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Lemon Chicken Breasts with Capers

Maren Caruso

Servings: 4

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.

This recipe is excerpted from Big Buy Cooking.


  • 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

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 370
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 170
  • Fat (g): 19
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 125
  • Sodium (mg): 740
  • Carbohydrates (g): 9
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 39


  • 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.

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


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Reviews (16 reviews)

  • tchunter | 08/13/2021

    Not great. The breadcrumbs made the filling soggy. Regular chicken picatta is much better.

  • kathymuscato | 04/17/2021

    Very tasty. Used skewers instead of toothpicks which made them easier to find and remove. Served with sautéd garlic and escarole with a splash of lemon, and steamed green beans. Even the 7-year-old was impressed.

  • Bquart | 04/23/2019

    I thought this was very good and I didn't even add the capers!! I was wondering re adding some wine (as a previous reviewer mentioned) but the sauce was very good, rich and gravy-like. Very delicious. (I had a bit of trouble removing toothpicks afterwards but it may have been how I put them in.)

  • choffman | 04/08/2018

    I rolled the chicken rather than folding it to better fit into my pan. Also added a splash of white wine to the pan sauce (little for the pan, little for the cook). Served over steamed spinach with roasted carrots on the side. Delish.

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