Monday, November 22, 2010

Love those capers!

I love capers, with all their salty greatness, which is a bit surprising since I rarely over-salt anything. But capers, ah capers, with their tangy lemony flavor. There really is something special about these little green pearls, the ripened flower buds of Capparis spinosa, a prickly, perennial plant.

The following recipe is something I have been making for years, but recently forgot all about it. I just came across it in my recipe files this weekend when I was searching for Thanksgiving recipes. I smiled when I looked at the recipe card. Yes, this recipe is just that good. And it's a snap to throw together and really quite good for you. Guess what we're having for dinner tomorrow night?

Lemon Chicken with Capers
3 medium lemons, thinly sliced and seeded
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 Tblsp. drained capers, rinsed
2 tsp. butter
3 Tblsp. chopped fresh parsley, divided

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place lemon slices on paper in a single layer. Brush the lemon slices with 1 teaspoon oil. Roast the lemons until slightly dry and beginning to brown around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cover chicken with plastic wrap and pound with a rolling pin or heavy skillet until flattened to a thickness of about half an inch. Sprinkle the chicken with pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish and dredge the chicken to coat both sides; shake off excess.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in capers. Boil until the liquid is reduced to the consistency of syrup, 5 to 8 minutes, turning the chicken halfway. Add the roasted lemons, butter, 2 tablespoons parsley, and more pepper, if desired; simmer until the butter melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve. Makes 4 servings.

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