Chicken Breasts in Creamy Caper Sauce
|I'm trying my hardest to use up what's in our freezer.. which truly means, I don't have to shop for meat or poultry for a good year or so. Sheesh. I swear, what is it with me and the fear of one day opening the freezer or pantry and NOT finding what I want? I live less than a mile from our grocery store, it's not like I've got to plan for the big trip into the city to buy some chicken or a steak when I want them. But no, God forbid I decide that morning that pork chops sound good for dinner and have to trek allllll the way to the store (2 minutes) to get them. Hubbs doesn't understand my stocking fetish either. I guess that's why he bought 3 freezers?? hehe|
Anyhoo.. getting rid of some chicken breasts sounded good yesterday. In an attempt to try to eat light for a switch and a change, I had hopes to just broil or grill them and serve with a salad. Yeah that lasted until about 3 p.m. I got stuck at work yesterday with no break so I was starving. What's the 2nd worst thing you can do while hungry, besides grocery shop? Go looking for recipes. I found this one, as per usual, on All Recipes. Another 5 star rated recipe with a boatload of reviews. The main reason I chose it was because it had dill in the recipe. I grow dill for pickling green beans, and that's the only recipe I use it for - so I thought using it somewhere else would be a nice change of pace. While making the pan sauce for the recipe, I tasted to adjust seasonings and it was delicious.. I was so happy with the results. The only ingredient that wasn't added yet was the dill - as per my lessons taught from Paula, Emeril, Rachel, Ina and other assorted celebrity chefs, I did not want to add my fresh herb until the end so that I'd get the most out of it. Mmmm 'kay? The sauce was perfect UNTIL I added the dill.. it gave it a twangy not quite right taste, unfortunately. Maybe it's because I like my dill in pickles and green beans? Could I be a dill snob? It smells so damn good it should be delicious in anything, right? Oh well. The recipe is a keeper but next time.. no dill.
By pounding the chicken breasts flat, you cut your cooking time in half and get a more tender bite. The sauce was creamy, with subtle hits of garlic and lemon. The capers lent a salty and slightly fruity taste that made the dish that more special. I served this with my rice pilaf, a recipe I've used for many years and is still the best rice pilaf I've ever had to date.
This is a quick dinner that comes together in a flash and really perks up boring chicken breasts. :D
For the Chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 TBS. butter
2 tsp. grated lemon peel (See note)
4 cloves garlic minced (See note)
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 TBS. capers, drained & rinsed (I didn't rinse mine)
2 tsp. fresh, chopped dill weed (See note)
Place chicken breast in large ziplock bag (unsealed) or between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound until they are about 1/4" thick. Heat oil in a large skillet. Season chicken breasts with salt & pepper, dredge in flour. Fry breasts until golden brown - about 4 minutes each side. Transfer to plate covered in paper towels to drain, cover with foil to keep warm.
In same skillet, add heavy cream, garlic, lemon peel and capers. Whisk until the cream becomes a bit thinner, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in fresh dill. Spoon over chicken breasts.
*Note: The recipe called for lemon/pepper, dried dill weed and garlic powder. - I went with fresh grated lemon peel, fresh dill and cloves of garlic.
For the Rice Pilaf:
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms (or rough chop)
1/4 c. chopped celery or bell pepper (I used red bell pepper)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS. butter
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 3/4 c. chicken stock (If serving with beef, use beef stock)
1 c. rice (your choice on which kind you'd prefer)
In a saucepan, saute onions, garlic, celery or bell pepper for approximately 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute another 3-4 minutes. Stir in rice and stock, season with salt & pepper. Bring to boiling, reduce heat then cover, simmer about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender & liquid is absorbed.
*Note: To add a nutty flavor to the rice, brown lightly in 1 TBS. of butter before beginning recipe.