Posts Tagged ‘Capers’

A soft sauce, with the slight tang of lemon, the gentle flavors of pear, the surprise of a caper or two, and the subtle tones of garlic and thyme surround chicken in this lovely dish! This is an easy braised dish to make and total time in the kitchen is about a half hour with cooking time in the oven of about 45 minutes.

Lovely ingredients!

Lovely ingredients!

Let’s start by getting the ingredients together first, shall we? Here is the list of ingredients:

8 chicken thighs, bone in
3/4 cup of flour
4 grinds each of salt and pepper
3 dashes of garlic powder
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS butter
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 1/2 cups of a good Pinot Grigio
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
The zest of one whole lemon
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 TBS drained capers
1 bay leaf

The first thing we do is place the flour, salt and pepper along with the garlic powder in a zipper bag. Shake this up to combine and then add the chicken and shake to coat. Next we add the olive oil and butter to a dutch oven. Turn on the heat to medium high to melt and combine the two. Then add 4 of the chicken thighs, skin side down, and brown for 6 minutes per side.

Start by browning the chicken

Start by browning the chicken

Turn the chicken

Turn the chicken

When these are done set them aside and repeat this process with the last 4 thighs. Remove these too. Drain off all but 1 TBS of oil from the pot. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees. Next, turn the heat down to low and add in the garlic. Enjoy the aromas of these lovely gems as they cook.

Soften the garlic

Soften the garlic

When the garlic has softened add in the wine and cook down until reduced by half. Next, rub the thyme between your hand to release the lovely scents and essential oils and drop this into the pot. Take the lemon zest and over the pot, holding both ends, gently twist to release the oil from the skin and drop these into the pot. Next add in the capers and the bay leaf.

Add in the thyme, lemon, capers and bay leaf

Add in the thyme, lemon, capers and bay leaf

Then add in the chicken broth. Here is a pouring shot just for Conor over at One Man’s Meat!

A pouring shot Conor!

A pouring shot Conor!

Stir all of this together to combine well and then add back the chicken skin side up.

Add the chicken

Add the chicken

Cover and place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. When this is finished, put the pot back on the stove, remove the cover, and reduce the sauce by 1/3.

Right out of the oven

Right out of the oven

Before serving, remove the lemon zest, the thyme leaves and the bay leaf. And dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Let me know if you try this dish!

Thanks for dropping in and joining me in the kitchen today! Stay tuned as I am heading into the kitchen tomorrow to make Al Roker’s, from NBC’s Today show, Spicy Beef Chili!

Read Full Post »

Seeing as how I had all these capers lurking in the house, and leftover pork loin chops from making the Hot Sour Soup, I had to combine the two.  What can you do with pork and capers? Make a Picatta! Without further ado…

4 pork loin chops, boneless and 1″ thick
salt and pepper
3 TBS butter
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup of chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra dry vermouth
1/3 cup capers

Start with the pork loin, and holding the meat flat to the cutting board, cut the chop in half horizontally. Next place a slice of meat flat into a zip lock bag.

Place the slice in a zip lock bag and using a mallet pound

until they are half the thickness

Next, add butter and olive oil to your pan. Get your liquids and capers ready.

Vermouth, chicken broth, lemon juice and capers

Heat the pan with your butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Dredge the strips of meat, and working in batches cook the pork. When the first pieces go in, turn the heat down to medium.

Start to brown the pork

Cook until just browned.

Turn over and continue cooking

As they are done, put them on a plate and set aside.

When all the meat is done, deglaze the pan using the broth, the lemon juice and the vermouth.

Deglaze the pan

Add the capers too!

Add the capers

Bring this up to a boil and cook for about a minute or two. Then add the meat back to the pan. The flour coating that you used on the meat will thicken the sauce a bit. Heat through, turning as you go. This should only take a couple of minutes.

Add back the cooked pork and heat through

Remove the pork from the pan to serve. Tonight I served this with jasmine rice and asparagus!

Dinner is served!

I hope that you enjoy this quick, easy and very tasty dish!

Read Full Post »

Having used capers on the pizza we had last night and considering that I am planning on making a Pork Piccata tonight, so stay tuned, I decided to devote a blog to this little tart gem!

Years ago, I had heard that capers actually came from the Nasturtium plant, and having grown these in the Bay Area, I could see the resemblance of the flower bud on the Nasturtium to the capers I buy in the grocery store.  What I discovered is that while “capers” can be made from the Nasturtium they actually come from a plant called Capparis spinosa or the caper bush.

The Caper Bush - Photo by Eugene Zelenko

The bush is typically grown in the Mediterranean Basin, which is the same region where olive trees are grown.  They area has mild, wet winters and hot summers.  The plant requires the extreme summer heat to produce an abundance of flower buds, the part of the plant that is cultivated, in order for growers to profit from growing this plant.  Harvesting these little gems is very labor intensive as the buds need to be picked when the flowers reach a certain size.  After the flower bud is harvested it is then sun-dried.  Then they are placed in a vinegar brine to pickle them, which brings out the tart, tangy flavors.

Up close with Capers

When using capers in the kitchen, it is recommended that you rinse them before using due to the high salt content. They can be used in salads, on pizza, meat dishes, or use them as a garnish to a martini instead of the typical olive. I was surprised to discover that capers are used in tartar sauce! The leaves of the plant are also used in salads and fish dishes.

I hope that you enjoy these little gems as much as I do!

Read Full Post »

I love pizza! Of all the foods out there I can eat pizza every day, as well as Chinese and Mexican foods. Oh and Italian too! I was inspired to try making this myself after having a pizza like this from a little place that was in San Carlos, CA called Cheshire. This pizza uses tomatoes instead of tomato sauce. Are you ready for some pizza!

Would you like some pizza?

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

Pizza Dough, I use a pre-made dough in this recipe
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Basil and Oregano, dried
1 huge ripe tomato
5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
Prosciutto – You can buy this in a thick slice, or some brands offer this already chopped
Black Olives
Parsley flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take your pizza stone, brush it with a bit of non-stick cooking spray. Then spread out the dough to the edges.

Spread out the pizza dough

Brush on EVOO and sprinkle with basil and oregano

Top with most of the cheese

Follow with tomato slices

Next sprinkle with finely chopped garlic

Next is the prosciutto

Add the olives

Follow with capers

Add remaining cheese

Put this into the oven and bake until the bottom side of the crust is browned, about 12 – 18 minutes.

Pizza right out of the oven!

Remove from the oven and let this sit for a minute or two, if you can, then slice and serve!

Dinner is served!

I hope that you enjoy this as much as we did.  This is a 2 – 4 serving pizza, depending on whether you want to share it!

Read Full Post »