Chicken piccata fo ‘yo’ mama – The Orion


Celebrate Moms! If you’re lucky enough to hang out with yours this Mother’s Day, don’t end with a meager card. All moms love to be liked, and food is a sure-fire way to impress.

The obvious recipe is the quiche, but let’s go beyond brunch and really wow the woman with dinner. Chicken, pasta, butter sauce, capers and white wine is a combination that is hard to resist, especially when you keep a few drinks for mom while she puts her feet up.

I don’t think a history lesson is necessary; we all know why Mother’s Day matters.

Let’s cook.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

For 4 people


Kitchen knife

Cutting board

Plate for flouring the chicken

Something to mash the chicken – I used the bottom of a pint glass; as long as it’s flat it will work

Large frying pan

Measuring cup

Measuring spoons

Wooden spoon


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into a butterfly shape (see note) and mashed to ½ inch thick (see note)

Salt, pepper and paprika for seasoning

All-purpose flour for dredging, about ½ cup

2-3 tablespoons of oil – I used coconut oil because it is healthier

2 tablespoons of capers, drained

1 cup of dry white wine

½ cup of fresh lemon juice

½ cup of water

5-6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into half tablespoon slices (see note)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Lemon to squeeze


Start by determining your side dish. I used pasta, but rice, couscous, or vegetarian noodles are all acceptable; you will need to work around your side dish while you prepare and cook the chicken and gravy.

Get all of your ingredients measured and cut. Once this recipe is launched, it goes quickly.

Season each side of the four chicken pieces with S&P and paprika. If you want it a little spicier, replace the paprika with cayenne pepper.

Put the flour on a plate and coat both sides of the breast halves.

Put the oil in the pan and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil gets hot enough and begins to sparkle, gently place two of the breast halves in and lower the heat to medium. If you have a grease splash screen, now is the time to use it.

After five minutes, flip the breast halves – again, gently – and cook for another five minutes.

Remove the halves, add more oil if necessary and repeat for the other two pieces. Set them aside too.

With the pan still on medium heat, add the capers. Using a fork or wooden spoon, mash about half of it to enhance the flavor. Cook for about 30 seconds.

Add the wine and reduce the amount by half, stirring regularly and scraping the pieces from the bottom of the pan. It should take about two minutes.

Add the lemon juice and water, then the butter.

Lower the heat and cook until the butter melts. Add the parsley.

Return the chicken to the pan to heat it up for a minute or two. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let stand for about five minutes.

Place the chicken on your side dish and scatter the butter mixture evenly, squeezing out a little extra lemon juice to top it off. Repeat for all the chicken pieces, making sure all plates have equal amounts of capers.


Slicey-dicey: To papery the chicken, secure the top of the breast with your hand and start with the thicker side. You’ll really need to get at eye level with the chest, like lining up a photo with a pool cue. Use shallow cuts to get through it, especially if this is a new technique for you.

Pound for pound: When you beat the chicken, cover it with some kind of plastic. I use plastic wrap, but I’ve seen people use resealable bags as well. The goal is not to throw raw chicken particles into your cooking zone. The end result should be chicken breast halves about ½ inch thick. Don’t be overzealous – controlled, firm strokes will get the job done without splitting the breasts or creating holes.

Butter believe it: if you want a thicker sauce, use more butter. I recommend using unsalted butter because of the salt on the chicken and the salty taste of the capers. Remember, you can always add more salt, but you can’t take it out. Butter, after slicing, should be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Distribute the pieces on the pan so that they melt evenly.

Ian Hilton can be reached at [email protected].

Tags: Mother’s Day, chicken piccata, capers, wine, butter

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