Chicken with Roasted Lemons, Olives & Capers

Lemons, olives and capers are classic staples in the Sicilian pantry. Individually, they bring additional flavor to many a dish. Now, put them all in one bowl and you have a burst of flavor in every bite!

The lemons are not merely a garnish, as roasting makes them tender enough to cut with your fork and should be enjoyed.

Castelvetrano olives come from Southwestern Sicily. These are medium-sized pale green olives with a rich buttery taste. Surprisingly, I have found the jarred variety in local grocery stores.

You’ll find capers in most markets either packed in salt or submerged in vinegar. I prefer those tightly packed in sea salt because they taste more like capers and less like vinegar. Also, size matters, as the smaller buds have a more delicate flavor. True Italian capers are actually sorted by millimeter with mechanized screens. They range from 7-16 millimeters. Larger ones have less flavor and could be frauds. The buds of the nasturtium plant is similar-looking and is often passed off as capers.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Lemons, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground lemon pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
  • all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 2 Tablespoons capers, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 Cup Castelvetrana olives, pitted, sliced
  • 1 Cup chicken stock
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, unsalted, cut into small pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • Arugula
  1. Place the lemons on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly drizzle the slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 350* oven for 20 minutes, edges will begin to brown.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust them with flour (I put them in a Ziploc freezer bag for easy clean-up). Shake of  excess flour. Using a deep skillet, heat the oil and cook chicken on medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides.
  3. Add the capers, olives and stock, bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat until the stock is reduced, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the butter until melted. Add the roasted lemons and parsley. Taste sauce for seasoning and if necessary, add salt and pepper. Simmer until chicken is completely cooked.
  5. To serve, place arugula in individual bowls or a large platter for family style. Place the chicken (I sliced each breast, you could leave whole if you wish), on top of arugula and generously spoon the sauce over the entire dish.

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