toast
Chicken with Mango Barbecue Sauce from The Perfect Pantry
Chipotle Chicken with Creamy Spinach from Andrea Meyers
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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More to Chew On:


  1. I think I've been turned on to capers recently. I've been seeing so much of them..served with sole, talapia, and now chicken!?! yummmmy! will have to try this recipe. i'm drooling at work now :(

  2. Hi Kalyn--Thanks for visiting to comment on my lemon ricotta muffins. And alas about the low-carb thing. Well, funny thing is, I don't eat meat, and a lot of your recipes are meat, but I do enjoy visiting your kitchen. Hope I can keep you visiting my decidedly high-carb kitchen too! You KNOW we have other things in common, LOL!

  3. Isn't that a lot of capers? But no prob. I like capers. (Hi Mona.)
    Lisa, how funny you're reading the meat-centric Kalyn. Have you been to MeatHenge yet?

  4. This is just too funny. All my commenters "know" each other and comment on each other's comments.

    By the way, everyone should read Meathenge. Not only is he a fabulous cook, but he is great at fixing stoves (even over the internet). This man changed my life.

  5. This looks so good! I love the combination of sage and capers, you really can't ever go wrong there.

  6. Thanks, and I agree completely, such a great combination.

  7. I love seeing the old photos along with your updated ones. For the past 6 months or so, I haven't used my Ego lights at all, but I actually like the photo results when I do use them, and it's so practical to photograph at night when you're cooking dinner -- instead of cooking dinner in the morning just to get a good photo.

  8. Lydia, I have really gotten out of the habit of using the Lowel lights too, but when I see these photos I think I should try to use them more when it's dark outside.

  9. Made this last night. It was so tasty and easy peasy. Question: If I were to make this for 6 it would take at least three pans and more space on my stovetop than I have. Could I make the chicken in batches and keep warm in the oven?

  10. Yes, I think you could cook the chicken in batches and keep it warm. Be careful about overcooking if you're going to be keeping it warm though, since it will continue to cook a little in the oven.

  11. Thanks for the mention Kalyn, Ina's recipe for Lemon Chicken is perfect for a light meal and fits in perfectly with your theme here at Kalyns Kitchen.

  12. Val, my pleasure. I thought it sounded so good!


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