Tag Archives: caper chicken

A QUICK LUNCH FOR TWO – Chicken With Spaghetti and Caper Sauce

If I had to choose when to go out to eat, it would be lunch time. I have plenty of reasons for not wanting to be in the kitchen (my favorite place in the world to be at dinner time!) right smack in the middle of the day when I am in the throes of all sorts of activities. Whether it is the weekend or some other day when the whole family is about, I might be grocery shopping, or cleaning my house, or doing laundry, or helping with homework, or out weeding or watering the garden, or perhaps at a movie or just plain old having fun with my kids or friends….I could (and have) go on and on about what kind of spanner is thrown into the works when I have to come to a grinding halt to make lunch!

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Fast, Furious and Fabulous!

The worst is when I am on my holidays somewhere magnificent and we have to leave the museum or castle, or some majestic landscape to eat a midday meal. That why, when I was in Ireland for the Summer, I started taking lunch along ( like HERE and HERE to name but two great lunches on the go).

fry Capers..

Capers are such a great pantry item to have on hand. They pack loads of flavor and are great in so many dishes

So when the groan went up for lunch a few weekends ago, I sprung into action to get it over as quickly as possible. When I began to see how good it was turning out, I quickly grabbed my camera and a notebook to make sure I would remember to make this again – and I have, several times actually.

It is not only fast, it is also pretty darn good!

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You will need:

2 tbs olive oil

2 scallions – chopped

2 cloves garlic – peeled and finely chopped

1 chicken breast – cut in half lengthways and very thinly sliced

2 tbs capers

2 tbs caper juice

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/3 lb spaghetti pasta (or what you would use for two people in your household)

1/4 cup reserved hot pasta water (scooped out of pot before draining pasta water)

Method:

*Put pot of water with a good teaspoon of salt on to boil for your pasta. cook according to instructions, reserving a 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water before draining. son not rinse pasta before adding to your final dish*

1 – Put saute pan on medium heat (large enough to hold the finished dish) and add the oil. When it warms up, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the scallions. Cook for 2 minutes.

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2 – Add the chicken and turn heat up slightly. Cook chicken for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the capers and caper juice and cook for another 3 minutes.

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Add chicken, then capers and caper juice

3 – Add the cream and when it comes to a simmer, cover and cook (lower the heat) for about 1 more minute. Taste and add some salt or more caper juice if you think it needs it.

jhkg

Add cream

4 – At this point your spaghetti should be cooked. Add the reserved pasta water, followed by the cooked spaghetti and toss everything together.

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Add the pasta water and pasta right before serving

Chicken with Pasta Shells and Caper Broth – This Was GOOD & FAST! (serves 6)

This is what I cooked for dinner last night and it was completely addictive. It could have served 6 people but the four of us couldn’t stop eating it until it was gone!

Chicken with Pasta Shells and Caper Broth

Chicken with Pasta Shells and Caper Broth

We are in the middle of a disgusting heat wave and I really did not want to spend too much time in the kitchen. We still needed to eat so I came up with something that was fresh tasting and very fast.

oregano, sage adn basil freshly snagged from my garden!

Oregano, sage and basil freshly snagged from my garden!

I spotted a jar of capers lurking in the pantry and figured I wouldn’t need to add much more if I wanted big flavors without much effort. I decided not to rinse them to give the broth a nice briny feel and it worked perfectly. That, along with choice herbs from my garden helped make this a very tasty meal which we enjoyed in front of the air conditioner!

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* This is a good Blood Type A Diet recipe but you can either omit the capers or rinse them very well. It will taste dynamite either way!*

You will need:

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, sliced

1 medium/lrg sweet onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tbs capers, drained but not rinsed

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

4 basil leaves, chopped

1 to 2 tbs fresh oregano leaves, chopped

4 cups baby kale OR 4 cups chopped regular kale

2 cups chicken or veggie broth OR 2 cups water and good quality bouillon cube

1 lb (box) medium pasta shells (I used Barilla Medium Shells)

Method:

1 – Place a tall saute pan or wide metal casserole or dutch oven on medium heat and add the oil. Wait for a minute to let the oil warm before adding the onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the herbs.

*Put pot of water on for pasta and add some salt. When it comes to a boil, cook pasta according to instructions. Do Not Rinse drained pasta with cold water.Try to time this to coincide with the rest of the dish being done (Put the water on after you add the chicken to the pan)*

Saute onions and garlic

Saute onions and garlic

2 – Turn the heat up to medium/high and add more oil if necessary. Add the chopped chicken and saute for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the capers and stir.

add chicken and capers

Add chicken and capers

3 – Add the broth (or water and bouillon) and bring to a simmer. Add the kale and stir. It will wilt pretty quickly.

Add broth and kale

Add broth and kale

4 – Turn heat down and cover and simmer gently for between 5 to 7 minutes. Turn heat off. Taste broth for addition of extra seasoning (salt and/or black pepper)

cook

cook

5 – When pasta is drained add it directly to the broth and chicken.

Add pasta shells

Add pasta shells

Serve in shallow bowls and pass some Parmigiano Reggiano if you like. I added the cheese to my dish and it complimented the capers wonderfully!

Serve (with a grating of Parmiagiana Reggiana if you like!)

Serve (with a grating of Parmigiano Reggiano if you like!)

 

Quick Creamy Penne Caper Chicken (serves 4-6)

This is comfort food at its best and exactly what I was in the mood for the last night. I know that when people see the word “creamy” in a recipe it tends to make them turn the page quickly for fear that even looking at the word will make them gain weight. From my experience in the kitchen, and living around people for quite some time, I know that eating a dish like this once in a while is not the culprit. It is all that other stuff we do, like eating bigger portions than we should, drinking sugar-loaded beverages and diving into that bag of chips with a little too much gusto!

Quick Creamy Penne Caper Chicken

Quick Creamy Penne Caper Chicken

Because of this, we deprive ourselves of a great dish like the one I cooked for myself and my family last night. I didn’t feel a shred of guilt as I glugged the cream into the pan and nor should you. I know that if you are on a mission to loose some weight it might be something to avoid for the moment (however read this if you want to know what I think about dieting!), but as a general rule, dishes like this shouldn’t be tabu unless you are over-indulging in the wrong foods, or it is a medical issue.

So go ahead and try this great pasta dish out, without guilt or remorse. Besides your worry about the cream, the rest of the ingredients should make you feel great: chicken breast, spinach, onions, garlic, celery!

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You will need:

2 tbs olive oil

sea-salt & freshly ground black pepper to season meat

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional, but lovely addition!)

3 or 4 chicken fillets (if they are large, use 3 or if you are cooking for 6 use 4)

1 medium sweet onion, small dice

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves (if you don’t have this, don’t worry, still tastes great without)

2 celery ribs, including leaves, diced

8 oz cremini  (Baby Bella) mushrooms, diced

4 tbs rinsed capers

4 cups chopped spinach

1/2 cup chicken broth (or 1/2 bouillon cube and a 1/2 cup water)

2 cups heavy cream

1 lb ridged mini penne (Barilla make a great mini penne)

Method:

1 – Season chicken lightly with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper flakes (if you are using). Put large saute pan (big enough to hold the entire completed dish) on high heat and add the oil. When it is hot, add the chicken and cook undisturbed for 3 or so minutes until browned. Turn meat and lower heat to medium and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from pan to a plate and tent loosely with foil. After about 10 minutes (in the meantime you can be getting on with the rest of the dish) cut each chicken breast into 1/4 inch slices (about 1/2 cm). Cover and set aside.

Sear chicken

Sear chicken

2 – If the pan looks dry, add a little oil and add the celery, onions and garlic. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until vegetables become softer., stirring occasionally.

saute base veggies

saute base veggies

*Put water on for pasta and cook according to instructions. Before you drain the pasta scoop out about 1 cup of the cooking liquid and reserve. Do not rinse pasta. Time this so as the pasta is cooked by the time the rest of the dish is done (see times in steps 3 to 5 to calculate)*

3 – Add the thyme and diced mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 or 6 minutes, until the mushrooms start to brown and begin releasing juices.

Add diced mushrooms

Add diced mushrooms

4 – Add the chopped spinach and capers and cook for 1 minute before adding the broth (or bouillon and water). Turn up heat slightly and stir to release any brown bits stuck to the bottom of your pan. Add the cream and bring to a low boil.

add capers, spinach, then cream

Add capers, spinach, then cream

5 – When it just begins to boil add the sliced chicken, along with the accumulated juices and turn heat down to low. Cover and cook at a very low simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked (you can check by cutting into a piece. The meat should be tender, juicy and white). Turn pan off and immediately add the cooked, drained pasta. Gently stir everything together and add a little pasta cooking water if you want a looser sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Add chicken and cook until done

Add chicken, cover and cook until done

Serve in warmed shallow bowls and pass a little grate Parmigiano Reggiano and extra pepper flakes if you so desire!

Chicken with Capers and Cream (serves 6)

This is one of those dinners that makes itself which is appropriate in an age when people feel no obligation to be in the kitchen and yet overwhelmed with guilt for not making a home cooked meal.

Chicken with Capers and Cream

Chicken with Capers and Cream

There are plenty of times I want to be in the kitchen all night long as this is my idea of relaxing, but I know that is not the case for many people, which is why dinners like this one are so great.

It has an air of luxury about it so is even something that can be made for a last-minute dinner party.

Anyway, here is another dish from the Crappy Kitchen that requires about 10 minutes on your part: so go ahead, be a little crazy and make dinner tonight!

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You will need:

3 to 4 tbs olive oil

freshly ground black pepper to season chicken

2 lbs chicken breasts, thinly sliced in cross sections making the breast the same size only thinner. (If you cannot buy them already like this, then just slice each breast into very thick slices)

4 tbs capers, including  juice (do not rinse)

1 tbs caper brine (the liquid from the caper jar)

3 bay leaves

1 sprig of fresh rosemary (use two if they are short sprigs)

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

8 to 10 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Method:

Preheat 400*

1 – Season chicken with a general grind of black pepper. Put big saute pan or casserole pot on high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. When it is hot add the chicken in an even layer and sear on both side transferring to a plate as you go. You will have to work in batches and add more oil as needed.

Brown chicken

Brown chicken

2 – Turn heat down to low/medium and add the capers. Cook for 1 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the rosemary and bay leaves. Cook for another minute or two.

Cook capers with seasonings

Cook capers with seasonings

3 – Add the cream and turn heat up to medium and bring the cream to a low boil.

Add cream

Add cream

4 – Return the chicken to the pan and bring back to a low boil. Turn heat off.

Return chicekn to sauce

Return chicken to sauce

5 – Place lid on pan or casserole and put the dish in the oven for about 35 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Cook

Cook

6 – Remove from oven and add the chopped spinach. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes, allowing the spinach to wilt. Remove from oven and give everything a gentle stir. If your sauce is very thick you may thin it out by adding more cream.

Add spinach

Add spinach

Serve with basmati rice or boiled baby potatoes.

Serve with rice

Serve with rice

Slow-Cooked Chicken with Capers, Oregano & Onions (serves 4)

It is extremely hot here and that might beg the question: why use my oven to cook dinner? Well, I was going to barbecue this chicken in the backyard, but the thoughts of standing out in the sun grilling meat (as well as grilling my delicate skin!) was enough to give me a heat rash, so I took a different tack.

Slow-Cooked chicken with Capers, Oregano & Onions

There was no one here in the late afternoon, so I put the chicken in the oven, grabbed a book, went to my air-conditioned bedroom, and did not come out until the chicken was cooked and the kitchen cooled down.

This dinner took me all of 10 minutes to prep from start to finish, so I didn’t even deserve the praise bestowed upon me for “going to all that trouble” And, as long as a family member never reads this post, I will let them think what they like.

So, if you want a nice dinner, but don’t want to hang out nursing it, make this, and escape to another room, or for a meditative walk (or run). Dinner will ready by the time you return.

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You will need:

1 cut-up chicken or a variety of chicken, such as chicken breast, thighs, legs (bone-in, skin on) This can be for 6 people if you add more chicken.

8 medium garlic cloves, peeled & left whole

4 medium onions, peeled & cut into 6 wedges

3 skinny carrots, cut into thick match sticks

3 tbs capers, rinsed (omit for blood type A)

4 sprigs fresh oregano

1 cup white wine

2 cups chicken or veggie broth (or 3 cups broth, OR 1 bouillon cube & 3 cups water)

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp course sea-salt flakes (or kosher salt)

several grinds black pepper (optional)

*If you want this to be a Blood Type A Dish, Omit the Capers & Black Pepper*

Preheat oven 375*

Put veggies & liquids into bottom of pan

1 – Prep all veggies as instructed above and scatter into the bottom of a heavy casserole, along with the capers and herbs. Add the wine and broth (or broth only, OR, bouillon cube and water).

Place chicken on top

2 – Place chicken on top of vegetables and drizzle chicken with oil and salt (and pepper if using). Cover with lid. Place in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off oven and leave the pot in oven for another 10 to 15 minutes to rest.

oven for 1 1/2 hours

Serve as is or with some sort of carbohydrate (potatoes, pasta, bread, rice…)

I had this alone, but the rest of the family had their chicken with egg noodles (tagliatelle)

Earthy Chicken with Capers and Onions (serves 6)

 In the past week we had settled back into a kind of routine, and part of that routine definitely included a trip out to our friend Tom’s house to see what he had been up to these past few months, (also a nice distraction from unpacking, and weeding the garden). It was a very hot day, and hard to believe that we went from boots and scarves (in Ireland & Italy) to shorts and sandals in 24 hours.

Earthy Chicken with Capers and Onions

He was the same old Tom with a million things going on at once: cleaning out the barn for a possible Art Gallery and Antique Shop, restocking his bee hives, trying to keep up with his blog: Pizza Daily (posting a pizza recipe a day, and using his great pizza paddle invention to get them in and out of the oven), and a million other projects too numerous to mention. His recent retirement had done the opposite of slowing this maniac of a man down!

My daughter at the little formal fountain outside of my friend Tom’s front door

He was invited to dinner that same evening and I was planning on making some variation on a pork spring roll? This kind of meal requires an amount of fiddle-y preparation and so it was important that I get an early start. Usually when Tom comes to dinner he is hungry, and usually when Tom comes to dinner I am invariably late getting the food on the table. I did not want to resort to giving him chips to keep him from passing out, so we kept our visit short and I sped away determined to be efficient.

Eastern Pennsylvania Countryside (taken by sticking my camera out the window of my car coming home from a visit to Tom’s)

Somehow I got distracted (I tend to start reading or doing mindless housework and forget the time) and before I knew it, the idea of making spring rolls was out of the question. I raced into the kitchen and it is no lie to say I had dinner in the oven in about 5 minutes. I felt guilty about not putting in more time, but equally smug, knowing dinner would be pretty darn good either way. When we tasted the dish I was assured that I was correct. Why I wanted to laboriously make spring rolls is beyond me.

The funny part is when Tom showed up and I proudly announced that dinner would be “on time”, he told me he wasn’t hungry yet! Finally, when he did eat, he described the dish as “earthy”, which gave me the name of yet another chicken dish.

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* This dinner is good for blood type A: just omit the capers and brine water. I made this with a romaine salad and fresh pineapple, which is also beneficial for type A’s*

Preheat oven 450*

You will need: 1 whole cut-up chicken, 2 large sweet onions, sliced into half moons, 2 cups veggie or chicken stock (or 1 good quality bouillon cube & 2 cups water), 1/4 cup capers, rinsed, 1 tbs brined caper water, (the liquid from the caper jar), 1 tsp course sea salt (I use Maldon salt), several grinds black pepper, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil.

Place onions in bottom of casserole

1 – Place onions in bottom of heavy casserole (with lid) and add the broth (or water and cube). Place the chicken on top in an even (ish) layer and add the salt, pepper and capers. sprinkle chicken skin with oil. place lid on pot and place in oven.

put chicken in pot with rest of ingredients

2 – Cook for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave chicken in oven for another 15 minutes. Remove and set aside until ready to serve.

1 hour, 15 minutes later; deliciousness

You can serve this with any number of things (or alone). This is good with potatoes, rice, pasta, or bread. Some of us had it with a salad (me) while others choose rice.

Fresh Pineapple and Romaine Salad

Fresh pineapple for dessert was a lovely refreshing end to this meal.

Chicken with Mushroom Cream and Capers (serves 4)

 This was cooked by me last night even though I did not feel up to cooking. It came together, despite my lack of enthusiasm, which tells me that it was probably a good idea to go ahead and cook, instead of being a Frump!

Chicken in Mushroom Cream and Capers

The whole family was looking forward to a home-cooked meal, and I did not want to disappoint. As I watched them eating happily, I was glad I rallied, and made the effort.

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You will need: 4 chicken breast fillets, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbs unsalted butter, 1 sweet onion, diced, 1/2 lb white mushrooms, sliced, 2 tbs capers rinsed, 1 tbs caper brine, 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup heavy cream, sea-salt, freshly cracked pepper, 1 lb pasta shells (I used medium shells by Barilla).

1 – Put  pan on high heat and add the oil. When it is hot add the breast and sear until golden on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Remove to a plate when done.

* Put water on for pasta. When it boils, add shells and cook according to instructions. Reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water in case it is needed to thin out the finished sauce.

sear chicken

2 – Turn heat down and add 1 tbs of butter.  Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes before adding the sliced mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes.

saute mushrooms and onions

3 – Add capers and caper juice and cook for another minute.

add capers

4 – Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken breast and cover to cook for 15 minutes.

add chicken

5 – Remove chicken and add the cream. Let the liquid come to a simmer. In the meantime, slice the chicken. When done, add the sliced meat back to the pan and cook for a minute or two.

add cream

6 – Add the shells and fresh spinach and cover for 2 minutes, allowing the spinach to wilt. Add the reserved pasta water if you want a thinner sauce.

Chicken in Mushroom Cream and Capers

Serve in shallow bowls with a little more cracked pepper and some Parmigiano Reggiano if you have it.