Capers: Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?

by | Feb 11, 2010 | Main Dishes, Recipes

I think capers are probably some of the ugliest looking things that I eat. While up close the pickled capers look like the body part of an amphibian or reptile, they are actually immature flower buds picked from a prickly plant that is native to the Mediterranean. Pickled capers add a salty, tangy or lemony flavor to recipes and can usually be found with the olives and pickles at the grocery store. Sometimes Costco carries an industrial sized 25-ounce jar of capers at the same price of a 3-ounce jar at other stores. Although the 3-ounce jars are probably of much higher quality, my unrefined palate is unable to make the distinction, therefore, I use the capers that I buy at Costco.


Several years ago I found the recipe below in an advertisement for capers. As with most recipes that I find, it has been tweaked a bit. It is very easy and is one of my favorites.

Chicken and capers

Chicken and Capers

serves four


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut or pounded to 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons powdered instant chicken bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1/2 cup white wine


Rub the chicken with the bouillon powder. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the chicken on both sides until golden brown. Remove to a warm serving platter. In the same pan, sauté the mushrooms until lightly browned. Add the wine to the skillet with the mushrooms, bring to a boil, and reduce the wine by half. Add the capers, keeping the skillet over the heat just long enough to heat them through. Pour the reduced wine-mushroom mixture over the chicken.


Categories: Main