I generally have capers on hand for one thing and one thing only: bagels and lox. I love bagels and lox, but it is a meal I reserve for special occasions and guests.
But the other day, I was staring at that lone jar of capers on the lazy Susan in my fridge and I realized that I could use them for chicken piccata, which I also love, but have never made.
Well, there will be many homemade chicken piccata meals in my future because it was simple, fast, and delicious. I used a basic recipe from the Joy of Cooking for reference, but I’m jotting down what I did from memory. (There are A LOT of recipes under “C”; besides chicken, there are some other big categories like cookies, Christmas recipes, children, and COCKTAILS.)
A big bonus to peeking in my Joy of Cooking was learning how to properly pan-fry chicken. They referred to chicken breasts, but I usually just get the organic thighs in a 3-pack from Costco. It’s an Asian thing to prefer dark meat…
chicken thighs (the Costco pack is about a pound and contains 4-5 deboned thighs – trim the fat if you can)
flour for dredging (I like to use a pie dish)
salt and pepper
wine or chicken stock (cup or so)
lemon juice (recipe calls for 2-4 T, I juiced two lemons)
capers (a T or more)
1. Salt and pepper the thighs while you get your frying pan good and hot with a bit of oil in it.
2. Dredge each thigh generously and use tongs to place in the HOT oil. Cook for FOUR MINUTES on each side. (Joy of Cooking is very specific about this – and it worked!)
3. Put them on a rack in the oven at 350 to keep cooking/stay hot while you make the sauce.
4. In the same pan over lowered heat, add white wine (or stock), lemon juice, and capers. The actual recipe called for scallions or those other small fancy onions, but I didn’t have any on hand.
5. Serve chicken with grain and veggie of choice (we did rice and roasted onions and cauliflower) and drizzle everything with sauce.