I’ve written before that I enjoy cooking almost as much as I enjoy eating. I am fortunate that I come from a home with not one, but two incredible cooks. So all my life I’ve been exposed to a mostly Mediterranean diet, and natural, wholesome, fresh food.
Most of what I cook for hubby and myself is the same cuisine I grew up eating. Dad and Mom have both shaped my culinary skills in their own ways, and they are ah-mazing cooks. In my old age, I’ve become much more brazen in the kitchen—often attempting things with no recipe or prior experience—and I have to say that the recipe I’m about to share is my own concoction, perfected after several successful tries at making it. I’m reminded of how delicious it is because I’m eating it for dinner in between typing for you here.
The great thing about this recipe is it is very low-fat, extremely tasty, and so simple to make. If you don’t believe me, try it…I feel confident you will likely add it to your repertoire.
They key to this recipe is dry vermouth. Now here’s where I have to give props to my father…he shared the secret of cooking with vermouth with me. Being the martini-lover that I am, I almost always have dry vermouth on hand. My favorite is Martini & Rossi Extra Dry. While I’m on the subject of vermouth, allow me to go off on a tangent here in order to extoll its virtues.
When you have a recipe that calls for white wine, use vermouth. Vermouth is fantastic because even very little in a recipe imparts a delicate, white wine-infused taste. It is the je ne sais quoi of virtually any chicken recipe, and does wonders for sauteed mushrooms. But here’s the best part: it is inexpensive and it lasts forever. Unlike white wine, you can keep a bottle of vermouth around for months and it will not turn into vinegar. Vermouth is your friend.
Now back to the recipe for the easiest, yummiest chicken you’ll ever bake. Forgive me, but I’m going to do this Greek style, which means you’re not really going to get exact measurements. We eyeball it most of the time. So here goes.
- 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Jar of capers…you’ll need just under 1/4 of a cup
- Dry vermouth
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Ground black pepper
- Preheat oven on bake at about 350; if you’re in Oz, aim for about 200 in a fan-forced oven.
- Drizzle olive oil in a large, rectangular baking dish, then add enough vermouth and a bit of water to just cover the bottom of the dish. You want to make sure there is enough liquid so you have plenty to spoon over the chicken when serving.
- Add capers (without brine) to the dish. You can add more or less according to your preference.
- Wash chicken breasts and place in the dish. Sprinkle garlic powder (not garlic salt) very liberally over the breasts. Grind black pepper over the breasts to taste. Do not add any salt…the capers will provide all the salt you need.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes until cooked but tender, turning only once. Depending on your oven, and the thickness of the breasts, the cooking time may vary between 30 and 40 minutes. Just watch and don’t overcook.
- Serve over rice and/or freshly-boiled, bright green spinach. Ladle several spoons of the juice in the dish over the entire meal, also adding the cooked capers to each plate.
I hope you enjoy. And if you decide to try this recipe out, please post a comment and let me know how it went.