I really love cheater dishes. The ones that look fancy, and smell fancy, and taste fancy, without requiring a whole lot of fancy kitchen-work. In this dish I think it’s the capers that add that special fancy touch. The first time I tried capers was at this little restaurant up in Emigration Canyon in Utah called Ruth’s Diner. They make a killer smoked salmon salad with tomato vinaigrette that is to die for. Embarrassingly, I had to ask the waiter “what on earth are these delightful little green round things in my salad??”. Capers.
But the fresh basil adds an element of fanciness here too I think. Maybe it’s because I still remember vividly the shock I felt the first time I purchased fresh basil. “What?? Four seventy nine for a couple of leaves?!” You gourmet culinary folks are blushing and cringing right now I know. Please excuse my naivety.
I’ll tell you something though, if you want a dish to look real fancy, just sauté some lemon slices with a little olive oil til they start to blacken a bit, throw em on a plate, and you’ve got a restaurant-beautiful dish right there on your kitchen table-ready to impress whomever you’ve invited to dinner. Or to impress yourself, there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe I’m going a little overboard adding blackened lemon slices to my plate of bologna sandwiches here but don’t worry, I’m sure this phase is only temporary.
This dish is incredibly fragrant and flavorful, and sooo easy! No one will ever guess it took you less than thirty minutes and that you made it right on the stove top. Top notch flavor with little slaving away in the kitchen is my idea of a perfect dinner. Enjoy this with some fresh veggies or a light salad for the full at-home-restaurant experience!!
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ½ inch thickness
- ¼ teaspoon dry oregano
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons white cooking wine
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons capers (you can find these in little jars in the canned vegetable section of your local market, often near the mushrooms or artichoke hearts)
- 4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced into strips (plus more for garnish)
- Season both sides of chicken breasts with oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Add garlic, cooking wine, capers, and lemon slices to large nonstick pan or skillet. Cook over medium high heat until garlic is fragrant (3-5 minutes), being careful to stir constantly to prevent garlic from burning.
- Add chicken breasts and basil, right on top of the pan's contents. Cook first side 6-8 minutes or until cooked through. Flip chicken breasts and cook other side until cooked through and beginning to brown. Pierce meet with a fork or knife to check for any pinkness in the meat. Once meat is white all the way though, serve with capers from the pan and garnish with additional basil if desired.