Palate Pleasers

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Lemon Caper pan sauce

Posted on: January 22, 2010

Move over Julia Childs!  I took a cooking class from a local gourmet grocer in Long Beach and this is one of the recipes that we made.  It has become one of my favorite dishes to make.  I love the sauce – butter, cream, capers, lemon – what’s not to love?  For this recipe I needed a Stainless steel pan which I didn’t have.  I had non-stick and cast iron, but nothing like what was needed for this recipe.  So, I found an All-Clad Stainless Steel Saute’ Pan to add to my collection of pots & pans.  If you know anything about Stainless Steel, All-Clad or Williams Sonoma, you know that it was a small fortune to purchase the pan, but since we were moving into a new home, I considered it a house-warming gift to myself.  There are so many things that I can make with this pan – it was easily justifiable and Mike and I have continued to enjoy the delicious meals I have created with it.  It was worth every penny! 


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed, halved vertically and pounded to 1/4 inch thick.

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 shallot, sliced thinly

1 Tbsp flour

3/4 cup dry white wine**

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp chopped capers

1 Tbsp chopped parsley

3 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)

3 tbsp cold butter, diced.

Slice breast in half horizontally (thin out by cutting in half) Pat chicken dry with paper towels.  Season both sides of each cutlet with salt & pepper.  Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a 12-inch sauté pan or skillet over medium heat.  When oil is very hot, place 4 cutlets in skillet and cook without moving them until they are browned, about 2-3 minutes.  Turn cutlets and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Transfer cutlets to an over safe plate or platter, cover loosely and repeat procedure with remaining cutlets (if any).  Cover all cutlets to keep warm and make sauce.

SAUCE: If there is no oil in the pan after cooking the cutlets, add a drizzle up to 1 Tbsp.  In the same pan on medium heat, add shallots (or onion) and cook until softened, about 2-4 minutes.  Add flour and cook, stirring about 1 minute – do not burn.  Deglaze with wine, broth and add garlic.  Reduce by about half on high heat scrapping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any of the brown bits into the liquid.  Remove from heat and pour any extra juices that accumulated under the chicken.  Whisk in remaining ingredients, check seasonings of sauce with a spoon and serve chicken with sauce poured over the top.

**COOKs NOTE:  So, the reason for the Stainless Steel pan or something similar is for the scrapping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the brown bits into the liquid.  You can’t do this with a non-stick skillet.  In addition, I also prepare & pre-cut everything ahead of time and have it all ready to put into the sauce.  The process goes fairly quickly once you start it.   I also use fresh Italian Parsley and a fresh lemon and I definitely use the heavy cream.  It was suggested that Sauvignon Blanc is the best cooking wine since it has “neutral” flavors – I used a dry chardonnay and it was just as good.  Once it was ready, I put the chicken on a platter and then poured the sauce over it and added some parsley for the presentation.  It was amazing!**



1 Response to "Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Lemon Caper pan sauce"

That’s interesting about the type of skillet. Seems like the nonstick pan would be able to brown it AND release the brown bits. But I’ll take your word for it. I’d actually like to get some stainless steel cookware but, as you mentioned, the good stuff is VERY expensive!

This recipe incorporates on of my favorite flavor combinations: chicken, wine, and lemon. GREAT combination!

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