Chicken Filets with Lemon and Capers

Thursday 17 November 2016

Chicken Filets with Lemon and Capers

Capers are an ingredient that I always, always have either in my larder or in the refrigerator.   I just adore their tangy flavour and the flavour boost they give to dishes that they are used in!  I had never ever heard of them prior to moving over here to the UK. 


Chicken Filets with Lemon and Capers

Mind you I hadn't discovered pizza until my late teens, nor Chinese food!  I had a really limited experience with food when I was growing up. 

 It was all simple but good.  Nothing fancy smancy, and I guess I carried that somewhat into my adulthood . . .  with a few new discoveries along the way, of course!




Capers are the small flower buds of a Mediterranean  shrub called Capparis .  They are picked by hand which means they can be fairly pricey but they're a versatile store cupboard ingredient, and are good for adding a distinctive sour/salty flavour to many savoury dishes.  

Also a little goes a long, long way flavour wise, so they are not a bad investment as they will keep virtually forever in the refrigerator so long as you keep the berries submerged in the pickling liquid if you have bought the pickled ones and salt is a natural preservative so the salted ones keep virtually forever as well.

Really small, peppercorn-sized capers, called 'nonpareille' are available, but the slightly larger ones are more common. Capers are preserved a number of ways - either in salt, wine vinegar, brine or olive oil. The brine-pickled type has the sharpest flavour and is slightly less versatile than the salted type. For a more sophisticated caper flavour, you can try the elegantly stemmed caper berries, which are a little milder and sweeter than the standard type. I have a bottle of those in the larder, which I have yet to use.  

I have become so fond of them that I could eat them all on their own, like a pickle . . .  it is handy to note that if you can't get capers, sour gerkins make a great substitute.

Chicken Filets with Lemon and Capers

They go really well with mild flavoured proteins such as chicken and mild flavoured fish . . .  and they are great in tartar sauce!   They actually help to bring out the best in these things . . .  and when you mix them with lemon, it's a combination that  just goes WOWSA in your mouth!

Chicken Filets with Lemon and Capers

This dish here today is one of my absolute all time favourite chicken dishes.  I could seriously eat it every night of the week . . .  well, maybe not every night, but fairly often anyways!


 Chicken Filets with Lemon and Capers

The chicken is so tender in this . . . because it cooks so quickly and that sauce is just to die for.   Buttery and lemony . . . with just the right amount of salty piquancy!  

I just adore this and I think you will too.  It's quick and easy and just fancy enough to be considered special  . . .  special enough for dinner party fare, I do declare!!


Chicken Filets with Lemon and Capers

*Chicken Filets with a Lemon and Caper Sauce*
Serves 4

This is so impressive, and yet it is quick and simple to make.  The sauce is rich and delicious.  Have all of your ingredients ready before you start and things will run as smoothly as clockwork.

12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces, divided
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
75ml  Chicken stock (1/3 cup
1 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp parsley flakes
Kosher salt
2 heaped dessertspoons of non pareil capers, rinsed and drained

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (or use cutlets)
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
45g  flour (about 1/3 cup)
Salt and pepper
olive oil

8 oz angel hair pasta, cooked and drained  to serve.  

Chicken Filets with Lemon and Capers  

Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally through the middle so that you have 8 fillets.  Put them in a plastic baggie, one at a time and pound lightly to 1/4 inch thickness throughout.  Season liberally all over with salt and pepper.  Mix together the parmesan cheese and flour.  Dredge the pieces of chicken in this until well coated.   Set aside.  

Heat a swirl of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat.   Once it is hot add the chicken and brown well on each side.  (About 3 minutes per side.  Don't overcook)  Remove to a plate and then keep warm in a low oven.  

Add 1 TBS of the butter to the pan.  Reduce the pan to low heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds until fragrant.   Add the chicken stock, sugar, parsley flakes  and lemon juice.  Increase the heat and bring to the boil.  Cook until the liquid is reduced by about half.  Turn the heat down to very low.  Start whisking in the butter a bit at a time, letting it melt before adding more.   The sauce should form a thick silky emulsion.  Stir in the capers.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.  

To serve divide drained pasta between plates.  Top with chicken pieces and spoon sauce over all.  Serve immediately.


  1. I agree, this is my favorite too. You made my mouth water with the beautiful pictures.

  2. my kind of meal..absolutely.

  3. This is probably my favorite chicken recipe I have ever made. The chicken had such a great flavor and so delicious.

    1. Alma, I am so happy you enjoyed this. Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know! xo

  4. Dear Marie,
    This was AMAZING. I made it EXACTLY as you said, and it turned out brilliantly. I was surprised by how fast it cooked. I served it with some fresh asparagus and my wife adored it! I'm learning quite a few cooking tricks from your posts and I enjoy hearing about your life in England, a land I have visited many times, but never have I been to Chester. The closest I ever got was Windemere in the Lakes.

    As always, I have made a donation to thank you for your excellent recipes. I encourage others to do the same. The advice and lessons you give us are priceless.

    1. Hi William. I am pleased that you and your wife enjoyed this dish. It is a real favorite of mine also. I have not made it in a while. Time for me to revisit it methinks! And once again many thanks for your generosity! It is much appreciated.

      I have been to the Lake District many times. It is one of my favorite parts of the country, albeit a bit busy with tourists, but so beautiful. If you ever get over to the U.K. again might I suggest Yorkshire. That is a stunning part of the country, with lots of lovely little villages and beautiful roads that wind through visually breathtaking countryside. Loads of sheep of course, but anywhere rural in the U.K. is going to get you sheep! xo

  5. Dear Marie,
    I did visit York on the same trip I took to Windemere. My wife and I left London by train many years ago with a Britrail Pass (only available outside U.K.) and went to Windemere, Edenborough, York, and then back to London, where we caught the Eurostar train for Paris. I booked it all myself, and the funniest thing was that the travel brochure on the room I booked
    in York said that it was, "Beneath the shadow of the York Minster". Well, it turned out to be a farmhouse 5 miles out of town! I kept the room because the host was cooking a carvery dinner for that night and the smell of the meat was beguiling! We enjoyed the stay, but had to arrange for a traditional black cab to carry us back and forth to York. The old codger of a cabbie (probably much younger than I am now) was happily at my beck and call and told me that the "York minster certainly casts a long shadow!"


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