To make this recipe, you will first need to find yourself some milkweed (showy milkweed for you Coloradans), and make capers. You can find my post about milkweed and my recipe for milkweed capers here. If it is past milkweed season, feel free to substitute other varieties of foraged capers like dandelion capers or pickled wild garlic berries. Alternatively, it is an excellent chicken piccata recipe with store-bought capers, if you don’t have the time or energy to get out and make your own capers.
Piccata is an Italian dish of meat, pounded thin, dredged in flour, and fried in oil. It is typically topped with a lemon and caper sauce made with the remaining oil or butter in the pan. The traditional meat for piccata is veal, though in the United States chicken is more popular.
Chicken piccata has become one of my very favorite dishes to cook. After you have done it once, it is easy, and the results are phenomenal. A one pan dish, easy to throw together, with incredible flavor that will surely please the whole house.
Milkweed Caper Chicken Piccata
2 chicken breasts, sliced in half and pounded thin
Flour to dredge chicken in
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp butter
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup sherry or dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup milkweed capers, drained
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Cut chicken breasts in half and pound thin. I like to pound chicken by placing it between two sheets of saran wrap and hitting it with my fists. A meat tenderizer works, but I am all for low-tech solutions.
Season the cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour and fry in 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat until well browned on both sides, a few minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate to drain and reduce the heat to medium.
Add the garlic and allow it to cook for 30-60 seconds. Do not let it brown. As soon as it begins to brown, add the capers and wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to get up any browned bits.
Add ½ cup chicken broth and cook for 30 seconds. Add 2 tbsp butter and whisk as it melts to incorporate.
Return the chicken to the pan and allow it to cook for around 2 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.
Increase heat to medium-high and cook the sauce around one additional minute to allow it to reduce further.
Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and whisk to mix well. Add salt to taste.
Serve one cutlet per person with a generous amount of sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Crusty bread or pasta on the side will allow you to soak up any additional sauce and is highly recommended.