So I’m kind of going through a thing with capers.
It all started on my birthday weekend in July, when Spencer and I went up to Annapolis and had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. If you’ve never been to a Cheesecake Factory, friends, let me caution you: don’t. It’s so good, fatty, filling and delicious, it will ruin you for every other restaurant. And, um, the cheesecake? Cheesecake, people. In a billion different varieties. But if you’re going for dessert, you should skip the whole meal thing altogether. By the time you’re done plowing through your massive entree, any space in your belly for cool, scrumptious cheesecake will have been invaded by meatloaf.
On this particular evening, riding high off a solitary strawberry margarita in honor of the 25th anniversary of my birth, I ordered a chicken piccata dish. On a whim. Because it featured a lemon and caper sauce and, well, that sounded good.
So I ordered it. Spencer and I chatted and made moony, lovey faces at each other. I drank more of my margarita.
And then my chicken piccata came.
And I ate it.
And it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever had in my life.
Was it the perfectly-cooked chicken dripping in the lemon herb reducation? Or maybe the mushrooms — wow, I love mushrooms. Perhaps it was the tender pasta drenched in all that delicious sauce, or . . .
Yes, yes, it was the capers. Totally the capers.
Since I’ve been getting more interested in cooking lately, as we all know, and have had some successes, I decided earlier this week I would whip this one up with Spencer, my favorite sous chef. (Yeah, right — I’m totally his sous chef. Especially since I spend more time taking pictures of dinner than making it.)
After discovering this recipe for Chicken Scallopine over at The Pioneer Woman, one of my favorite blogs, we went to work. And everything went swimmingly! Aside from a mishap wherein I dropped the jar of capers (eek), our stove wouldn’t get hot enough to reduce the white wine (another eek) and our linguine became sticky from sitting too long while the chicken fried (our fault for boiling it too quickly), it was delicious — and relatively simple.
I’d recommend it — especially if you’re all into capers, like I am. Though the recipe calls for a “heaping teaspoon” of the delicious little pickled buds, I could have happily added the entire jar to our pan.
And next time? I’ll be doing just that.
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
1 pound Linguine
6 whole Boneless, Skinless, Trimmed Chicken Breasts
Salt And Pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons Butter
12 ounces, weight White Mushrooms, Sliced Thin
1 cup Dry White Wine
Chicken Broth (optional)
1 whole Lemon
½ cups Heavy Cream (can Use Half-and-Half)
1 teaspoon (heaping) Capers
Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
Parmesan Cheese, For Topping
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Flatten chicken breasts to uniform thickness. Salt and pepper both sides, then dredge in flour. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Throw mushrooms into the pan and stir. Immediately pour in wine and chicken broth (optional), and then squeeze juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon. Stir to deglaze the pan, and then cook vigorously for 1 minute, until sauce reduces.
Pour in cream and stir, then add capers and parsley and stir. Turn off heat. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Don’t under salt!
Place pasta and chicken on a platter and top with every last drop of sauce. Generously sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over the top.