COULD THIS DISH BE THE UL­TI­MATE CHICKEN CA­PER?

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | FOOD & WINE - WEEK­END COOK WORDS: MAG­GIE COOPER mag­gies.col­[email protected]­pond.com

Capers are the flower buds of cap­paris spinosa, or the ca­per bush, na­tive to the Mediter­ranean re­gion. They are widely avail­able pre­served in brine, salted or in a mix­ture of vine­gar and salt.

Capers should be rinsed well in fresh wa­ter to re­move as much salt as pos­si­ble.

Capers are the prin­ci­pal flavour­ing of sauce tartare, beloved of devo­tees of fish and chips.

They are also used in put­tanesca pasta, as a sea­son­ing for smoked fish and, as in to­day’s recipe, in a pic­cata sauce.

This sim­ple dish works equally well with fish, so you can sub­sti­tute salmon or some other fil­lets for the chicken. Ad­just the cook­ing time ac­cord­ingly be­cause fish cooks faster than chicken.

CHICKEN PIC­CATA

Serves 4

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

4 bone­less chicken breast fil­lets

1⁄4 cup plain flour

Salt and pep­per, to taste

3 tbsp olive oil

1⁄2 cup white wine

1⁄2 cup chicken stock

3 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tbsp chopped pars­ley

2 tbsp salted but­ter

METHOD

Pre­heat oven to 180C. Slice through chicken breasts di­ag­o­nally so they are of sim­i­lar thick­ness all the way through. Com­bine flour with salt and pep­per in a bowl and coat chicken on both sides, shak­ing to re­move ex­cess.

Heat oil in a fry­pan and brown chicken pieces on both sides in batches. Trans­fer to a bak­ing dish and keep warm.

Re­turn pan to heat and add wine, stock, capers, lemon juice and pars­ley. Deglaze the pan and cook un­til re­duced by half. Whisk in the but­ter, a lit­tle at a time.

Pour over chicken and bake at 180C for 10 min­utes, or un­til cooked through.

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