Capers, cream, dill – what’s not to like? Okay, maybe the dill – it’s a seasoning not meant for everyone. I like dill mixed into cream cheese for a spread or over sautéed vegetables. Dill over salmon with lemons – delicious. But dill on chicken which was then covered in a caper-cream sauce? This was most assuredly going to be a new experience. But then, isn’t that the whole point of life and living? New experiences.
Now I will confess, as I cooked up the sauce, I was tempted to add a splash or two of white wine. It was a real struggle not to reach for that bottle and pour away. I mean, come on now – a cream and caper sauce that didn’t include a little white wine? Yet for whatever reason, I resisted that natural urge. I was afraid that the introduction of wine might steal something away from the dill on the chicken, and I was eager to see what dill might bring to the flavors. If you get the same urge – RESIST! The dill brings so much to the plate – let it have its moment in the sun. Believe me, you will be glad you did.
Kiddo was my assistant in the kitchen. He gathered all the ingredients while I prepared the chicken. The breasts needed to be sliced thin lengthwise – each plump breast becoming two thinner breasts. I’ve become a real pro at thinly slicing my chicken breasts – saving a pretty penny at the grocery store. The cost of a package of “Thin Sliced” breast meat can be as much as twice that of regular breast halves. It seems that “Thin Sliced” equates to a “special cut” – as though a thinner sliced breast is somehow transformed into a special gourmet cut of chicken.
Kiddo read the list of ingredients twice. “Is this right? Just seasoning? No egg wash or breading?” Nope, none of the heavier coatings. Just a sprinkling of seasonings on the meat. The easiest way to sprinkle the seasonings onto the naked chicken is to place the seasoning into the palm of your hand, take a little pinch and rub it between your thumb and finger, letting a little out at a time as you pass over the meat. It gives for a nice, even “sprinkling”. Simple.Even the cream sauce was simple and pure – cream and capers. The “flavor” came from the pan drippings and the brown bits left in the bottom of the pan after the chicken was browned. Yet there was plenty of flavor. Delicious, wonderful flavor from the residue in the pan – browned butter, chicken juices and smokey browned bits of seasoning left behind.One of the best things about this dish is time. In about 30 minutes, you can have a beautiful platter of chicken swimming in a wonderful cream sauce on the table that tastes like you’ve been slaving away over a hot stove for hours. The meat is moist and tender. The sauce rich and flavorful. This dish is company-worthy, fit for the most special occasion. Or just a very tasty way to let your family know how great they are.
Chicken Breasts in a Caper Cream Sauce
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon lemon pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried dill weed, or to taste
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
Split chicken breast lengthwise to create 6 thin breasts. Lay breasts close together on the cutting board.
In a small bowl, combine the seasonings. Sprinkle chicken breasts on both sides with garlic mixture. With the palm of your hand, press the seasoning mixture into the meat.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place breasts in skillet, and increase heat to medium-high. Turn chicken frequently, until brown, about 5-8 minutes. For even browning, rotate chicken as well as turning as it becomes a beautiful golden-brown. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to cook, turning and rotating until breasts are cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes longer. Remove chicken to a warm serving platter, cover with foil and hold in a warm oven.
To the now empty skillet, add cream and increase heat to medium-high. Using a flat wooden spoon continuously stir cream, scraping up any browned bits in the bottom of the skillet. Continue to cook until the cream is reduced to sauce consistency, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in capers.
Remove chicken from oven, uncover and pour cream sauce from the pan over breasts. Serve immediately.
This delicious, creamy chicken dish can be served alongside or over a bed of Simple Linguine with Garlic Butter.