Writer and photographer Monica Longenbaker

[dropcap]E[/dropcap]njoy a restaurant-worthy meal at home in less than 30 minutes with this recipe for Chicken Piccata. The chicken is pan-fried, then topped with a zesty lemon butter caper sauce, delivering loads of flavor without breaking the bank. Pair the chicken with mashed potatoes, pasta or rice and a crisp glass of white wine.

Chicken Piccata
Yield: 4 servings

¼ cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half or
4 chicken cutlets (about 1.5 lbs)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup white wine (optional)
¾ cup chicken stock, low sodium
3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
juice of 1 lemon (about 2
2 tablespoons butter, cold
1 teaspoon parsley, minced

Spread the flour onto a plate. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then dredge lightly in the flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Gently place the chicken into the skillet and sear on both sides until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Depending on the size of the skillet, this may need to be done in batches. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine (if using) and chicken stock. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. This will help flavor the sauce. Stir in the capers.

Place the chicken back into the pan and simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce has reduced by half. Remove the chicken to a serving platter.

Add the lemon juice to the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat, then add the cold butter. Swirl the sauce gently until the butter is melted and the sauce has thickened.

Pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.