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Lemon Chicken Breasts with Capers

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Serves 4

  • by from Big Buy Cooking

This sauté takes the traditional flavorings of chicken piccata and turns them outside-in. Boneless chicken breasts are stuffed with capers, lemon zest, and Parmesan. Breadcrumbs are added to help hold the mixture together.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 oz. each)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 4 Tbs. capers, rinsed, drained, patted dry, and chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated, and juiced
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup lower-salt chicken broth

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Make a lengthwise horizontal slice almost all the way through each chicken breast and open each up like a book. Flatten the chicken with a meat mallet until it is 1/4 inch thick. Put the Parmigiano, breadcrumbs, 3 Tbs. capers, lemon zest, and 1 Tbs. parsley in a mini chopper or food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the chicken breasts. Fold each breast closed and secure with toothpicks. Sprinkle the breasts with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.

Heat 1 Tbs. butter and the oil in a large (12-inch), heavy-duty, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until the butter melts and starts to foam, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, without touching, until it browns and easily releases from the pan, about 2 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook the other side until browned, about 2 more minutes.

Add the garlic and the remaining 1 Tbs. capers to the skillet, transfer the pan to the oven, and roast uncovered until the chicken cooks through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part should register 165°F), about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and tent with foil.

Set the skillet over medium-high heat; add the chicken broth, and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits, until it reduces by about half, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 2 Tbs. of the lemon juice and the remaining 2 Tbs. butter. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper if needed. Serve the chicken drizzled with the butter sauce and sprinkled with the remaining 1 Tbs. parsley.

Serving Suggestions

Start the meal with a fresh salad and serve with Spinach & Herb Risotto or Sautéed Broccoli Raab with Balsamic Vinegar.

Photo: Maren Caruso



Fine Cooking never lets me down with a pan sauce recipe! Followed the recipe to a "t" and thought it was perfect. The stuffing stayed "stuffed", the baking time was right on (8 minutes made for perfectly cooked, juicy chicken), the lemon/caper flavors were just right. Great recipe!

Really nice chicken dish that goes well with some many things. If you are gluten-free just substitute raw walnuts for the breadcrumbs. Really delicious!!!!

This was a bit tedious to make but was delicious. I did overcook it a bit trying to get it to 165 degrees and ending up cooking a total of 14 minutes instead of 8.Be careful not to overcook; it was definitely done enough after 8-9 minutes even though my thermometer did not read 165.The filling is superb.My family wanted more sauce so will double it next time.Served with orzo mixed with sauteed mushrooms, onions, zucchini, Parmesan which was great with it.

Looked good, was good. Very easy for the weeknight. This was lovely. I am sure that you could prep some of it a bit ahead of time if expecting guests, but I had some boneless breasts in the frig and was searching for something a little different. My husband did not even notice the generous amount of capers which are not his favorite and I did not have to scramble for some white wine for the sauce.

Impressive results for a moderate amount of effort. Watch the baking time carefully to avoid over-cooking.

I agree with the previous reviews. It is very easy to make and very flavorful. I made it exactly to specifications. I served it with Texmati brown rice since I felt that the combination of flavors would go well with a nuttier grain. They certainly did. The household loved it.

I thought this was a delicious alternative to my Chicken Piccata recipe which is much more fattening. I thought the flavor was great, it was easy to prepare and my family and I loved it. I used panko bread crumbs because that's all I had on hand. I also used lime zest because I had run out of lemons. It was still really good. I didn't have tooth picks either, so I used cooking twine to keep the chicken intact. I will be adding this to my favorites!

its 21st may 2011 from chef d george ihave cooked this dish ifound it verey lite it went well with some backed potato,s asperaguese and side salad finish the evining with poached pears toped with mascarponi yoghurt maserated cranbeeries

This is really delicious and not especially complicated. Between pan-searing the chicken, then baking, then removing to make a pan-sauce, this is probably more steps than I would normally consider for a weeknight meal, even though nothing is particularly hard. But because I had mid-week dinner guests, I went ahead with it anyway, and it is fantastic. Followed the recipe exactly except for using extra parsley, and chicken tenders which I was still able to pound out enough to roll into a stuffed packet.

This is a very flavorful recipe and great for a week night meal but can also be used during a weekend get together - WONDERFUL!!!

This was very easy to make and quite delicious! I didn't have lemons, so I used lime zest and lime juice and it was just wonderful. I will be making this again very soon!

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