Chicken Cutlets with Caper Sauce

Sometimes, especially after a few days of heavy dinners, all you want is a light, good meal. “Light” as in you’re trying to cut back, and “good” as in, can we make it taste good even though it’s light?

This chicken cutlet recipe, with a caper shallot sauce, is just that, flavorful, filling, and won’t weigh you down. You can make it all in one pot, takes about 30 minutes, and it’s gluten-free too.

Chicken Cutlets with Caper Sauce

The idea for it came from my friend Peg, who is simply brilliant in the kitchen. It’s sort of like a chicken piccata, but without the breading or lemon, and it is served with fresh arugula, thinly sliced fennel, and shaved Parmesan. Great for lunch or a simple dinner.

Updated from the recipe archive, first published 2011.

  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cook: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serve 4


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 chicken breast halves, pounded very thin, and then cut in half, so that you have 4 thin cutlets
  • Salt
  • 1 large shallot, minced, about 2 Tbsp
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained
  • 2-3 cups arugula, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, shaved thin
  • 16-24 paper thin shavings of parmesan cheese


1 Sear the chicken cutlets: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a stick-free sauté pan over medium-high heat until almost smoking, about 1-2 minutes.

Sprinkle salt over the pounded chicken breasts and sear them for 2-3 minutes per side in the hot pan, working in batches so that you do not crowd the pan.


Remove the chicken breasts and cover with foil to keep them warm.

2 Sauté the shallots: Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the shallots and cook 1 minute, stirring often. Do not let them burn, and if they begin to brown rapidly, turn the heat down.


Add the garlic and cook another 45 seconds to 1 minute, stirring often.

3 Deglaze pan with wine, add capers, red pepper flakes: Add the white wine and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

chicken-cutlets-caper-method-3 chicken-cutlets-caper-method-4

Add the capers and red pepper flakes and boil until the wine is almost gone, about 2-4 minutes.

4 Serve with arugula, shaved fennel, shaved Parmesan: To serve, mix the arugula and shaved fennel and put some on each plate. Arrange some shaved parmesan over them.

Lay a piece of chicken on each salad, then top with a little of the sauce. Serve hot.

Chicken Cutlets with Caper Sauce

Main Ingredients