Here’s a great weeknight supper, long overdue on my list of blogs to write up for you. The secret to this dish is to sear– that’s sear, not stew, not sauté, not fry – the chicken. I used very simple seasoning on the chicken – salt, pepper and some garlic powder. Oh don’t you be poo-pooing on my garlic powder. I like it, it does the job when I don’t want to use fresh garlic. For a dry rub, you can’t beat it. I want the chicken to be the star of this dish. Everything else should complement the taste.

Once your chicken is seared, remove it to a plate and cover it, use the same pan to sauté the mushrooms. Get the small button mushrooms if you can – I mean really small. I always buy these whenever I see them. They cook really well and it is a perfect bite to accompany the chicken. I’m also using capers and a bit of brine for the sauce that accompanies the chicken and made after everything has been cooked. Oh and yes of course, those are chili flakes in the picture.

This dish is great on top of some penne, spaghetti, farfalle or even pappardelle. Really any type of pasta you like. All the pasta needs is a good cooking in lots of salted water (if you have been to any of my classes, you will have heard me say the pasta water should taste like the ocean! That’s what my Italian Chef’s taught me at school and I’ve been doing it ever since). Oh yes and always save some water for the sauce – but that’s for another recipe, not today. Add some peas or edamame to the pasta, or toss in some baby spinach leaves when the pasta has just been drained and you have a complete meal. The sauce can be made as thick or thin as you like. I like it so it coats the pasta but also puddles slightly in the bottom of my bowl, that way I can continue to mop up the sauce with every fork (or spoon) full.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, slightly butterflied to even thickness – or just cut horizontally to even out the thickness
Salt, pepper and garlic powder
250g small button mushrooms or an assortment, whole if small, or quartered if larger
¼ cup capers + 1 tbsp. caper brine
Olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup chicken stock
½ tsp chili flake
250g your favorite pasta
Optional, 2 cups baby spinach leaves or 1 cup frozen peas or edamame

Rub the chicken pieces with the salt, pepper and garlic powder
Allow your frying pan to get good and hot on medium-high heat
Add the chicken pieces to the pan, one at a time – let the chicken sear – resist the temptation to move it, just let it develop a nice crust, then flip it over and do the same to the other side
Remove to a plate and cover with foil – it won’t be cooked through, it will finish cooking in the sauce
Drain any fat and add some olive oil and the tbsp. butter to the pan
Allow the butter to melt – add the mushrooms and toss quickly to coat – season with salt and pepper and allow the water to be released and evaporated in the pan while the mushrooms cook
You want the mushrooms seared and caramelized, add the chili flake just before they are done and stir
Remove the mushrooms from the pan
Add the chicken stock to the hot pan and stir up any bits of mushroom or chicken that may be remaining in the pan – reduce to ¾ cup add the capers and stir – taste, season and taste again – your sauce must be tasty before adding the chicken back to the pan- this is where you can use the caper brine
Add the chicken breasts back to the pan and baste with the juices – cover and cook on medium-low for an additional 5 – 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through
Add the mushrooms back to the pan and swirl around in the sauce
Either slice the chicken breasts on the diagonal or leave whole and serve with your favorite pasta
As always – enjoy!
I added lemon slices toward the end of the cooking process
If you run out of liquid in the pan, just add some more chicken stock to the pan and continue to make more sauce. Any type of liquid can be substituted – white wine, red wine, stock, cream, pasta water or even plain water.

Chicken 2