Capers add a wonderful flavour to chicken piccata.
Capers add a wonderful flavour to chicken piccata. 123rf

Could this dish be the ultimate chicken caper?

Capers are the flower buds of capparis spinosa, or the caper bush, native to the Mediterranean region. They are widely available preserved in brine, salted or in a mixture of vinegar and salt.

Capers should be rinsed well in fresh water to remove as much salt as possible.

Capers are the principal flavouring of sauce tartare, beloved of devotees of fish and chips.

They are also used in puttanesca pasta, as a seasoning for smoked fish and, as in today's recipe, in a piccata sauce.

This simple dish works equally well with fish, so you can substitute salmon or some other fillets for the chicken.

Adjust the cooking time accordingly because fish cooks faster than chicken.

CHICKEN PICCATA

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

4 boneless chicken breast fillets

1/4 cup plain flour

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup chicken stock

3 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tbsp salted butter

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180C. Slice through chicken breasts diagonally so they are of similar thickness all the way through. Combine flour with salt and pepper in a bowl and coat chicken on both sides, shaking to remove excess.

Heat oil in a frypan and brown chicken pieces on both sides in batches. Transfer to a baking dish and keep warm.

Return pan to heat and add wine, stock, capers, lemon juice and parsley. Deglaze the pan and cook until reduced by half. Whisk in the butter, a little at a time.

Pour over chicken and bake at 180C for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

maggies.column@bigpond.com



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