Lemon Caper Chicken is a classic restaurant recipe you’ll enjoy for a delicious dinner again and again. It’s a healthier version of chicken piccata, made with clean eating (real-food) ingredients!
Chicken and lemon come together in this familiar restaurant classic. Only this time, there’s no butter.
Now before you roll your eyes and click on another lemon caper chicken recipe (a.k.a. chicken piccata), I promise it’s possible to enjoy a sauce without the added butter. I swear. And while this one is a bit different than what you’d get in a restaurant, it’s certainly a good substitute. My family loved it and I hope yours will too.
CHICKEN PICCATA PASTA
Serve this chicken by itself with a side of veggies and rice, or over pasta for a delicious pasta dinner!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN PICCATA
This lemon caper chicken is wonderful with a side of rice and veggies. Serve it over pasta as mentioned above, or with another whole grain such as farro or quinoa. If serving this over pasta, keep a little extra chicken broth on hand in case you want more sauce for the pasta. Potatoes also make a lovely pairing with this dish.
CREAMY CHICKEN PICCATA
If you prefer to make this a creamy dish, you can stir in a small amount of plain yogurt. Just don’t go overboard or the tang of the yogurt and lemon juice together might get a little overwhelming.
WHAT ARE CAPERS?
Capers are the edible, unripened flower buds from the caper bush, Capparis spinose. The bush can be found the Middle East, Central Asia, East Africa, Pacific Islands, and Australia although the origin remains uncertain. (source)
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CAPERS
Capers have a decent dose of vitamin K, folate and magnesium.
Some studies show that capers may possibly help with liver health, blood sugar control and even aid in blood clotting as well as fighting inflammation. (source)
HOW LONG DO CAPERS LAST?
If stored properly, they can last in the fridge up to 1 year. But they must stay refrigerated and be properly sealed in a food-safe container.
ARE CAPERS A VEGETABLE?
No. They are technically a flower bud. The berries are also used.
WHAT TO USE INSTEAD OF CAPERS IN A RECIPE?
The closest thing to capers will be green olives. Chop them small and use them as a substitute.
I will say that this probably isn’t a dish that kids will enjoy. It’s definitely more for adult palates. The lemony tang can be a bit overwhelming for the little ones. When I made this, I cooked a piece of plain chicken on the side for Mini Chef. I served it with potatoes and veggies.
Also, if you prefer the added flavor of butter, you can certainly add a bit here. And if you really want something decadent, you can even add some real cream to the sauce. I wouldn’t go overboard, but it does create a wonderfully creamy sauce. If you choose to add either of the two, do so at the end. Allow everything to cool a bit first, and then stir in the butter or cream. But this recipe is delicious without either. The choice is yours!
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LEMON CAPER CHICKEN RECIPE:
A deliciously healthy chicken picatta recipe!
- 2 1/2 lb. chicken breasts (about 5 boneless, skinless breasts)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tbsp. small capers (drained, soaked for 5 minutes and rinsed - If you can only find large capers, chop them.)
- 2 tbsp. organic cornstarch (or whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1 cup chicken broth (no sugar added, low sodium is best)
- salt to taste after cooking
Place your chicken breasts on a flat work surface. If you prefer to tenderize it, do so now. Season with salt and pepper.
Warm the oil in your skillet and add the chicken to it.
When the chicken is no longer pink on the outside, add half of the lemon juice and continue to cook.
In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, rest of the lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder and capers. Whisk in the cornstarch as well and set aside.
When the chicken is nearly done, pour in the chicken broth mixture and cook until the chicken is done and the liquid has thickened into a nice sauce.
If needed, season with a little extra salt to taste.
Serve over whole grain pasta, rice or with your favorite side dishes.
Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 2/27/12.