In high school, I was lucky enough to have babysitting jobs because I had a younger sister. The plan of attack was simple : she made friends, I met her friends (and their parents), and they asked me (sometimes) to babysit because I was (naturally) the older and more mature sibling. In reality, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to hang out with my sisters’ friends, as they are all charming with charming younger siblings themselves. Eventually, our families would just merge and become friends. It is from such a friendship that this recipe surfaced. While having a casual dinner over at one such family’s house, we experienced Lemon Caper Chicken. It’s a really simple dish that doesn’t take long to make and it definitely looks fancy…and who doesn’t like looking fancy ? The bite from the lemon and the white wine work well with the sourness (and surprise) of the capers. This recipe will make enough to feed 4 people.
2 tbsp olive oil
4 whole boneless chicken breasts, halved
1 cup of white wine (I used a Chablis but anything will work)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
A little flour (for dredging)
OPTIONAL FIRST STEP : Pound the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap to flatter/tenderize. Place the pieces of chicken into a bowl of flour that has been seasoned with a little salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot (but not smoking! We don’t want the fire alarm to go off…). Add the chicken and cook for about 10 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
Be sure to flip the chicken after about 5 minutes. I always have to cut the chicken in half to make sure it’s no longer pink on the inside – chicken is tricky and you don’t want to risk having not entirely cooked the meat. When done, remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a platter. Cover to keep warm.
Add the wine and lemon juice to the pan and scrape the bottom to remove the brown bits – these will add great flavor to the dish. When you add an acid to the pan, you are deglazing it – dissolving so to speak those bits of delicious protein that stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Bring this mixture to a boil and add the capers. Let simmer for about 2 minutes before whisking in the butter, one piece at a time. Cook over low heat for 1 minutes.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve ! This pairs well with rice, be it risotto or white rice, as a starch. A piece of homemade bread is also welcome, given that the sauce is absolutely heavenly.
Bon appétit !