Friday, September 9, 2011

Lemon Chicken with Artichokes & Capers: gourmet in 30 minutes

Here's an easy, delicious chicken recipe from my standard repertoire. It's quite similar to chicken piccata. Capers and artichoke hearts add a nice counterpoint to the heartiness of breaded chicken, while lemon juice and white wine add freshness and balance.  This one is perfect for nights when I only have 30 minutes to get dinner on the table, but want a gourmet-quality meal. 


1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts 
1/3 cup flour
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
juice of one lemon (approx 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, quartered (packed in water not oil)
1/4 cup capers, drained


1.  Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts flat and thin (approx 1/4" thick). Cut into 4-6 medium sized pieces. (Note: this allows the chicken to cook quickly so the breading doesn't get soggy.)

2.  Combine the flour, garlic powder, paprika, and lemon zest in a shallow bowl. 

3.  Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture.  

4.  Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan over medium heat.

5.  Cook the chicken in the oil, 2 minutes per side, until just browned. Remove to a plate.

6.  Add the chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, and butter to the pan. Bring to a simmer.  

7.  Add the chicken back into the pan and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, until cooked through.

8.  Add the capers and artichoke hearts, cooking for 1 more minute until heated.  

When I have a little extra time, I use the leftover white wine and chicken broth to make a simple risotto. (You can read how to make risotto here. Skip the herbed tomato topping and use the same white wine used for the main dish. Don't have shallots? Use a little bit of onion instead.)  Otherwise, I serve the chicken with rice or cous cous. Add a simply steamed green veggie such as zucchini or asparagus to make this a complete meal. 


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