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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.


Rate or Review


  • 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.

  • SoCo18 | 08/11/2017

    Amazing. Made it with crispy roasted potatoes for a date night. The stuffing was a little on the salty side though so next time I would wash the capers even more and maybe decrease the quantity of cheese. The sauce was amazing although it separated after sitting out a bit. Will be tweaking some more and adding this dish to my rotation.

  • MidwesternFoodie | 04/07/2014

    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!

  • Artzee2 | 06/06/2013

    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!!!!

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