Cooking has been one of my hobbies ever since I was a child, and I have fond memories of baking and cooking with my mother during holidays or on the weekends when I was young. Although I do not have the time recently to cook as often as I would like, I still have many recipes stored away in my head that I enjoy making. I wouldn’t say that they are old family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, but my mother and I often make them together. Actually, we never really follow recipes (unless we are baking!). Instead we tend to eyeball measurements and adjust the dish to suit our own tastes. The recipe I would like to talk about today is ‘Lemon Caper Chicken’.
I believe the actual name for ‘Lemon Caper Chicken’ is technically ‘Chicken Piccata’, but the former is what my mother always calls it. This is one of my favorite chicken dishes because it has a strong, fragrant flavor, and the saltiness of the capers goes well with the lemon-butter wine sauce. It’s also fairly simple to make and doesn’t involve much prep work, so it’s a great dish to throw together on a busy weeknight. The ingredients you need for this dish are: chicken breasts, butter, white wine, capers, lemon juice, butter, and salt and pepper.
First, my mother and I start by seasoning the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and place the chicken in the pan. Once the first side becomes a nice golden color, flip the breasts and cook the other side. You can allow the chicken to finish cooking, remove it (and keep it warm), and then make the sauce separately, but usually to save time I start the sauce as the chicken is still cooking. In my opinion, this also makes the meat more flavorful, even though it’s not the proper way!
To start the sauce, melt a considerable amount of butter in the pan and add in the lemon juice to taste. Then, add in some white wine and the capers (once again to taste). If the chicken is still in the pan, make sure to spoon the sauce over the breasts as it simmers, and you can cover the pan as well to lock in moisture. Once the sauce thickens up, you are ready to serve the dish! If you cooked the chicken fully first and put it off to the side, you can simply pour the sauce over the chicken after plating it.
I strongly recommend making mashed potatoes as a side to this dish. In fact, you can spoon leftover sauce over the potatoes! When you begin to mash your potatoes, I suggest adding butter, milk, and a little bit of cream cheese to make them especially creamy. The creaminess of the potatoes complements the chicken well and mashed potatoes really soak up the flavor of the sauce. Please tell me if you try to make or have made this recipe!
pass down (phr. v) – to give to a successor (ex: from an older generation to a younger one)
eyeball (v) – to guess or estimate an amount visually
throw together (phr. v) – to put together quickly or without too much effort
considerable (adj.) – rather large in size
to taste (exp.) – to your individual preference; (as much or as little) as you like