Lemon Caper Chicken Breast

Lemon Caper Chicken Breast


A light, tasty summer treatment. And, if you want, you can make this whole thing sans oil, for those of you (oh, come on, no one reads this site except me) who don’t like to marinade things in oil.

Once or twice a year I do a short sort-of cleanse. Low-fat, low-carb, low-everything, lots of water, no alcohol. A few challenges I toss in, little to no use of oils or fats, very lean meat, which increases the difficulty of getting moist and flavorful results. Oh, and tons of veggies, but I don’t cover those very extensively in this site, where I focus mainly on meaty things.

To make up for the lack of oil I’d usually use when making chicken, I use very strongly flavored marinades, and generally broil the chicken in cast iron. I usually use boneless/skinless chicken breasts, but also use bone-in, skin on, then not eat the skin (or bone 🙂 ).

Since I lean towards spicy and gravitate to chili, paprika and their friends, I wanted to mix it up. This is a citrusy, sour and somewhat salty take, which is a good blend for a nice piece of chicken.

Active prep time: 10 minutes

Inactive prep time: 2-4 hours

Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 diced garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 2 Tbsp caper juice
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (adds a little sweetness, to balance the citrus and salt)
  • 2 Tbsp water (or low-salt chicken broth)
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp basil
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper

Capers are salty. Hopefully you knew that already, so don’t add additional salt when cooking! 

If you’re using whole, bone-in, skinned breasts, you can do this on a grill. Since there’s no oil involved, it’s just too easy to dry out a boneless skinless breast on the grill. I recommend using a cast iron pan (I use a grooved griddle) under a broiler if you’re going that route, and you can use that for bone and skin intact piece as well.

A very simple change is, add 1/4 cup of olive oil to the marinade in place of the water. You may then cook skinned or skinless breasts on the grill, or in the broiler, as you wish. The oil will add a barrier to drying out that makes it all so much easer.


  • Combine diced garlic, lemon juice, capers (crush them a little with a spoon first), caper juice, and rice wine vinegar, water and spices into a resealable plastic bag
  • Add both chicken breasts to bag
  • Squish things around to get the breasts well coated
  • Seal the bag, removing the majority of the air
  • Put the bag-o-chicken in the fridge for 2-4 hours
  • Heat a grill to medium-high if grilling or Turn your broiler on
  • Sprinkle some black pepper on the breasts as you…
    • Put chicken on grill, or on a cast iron pan/griddle, & toss into oven
  • After about 10 minutes, turn breasts
  • Cook until done, which means the breast is firm when you press on it. As always, if you’re not sure, use a good meat thermometer to be sure you’ve got things just to about 180º