Chicken Breasts in a Caper Cream Sauce

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.

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Chicken Piccata – Mema Style

Oh my goodness, I am at a complete loss for words! Here I’ve been inviting you into my kitchen since February, I’ve shared over 200 recipes and yet I failed to rave about one of my favorites – Chicken Piccata. Well, that’s going to be set straight right now!

This trusted recipe has been in my collection for more years than  I care to count.  I found the original recipe in one of those Fundraiser Cookbooks, and immediately set about the task of tweaking it to our liking.  The addition of sliced red onions gives the sauce a pink hue that lends a layer of color to the dish.  This is one of my favorite recipes for good reason . . .  It travels well. It can be increased easily to accommodate large crowds.  It’s been a proven success at dinner parties and potlucks alike. And if those aren’t reasons enough, this dish has always been a huge hit with everyone – young – old – picky eaters and those who will eat anything.

Chicken Piccata is the perfect go-to recipe when entertaining because it holds well in a warm oven, giving plenty of time to clean up the kitchen before guests arrive.  I like to serve it with steamed asparagus and Angel Hair Pasta tossed with a little garlic-butter.  A threesome made in heaven.

Chicken Piccata – Mema Style
6 boneless, skinless THIN-cut chicken breasts
6 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
4 Eggs
2 cups Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided in batches
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup white wine
2 ½ tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
1 large red onion, sliced into rings
1 large lemon, cut into 6 thin slices
¼ cup Butter

Tip: It’s best to use THIN sliced chicken breasts; that way you are good to go and there won’t be the need to take your frustrations out on the chicken.  However; if using plump boneless breasts, you’ll need to get them thin – no more than 1/4″ inch thick.  This can be accomplished one of three ways – get your butcher to do it.  Take the chicken home; freeze it until firm, then slice it yourself (much like a butterfly cut only all the way through. Three breast cut in half will give you the six you need).  OR you can beat the heck out of the poor breasts.  To do this, place the breasts; one at a time; between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the flat end of a meat mallet.  Just be careful that the flesh doesn’t tear.

Whisk Dijon mustard and eggs in a glass pie pan. Place bread crumbs in another pie pan.  Set pans aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While pan heats, dip chicken into mustard mixture. Allow any excess to drip back into the pie pan. Then roll breast into bread crumbs. Add chicken to skillet and cook for 3 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through. You will want to cook the chicken in two batches to avoid over-crowding of the pan.

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Remove the chicken to a baking dish large enough to hold all the chicken and Piccata sauce. Keep warm in a 300-degree oven. Add remaining olive oil to skillet. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts – dip; bread and brown. Place in oven to keep warm.

To the now empty skillet; add chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, capers, butter, salt, pepper and red onions to skillet. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until onions are tender.

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Remove chicken from oven and pour sauce over the breasts. Arrange lemon slices on top of chicken. Cover chicken with foil, return to the oven until ready to serve. It’s best to allow chicken to sit in liquid for at least 15 minutes to soak in flavors before serving. 

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Note: This chicken is now ready to travel if you like. Keep covered until ready to serve. If necessary, reheat in a low oven for 10 minutes or so before serving.

 

Chicken Breast in Lemon-Butter-Caper Sauce over Pasta

I’ve been striving to take back my Sundays, to make something special and wonderful for supper. It hasn’t been easy, but somehow we are managing to reclaim our weekends as mush as possible. In the winter, you are so caught up in all the holiday festivities that you hardly have time to catch your breath. In the spring, long drives in the country call out to you. In the fall, there are harvest festivals galore. Busy all the time! When you love to cook, it’s frustrating to narrow your passion to one night a week. Sundays are my one night to shine.

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