A relatively simple chicken dish – although it did require two pans – but it was well worth it because the flavors and texture were lovely.
Just so you know – there’s a goodly amount of butter and oil in this dish. Both oil and butter are used to sauté the chicken (that was in one pan) and several tablespoons of butter are added to the lemon caper sauce too (the second pan). Was it worth it? I suppose it depends on how many grams of fat one should consume in a day, or a week. It was spread out over several servings, of course, but my recipe program, MasterCook told me this had 30+ grams of fat per serving. Hmmm. When I saw that I decided to shave a tablespoon of butter off the lemon caper sauce. And I used less oil and butter in the sauté pan too. That brought the fat grams down to 29. Every little bit helps; that’s my motto. But low fat this is not. And those garlic green beans you see in the background? Those aren’t low fat either, although it’s all EVOO, so that’s supposed to be healthy fat, right? We can’t ever seem to get enough of those green beans – we eat them cold, even, as a snack. If you haven’t ever made that recipe, you really should. I make those at least once a month. Maybe once every 3 weeks or so.
Back to the chicken. Delicious. Must be made at the last minute – not a do-ahead meal. But I got everything (just about) ready ahead of time (like pounding the chicken breasts to 1/2 inch, making the fresh bread crumbs, chopping the shallots and measuring out the capers), so all I had to do was dip the chicken in the egg and herbed fresh bread crumb mixture and plop them into the hot pan. After browning, the pan itself went into a 400° oven for about 9 minutes. The recipe says 7-9 minutes. I checked at 7 minutes and they weren’t quite done, but it would depend totally on how thick the chicken was.
Then I made the sauce – fairly easy, really. I made it once the chicken was in the oven, although I’d already minced the shallots ahead of time. The capers were measured out and the cold butter was cubed and chilling. Just don’t let the sauce bubble (boil) or the sauce will break. Keep it just below that temp and add the butter gradually. Then just spoon it over the chicken breasts the moment they come out of the oven. Do serve on hot plates if you can. The recipe came from Phillis Carey‘s chicken cookbook.
What I liked: the crunchy texture of the breading – fresh bread does wonders for making a crispy crunchy topping for fish or chicken. The chicken was perfectly cooked, tender and juicy too.
What I didn’t like: maybe the amount of time to make it, but then it really wasn’t that much. My DH wasn’t very happy with all the pans and dishes, and little mis en place dishes I used (he does the dishes, you see). But it was really delicious, so I think it was worth the time and the dirty bowls and pans!
Fresh Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts with Lemon Caper Sauce
Recipe By: Adapted a little from Phillis Carey, Fast & Fabulous Chicken Breasts, 2005
Serving Size: 4
4 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 whole eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon water
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fresh thyme — minced
1 tablespoon Italian parsley — fresh, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
LEMON CAPER SAUCE:
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons shallots — chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter — chilled, cut into 8 pieces
2 tablespoons capers — drained
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Trim chicken breasts and pound between two sheets of plastic wrap to an even 1/2 inch thickness. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
3. In a shallow bowl or pie plate whisk together the eggs, mustard and water. In another shallow bowl combine the breadcrumbs, thyme and parsley. Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture and then coat with breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere.
4. Melt butter with olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook 2 minutes per side to brown – do not burn. Transfer chicken to a baking sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
5. SAUCE: Combine wine, shallots and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook to reduce the amount to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to very low and add butter, one piece at a time, taking care not to let the sauce bubble. Remove from heat and stir in capers. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed. Pass sauce and spoon over the chicken pieces.
Per Serving: 481 Calories; 29g Fat (58.1% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 221mg Cholesterol; 325mg Sodium.