So, I have at least one thing in common with the wonderful Kelly Jensen – we both love capers! Kelly is here today with her Chicken Piccata recipe. Capers give a lovely little burst of bright flavor to a dish that I just adore and they will take your chicken-for-dinner to the next level. Don’t forget to scroll down and check out Kelly’s new book, Out in the Blue.
I love capers. They’re super salty and have a really unique flavour. I can eat them straight out of the jar, but prefer adding them to my recipes. Sometimes I add too many and my family makes little piles of them on the sides of their plates. I usually eat those too.
One of my favourite recipes including capers is Chicken Piccata. I didn’t know this particular combination of ingredients actually had an official name until I saw it on a restaurant menu. My first experience of it was at a pot luck luncheon where it was simply referred to as the lemony chicken dish. A couple of years later, I found it on a restaurant menu where the description of lemon and capers sounded familiar. Something was missing, though. There were no artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes and the restaurant didn’t serve it with a heap of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
Over the years, I’ve fiddled with many versions of this recipe. I’ve dropped the sun dried tomatoes because while I adore them, they can overpower the delicate lemon flavour. I always include the quartered artichoke hearts. Their texture really adds an interesting element. I’ve served my Chicken Piccata with rice, pasta and vegetables. I still prefer bread. I always make enough that I have left overs—the sauce thickens overnight and is really yummy the next day.
4 chicken breast halves, sliced lengthwise so you have eight pieces about a quarter inches thick. Alternatively, you can buy the thin sliced or “Fit & Easy” breasts.
salt and pepper
lemon zest (about a teaspoon)
garlic powder and paprika
1/3 cup flour
oil for cooking (enough to slick the bottom of the pan)
½ cup white wine. I always use wine I would drink for cooking. Not something cheap and nasty. The last time I made this recipe I used Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. It worked beautifully.
½ cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts
1 teaspoon of capers
about six to eight thin slices of lemon
Parsley (as a garnish)
Set the oven to 350.
Prepare the chicken (slice it, or just open your handy dandy pre-sliced package). Salt and pepper the breasts and set aside. In either a Ziploc bag or bowl, mix the flour, zest, garlic powder and paprika. Coat the chicken with your seasoned flour.
In a decent sized skillet, heat the oil to a moderate temperature. You want to brown the breasts, but not cook them all the way through—a couple of minutes on each side, and don’t worry about a perfect or even brownness. A light tan will do! Cook the chicken in batches so you have plenty of room to turn them pieces over, then transfer the chicken to an oven proof/casserole dish and set aside.
Add the chicken stock to your still warm pan. Stir past all the stuck-on bits. This is your sauce. Add the wine and continue to cook (bubbling lightly) until the liquid has reduced a little. Add the lemon juice and reduce a little more. Add the capers and artichoke hearts. Heat through for another minute or so.
Put it into the oven and leave it there for about fifteen to twenty minutes. The sauce will thicken a little and the flavour lemon slices will sort of meld with everything else. This recipe is designed to serve four people, two pieces each. Garnish with parsley and don’t forget the bread!
At forty-five, Jared Tailler suddenly feels old. When his employer grounds him, he starts thinking in terms of measuring his coffin. Well, not quite, but he’s creakier and hairier than he was ten years ago, and his closest relationship is the one he has with his frequent-flyer card.
It’s time to get out there.
On the first day of a five-day hiking trip, he meets Finley Macrae, a younger, seemingly brighter man. As they inch together in halting steps, Jared learns he’s not the only one lost out in the blue—Fin’s good cheer hides a turbulence deeper than Jared’s midlife crisis. Maybe together they can find the trail to happiness.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Daily Dose package “Never Too Late.”
Where to Buy Out in the Blue:
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Born in Australia and raised everywhere else, Kelly now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter and herd of four cats. After disproving the theory that water only spins counter-clockwise around drains north of the equator, she turned her attention to more productive pursuits such as reading, writing, writing about reading and writing stories of her own. She also enjoys volunteering at her local library, playing video games and holds a brown belt in Kiryoku, a martial art combining Shotokan, Aikido and Tang Soo Do. Her family is not intimidated by her.
Kelly is the author of a number of novels, short stories, and this bio. She does not consider this bio a seminal work. Her books are much more interesting (and definitely sexier).
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