How to make lemon caper chicken

The Only Pan Sauce Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Can you make sauce? The kind of sauce that your family asks for? Get my secret tips to make the perfect pan sauce with my Lemon Caper Chicken recipe and make your next meal dazzle!

High Praise For My Pan Sauce

Hubby mentioned to me the other evening that he thought I was an excellent sauce maker. This is a compliment from the guy that doesn’t like his food to touch on his plate.

If you are daunted by making sauce, I’m going to give you a little tutorial.

What is pan sauce? 

Pan sauce is a simple yet delicious way to enhance the flavor of your meals. It involves using the leftover bits and drippings from cooking meat or vegetables in a pan, along with additional ingredients like broth, wine, or herbs, to create a flavorful sauce that can be served alongside your dish.

Why make pan sauce?

Aside from adding depth and richness to your meals, making pan sauce is also a great way to reduce waste in the kitchen. Instead of discarding those tasty bits and juices left behind in the pan after cooking, you can use them to make a delicious sauce. 

Plus, it’s an easy way to impress your family and friends with restaurant-quality flavors at home.

How To Make The Perfect Pan Sauce

First you cook your THING (chicken, beef, lamb chop, pork medallions, salmon filet…whatever) in hot fat (olive oil, butter or a combination of both) in a skillet.

Remove the THING to a platter. What you have left is the beginning of your sauce.

Add some shallot or minced onion to the pan and give it a quick cook.

Now we add WINE. Red or white, light, or dry.

We reduce the wine which means we concentrate the wine flavor. Once this is reduced so that only the essence of the wine remains we add stock like chicken, beef, or veggie. We reduce again.

Now we season. Some of my Most Favorite THINGS to season with are the assortment of Better Than Bouillon jars of pure flavor.

Just a bit will add a real lusciousness to any sauce. In place of this you can add any spice, herb, or combo that you like. We add salt and pepper here.

To thicken the sauce, you can add mustard or tomato paste.

I like mustard in a chicken or pork sauce and tomato paste when I’m making a red wine sauce. Just a touch will do.

You can also thicken with a spoonful of cornstarch whisked with cold water. This combination will give your sauce a shine. 

Now you can add any of your other favorite THINGS.

Lemon juice and zest will brighten your sauce. Fresh herbs are perfect here. A couple pats of butter will give you a rich, velvety sauce.

Add your Thing back into your sauce to finish the cooking and to baste it in saucy goodness.

And that’s it….The secret to a simple sauce that you can make your own!

Here’s a video on how to make a simple pan sauce for chicken.

How To Make Pan Sauce

Lemon Caper Chicken In Buttery Sauce


Serves 6

Time To Prepare

30 minutes ’til it’s ready


  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, ½ stick, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 large shallot, minced, about 1 tablespoon
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon, about 1 tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • Fresh parsley


Place the chicken breasts onto your work surface. Place your hand on top of one breast. Use your very sharp knife to cut each it in half horizontally. Repeat creating 6 pieces. Place the chicken pieces between two pieces of waxed paper. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound each piece to about ¼ inch thickness. Season each side with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium high heat until the butter is foamy. Place the flour into a shallow bowl. Place the eggs into a shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken in flour. Then dip into the beaten eggs, allowing the excess to drip off.

Cook the chicken in the hot oil and butter mixture until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Do this in batches so that you do not overcrowd the pan. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm.

Add the minced shallot to the pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the remaining flour over the shallot and stir. Add the wine to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth to the pan and reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle ½ of the lemon juice and all the zest into the pan. Stir in the capers. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the last tablespoon of butter.

Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining lemon juice over top. Garnish with additional lemon slices and chopped fresh parsley.

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