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16 Mar

Chicken in Buttery Caper Sauce

Chicken in Buttery Caper SauceThe star of this recipe is a simple sauce with bold, memorable flavor. Three easy ingredients – capers, parsley, butter – plus one secret ingredient (the brine from the caper jar) come together into a rich and piquant sauce that will have you licking the plate.

The caper sauce pairs really well with chicken; in this case, boneless, skinless breasts pounded thin to reduce the cooking time to just 6 minutes. However, if you have a little more time on your hands the sauce can certainly be served with thicker skin-on breasts or thighs, a pork chop or tenderloin, a pan-seared fillet of fish or roasted vegetables.

Tiny, briny capers are actually flower buds that have been sun-dried and pickled in vinegar. The tart, lemony flavor of capers adds a bright, tangy boost to food. Keep a jar in the fridge (they never really seem to go bad) to throw into other dishes or to make this fantastic sauce whenever the mood strikes.

Serves: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (60ml)
  • 3 tablespoons of capers, plus 3 tablespoons of brine from the jar (45 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (60 g)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley (80 ml)
  • Salt and pepper


Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally. Place each half between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet (or small skillet) until 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick or less.

Pound Chicken

Generously season chicken with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil. Add half of the chicken and cook for 3 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside on a plate.


Heat 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Add the remaining raw chicken and brown for 3 minutes on each side.

Remove the chicken from the pan, adding it to the plate of cooked chicken, but keep the heat on under the skillet.

To the skillet, add 3 tablespoons of brine from the jar of capers.


As the brine boils, scrape up any bits of meat stuck to the pan.

Stir in the butter, parsley and capers. Just before the butter begins to brown, add the chicken and any juices that have accumulated on the plate back to the skillet. Keep the chicken in the skillet just long enough to re-heat it and coat the breasts in sauce.


Serve immediately.

Chicken in Buttery Caper Sauce

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  1. This was so good! And so easy. My husband loves capers and I used extra. It was really yummy!

    I had to modify it a bit. I only had salt-packed capers I picked up in Italy last year. I soaked them to remove some of the salt and used apple-cider vinegar.

    Kitty Philips wrote on March 28th, 2013
  2. This was amazing! I added a bunch of halved Kalamata olives. Next time I’ll add in some fresh garlic and won’t overcook the chicken!

    LauraW wrote on March 30th, 2013
    • Mmm garlic and olives would be perfect in this… great idea Laura!

      Sunny wrote on April 5th, 2013
  3. Delicious! Made this last night and everyone loved it. Even my little ones like it so much that thet ate theirs and then kept coming up and picking parsley and capers off my plate. They liked it so much that when I finished my plate my son LITERALLY had a tantrum until I served up a fresh plate of small bites for him.

    Sunny wrote on April 5th, 2013
  4. My husband and I really liked this dish. The leftovers were great for lunch, too!

    BisonWoman wrote on April 10th, 2013
  5. This is absolutely amazing! Made it today and OMG! I want to eat this every single day. Didn’t add any salt but turned out to be salted enough!
    Oh, and I made this with some asparagus with butter and parmesan. YUM.

    Monika C wrote on April 23rd, 2013
  6. I’ve never bought or cooked with capers before, but I wanted to try something different, I’ve been trying to get adventurous with my food and ease into more paleo recipes… and I have to say, HOLY YUM! I love love this recipe, this chicken was great, husband and kid-approved in my household! Will definitely add this to my recipe rotation, I’m just glad there are leftovers for me :)

    Jordana wrote on August 27th, 2013
  7. Made this for dinner tonight. So easy and SO yummy!

    Chelsea wrote on October 15th, 2013
  8. I’ve made this twice this week and OMG!! It’s so gooooooood! I made it with broccoli and cauliflower, which was delish cause they soak up the butter. Best dinner I’ve made in a long time!

    Amber Holz wrote on February 11th, 2014
    • I like the veggie pairing! I’m going to do the same!

      Krys wrote on March 4th, 2014
  9. I’m completely new to this whole paleo diet thing and it is soooooooooo confusing. Butter is paleo??? Or is this more like a “cheat meal”? Oh well… I’m making this regardless. It looks amazing.

    Krys wrote on March 4th, 2014
    • Nevermind! I read the link! I get the butter thing now… once again… can’t wait to make this for dinner this week!

      Krys wrote on March 4th, 2014
  10. A little late to the party, but….this is great. The 2nd time around I added 2 Tbsp lemon juice, which made it fantastic! Served over shaved zucchini and carrot. Mmm, mmm, good!

    Annie wrote on February 22nd, 2016

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