Editor’s note: On Mondays, Kristen Swensson Sturt of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share healthy and delicious recipes with us. Take it away, Kristen!
Chicken breast is both the bane and the boon of the healthy eater. On one hand, it’s mercilessly overhyped and generally underwhelming, especially compared to the darker, moister chicken thigh. On the other hand, it’s inexpensive, lean, high in protein, and kind of a clean slate taste-wise, not to mention highly adaptable to all kinds of flavors from a range of international cuisines.
The trick to palatable chicken breast is not overcooking it. (Duh.) One way of accomplishing this is slicing a thicker breast into thin fillets and quickly browning both sides in a pan. It locks in moisture, and usually leaves bits stuck to the bottom of the cooking vessel, which can then be turned into a sauce. It worked for today’s dish, Chicken with Artichokes and Capers, a lighter version of the usually fried Chicken Piccata.
Adapted from All Recipes, the dish is flavored with wine, chicken broth, capers, and a little lemon, and comes together in under 30 minutes. I took two-thirds of the oil out of the original recipe, but it’s hardly noticeable. Served on top of a bed of spinach, orzo, or larger pasta, it’s a solid weeknight meal.
Whatever your opinion on cheap chicken breast—its flavor, health quotient, or ethical concerns—as long as there are people who want low-fat meat, it will continue to be ubiquitous for years to come. In the meantime, we might as well make the best of it.