Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chicken w/Capers and Red Peppers

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I made dinner from a recipe in Everyday Food. What was listed as Chicken with Artichokes and Capers became Chicken with Roasted Red Peppers and Capers. It was very delicious, simple, filling and easy!

Let's get started.

I purchased the pre-sliced chicken cutlets from the store this time around because I knew that I wasn't going to have as much time to prep the chicken for this dinner. This is fine, but normally I like to save money and just buy a large pack of chicken breasts and slice them myself. But in a pinch this works.

You cover the cutlets in a light coating of flour and seasoning. This is done for two reasons. One, the flour provides a slight bit of protection to the chicken, from the heat of the pan. Two, and perhaps more important, the flour helps to create more fond in the bottom of the pan. If you look at the picture above, you will see where the previous cutlet was in the pan. It left some bits and pieces in the pan. When you add liquid to the pan, that fond will dissolve and help to create a lovely sauce. The bit of flour in the fond will provide a little bit of help in creating a sauce with a little more body.

This photo made me think that this recipe would work swimmingly with fillets of fish as well!

After the chicken has cooked, you add some chicken broth and simmer to reduce by half. The reduced sauce is then brought to life by the addition of capers and in my substitute version, roasted red peppers. The minute I got home from my grocery store, I started roasting my red pepper. If you aren't comfortable with roasting your own peppers, I suppose you can used jarred peppers. When you turn off the heat, you add some butter to enrich the sauce and a small handful of chopped parsley for more green flavor and garnish.

Serve chicken and sauce with angel hair pasta. Buttery and acidic with strong, bright flavors from the capers and sweetness from the peppers. Yum. I think I like this a little better than the standard Chicken Piccata. I'm not sure that's an argument that will win in our house, but it's is certainly a great dish that I will make again!

Chicken with Capers and Roasted Red Peppers
inspired by Everyday Foods Chicken with Artichoke Hearts and Capers

2-4 Chicken Cutlets
1/2 cup of flour
Salt & Pepper
1-2 TB olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 roasted red pepper (or 1/2 to 1 cup jarred roasted red peppers)
2 TB small capers, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Angel hair pasta

This recipe can move fast, so have all your ingredients prepped before you begin.

On a plate or in a small bowl, mix the flour with salt & pepper. You can use additional seasoning if you like (a pinch or two or dried thyme and/or cayenne pepper). Coat the cutlets in the flour and shake off excess.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil. Carefully place the cutlets in the pan. Work in batches if necessary. Leave the cutlets in the pan until they nicely browned on one side, then flip to the other. Remove to a warm plate and continue with the next batch if you need to.

At this point, I added the dried pasta to boiling water to cook. The pasta took five minutes to cook and the sauce cooked in about 6 minutes. Near perfect timing.

To the frying pan, pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil in the pan. Scrape up any browned bits (fond) in the bottom of the pan. Allow to reduce by half. Add the roasted red peppers and capers. Turn off the heat and add the butter and parsley. Stir until the butter is melted. Return the cutlets to the pan and coat in the sauce.

Plate your cooked pasta and serve the chicken and sauce. Enjoy, I certainly did!!!


Dancer in DC said...

I did like this, but I don't think it can surpass a picatta for me. The parsley was a little assertive, so I think I would cut back on that a touch.

All that being said, I ate a huge mound of pasta and loved it.

Mia said...

Your native Californian friend made this recipe with the artichokes and it was super yummy! The leftovers heated up nicely today for lunch, too. :)