Chicken Piccata with Fried Capers
When Jake and I made this again recently to update the photos, I was tempted to use a lot more capers than the recipe called for! I restrained myself, but if you love capers like I do, go ahead and use a bit more.
Capers are not berries, but the unopened green flower buds of the Capparis spinosa. They have an astringent sharp flavor, and are used a lot in Mediterranean cooking. Capers must be picked by hand, which makes them expensive. They’re sold pickled or salted, and both types are often rinsed. Read more about how to use capers at The Perfect Pantry, where Lydia does such a great job of helping us learn about the ingredients we’re using.
Trim chicken breasts and cut in half to make two same-size pieces; then pound with a meat mallet (or something heavy) to make 1/2 inch thick cutlers. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Chop the parsley and garlic, and rinse the capers and pat dry.
Heat the olive oil in frying pan, add capers and cook until they open slightly and crisp a bit, about 90 seconds. Transfer capers to a paper towel and add chicken to the pan. Cook chicken over medium-high heat until it’s nicely browned on both sides and cooked through, then transfer to a plate. (You can cover them to keep warm if you prefer.) While chicken cooks get the chicken stock, butter, and lemon juice measured and ready to go.
Add garlic to the pan and cook about 30 seconds. Then add the stock and scrape to remove all the browned bits, cooking a few minutes until the stock is slightly reduced. Stir in the lemon juice (with sweetener if desired), then turn off the heat and add the butter, stirring until it’s melted into the sauce. Add half the capers and all the parsley to the sauce.
Pour sauce over the chicken, then garnish with the rest of the capers and parsley and serve hot, with extra lemon to squeeze on at the table please! This would be great with Roasted Asparagus with Garlic and The Best Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese for a low-carb meal.
And just for historical purposes, here’s the original photo of this recipe which isn’t bad at all for those days!
Chicken Piccata with Fried Capers
(Makes 2-3 servings, but could easily be doubled if you have a larger pan. Recipe adapted slightly from Fine Cooking Annual.)
2 or 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T nonpareil capers (or a little more if you love capers as much as I do)
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to season chicken
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning (optional)
1-2 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock (or use canned chicken broth, but be sure it’s low sodium)
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sweetener of your choice (optional; if you like lemon you probably don’t need any sweetener)
1-2 T butter, cut up into several pieces
1 T chopped fresh parsley
Rinse the capers and pat dry with paper towels. In a 12-inch nonstick frying pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. (I used my Green Pan, which worked well for this recipe.) When oil is hot, add capers and fry until they open slightly and crisp a little, took 60-90 seconds for me. Remove pan from heat and use a spoon to transfer capers to paper towel, letting the oil drip back into pan.
Get oil hot again, then saute chicken on top side until nicely browned, about 3-4 minutes. Turn over and cook on other side until chicken is done, probably only 1-2 minutes on the second side. Arrange chicken on serving dish with the most browned side facing up. (You can cover them to keep warm if you want, but I didn’t and they were fine.)
While chicken browns, measure out chicken stock, garlic, butter, and lemon juice (plus sweetener if using) so they’re ready. Add garlic to hot pan and saute 15-30 seconds. Add chicken stock, and scrape pan to dissolve browned bits. Cook until stock is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice (and sweetener if using), then turn off heat and add butter, stirring until butter is melted. Add half of capers and parsley to sauce, then pour sauce over chicken, garnishing with remaining capers.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This recipe which doesn’t have any flour is great for low-carb or low-glycemic diet plans. Butter isn’t recommended for the South Beach Diet, but I think the small amount of butter here is important for flavor. I would eat this for any phase of the South Beach Diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Look What Else Tastes Great with Capers:
Deviled Eggs with Green Olives, Capers, and Dijon ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Cauliflower with Pancetta, Capers, and Parmesan ~ A Veggie Venture
Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Olive-Caper Sauce ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Leon’s Caper and Anchovy Miracle Sauce ~ Nom Nom Paleo