Chicken with Lemon and Caper Sauce

Something about cooking that I love is trying recipes that include new, somewhat unknown ingredients. In this recipe, I used two of those ingredients – capers and kale. I’ve definitely used capers once or twice in the past but the other day I got to thinking, “what exactly IS a caper?” Is is a seed? A legume? A bean? A vegetable? And as for kale, what sort of leaf is it? Is it from a plant? A bush? A flower? A tree? There were so many unanswered questions!!

Well, I just went googling for some answers. Capers, I’ve discovered, are actually unripened flower buds (who knew?!) The plant is native to the Mediterranean and some parts of Asia, and capers have been mentioned in literature dating as far back as 3000 BC.

Kale is a bit closer to home (Europe and North America.) It is the most robust cabbage type, known to be more hardy than any other vegetable. I also learned that it’s extremely healthy for you, being full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

The best part, in my opinion? Although these ingredients may not be pantry staples, they are both delicious and full of flavor. They bring a new element to an otherwise common dish (chicken) and using new ingredients like these will ensure that home cooking doesn’t get boring. I think its important to challenge yourself with something other than everyday ingredients.

(and for the record – this recipe is one of my new favs – super easy and tasty!)

Chicken with Lemon Caper Sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt + pepper
3 TBS flour
2 TBS olive oil
3/4 C chicken broth
juice of one lemon
2 TBS capers, drained
3 TBS chopped kale

1. Place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap, and pound to an even thickness using a meat mallet (if you don’t have one, invest in one!!! It’s priceless!) Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish and dredge chicken in flour.

2. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken to pan. Cook 4 minutes on each side. Add broth, lemon juice and capers to pan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle chicken with kale.

3. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Bring sauce to a boil and cook several minutes until slightly thickened. Return chicken to pan to heat through. Serve chicken with sauce drizzled over it.

Note – goes perfectly over wild rice because the sauce coats the rice and it’s delish 🙂

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