roast chicken with lemon caper sauce

Is there a rule that says piccata has to be veal or chicken scaloppini? If there is, I’m breaking it. Lemon, capers and chicken is a great flavour combination. You can make it even better, though. Imagine adding the goodness of a roasted poultry fond to it. Roast chicken with lemon caper sauce. That’s a whole different piccata flavour experience.

I am a roast chicken addict. A whole roast chicken gives everyone a bit of dark. A bit of white. A whole chicken throws a nice fond as well. Fond is those wonderful brown bits in the pan that melt into the sauce. They are key. They add big flavour. That’s true every time you roast a chicken. Or pork. Or lamb. It’s just a bit of cooking magic that happens when you roast meat. Learn to love it.

Roast some chicken. Skim off the clear fat. Deglaze with lemon and chicken stock. Toss in some capers. If you can roast a chicken, you can make this. Simple. But oh so tasty.

Roast chicken with lemon caper sauce. Like piccata, but way better.

I’ve shown roast chicken with lemon caper sauce served up with roasted potatoes. It works just as well with pureed cauliflower or smashed new potatoes. With whatever your favourite starch is. This works just as well with chicken parts. Breasts. Thighs. Cornish hens even. Full disclosure. I used a Cornish hen for these pictures. Makes a perfect dinner for two. So go crazy. Mix it up. But try roast chicken with lemon caper sauce. You won’t be sorry…


Lemon, capers and cornish hen come together in a great twist on traditional piccata.

Lemon, capers and cornish hen come together in a great twist on traditional piccata.
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roast chicken with lemon caper sauce

Roast chicken with lemon caper sauce is a great alternative to same old, same old chicken piccata. 
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2
Author romain | glebekitchen


  • 1 3-4 lb chicken or chicken parts of your choice
  • Juice of 3/4 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • concentrated chicken stock - if you have it. Recipe link below.
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil to rub the chicken


  • Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Pre-heat an oven proof skillet or small roasting pan.
  • Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast, basting once or twice with accumulated fat, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F for white meat and 175F for dark meat.
  • Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and set aside.
  • Spoon off clear fat. Place the skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the lemon juice and stir to dissolve any browned bits in the pan. Reduce slightly. Those brown bits are going to make the sauce incredible.
  • Stir in the chicken stock and simmer briskly until reduced by half.
  • Add the capers.
  • Carve the chicken, spooning the sauce around it, and serve.

9 thoughts on “roast chicken with lemon caper sauce”

  1. This looks absolutely delicious.
    Terry can roast a chicken – I think…
    I need dinner made for me haha I think I might pass him this recipe to make for me this weekend. huhuhu! 🙂 Fancied up version of the usual chicken is always a bonus for me. 🙂

  2. My mom got me hooked on lemon and capers – perfect amounts of bright and briney! And I share your affinity for cornish hens. I think I’m just anti-food-sharing and prefer to have my own mini-chicken. Haha, so this is perfect for me!

  3. I’m just picturing a roasted Cornish hen with all that briny-lemony goodness and it’s making me so hungry! Do you think this recipe would double, triple, or quadruple well? My three boys will eat a Cornish hen each to themselves.

    • It should scale up to as many cornish hens you can fit in a pan I bet. The only tricky part will be finding a stovetop friendly monster roasting pan so you can feed them all at once:-)

  4. The simplicity of this dish has me hooked. Recipes with few but flavorful ingredients are a real life-saver for the busy mom. Thank you for a gorgeous cornish hen recipe that I can handle on busy nights while still impressing the pants off the family!

    • You are very welcome. This is, I think, the basis of good everyday home cooking. Just what is needed to make it good. Nothing more. But that little extra bit of effort makes it special. Hope you like it.

  5. I have a thing for cornish hens too! haha They may look cute, but they pack a ton of flavor, especially with the right sauce (and you definitely chose the right sauce!). I love the combination of lemon and capers– such bright, acidic flavors. This sauce looks perfectly balanced and absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to try this!

    • We need to spread the word on cornish hens! They give a little extra something to any roast chicken recipe for sure.

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