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What can I substitute for capers in chicken piccata?

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Pegeen added 9 months ago
Voted the Best Answer!

Some coarsely chopped pitted olives would work. Ideally green (not stuffed with pimientos). Good black olives could work but not the tinned ones, they're too bland. Pickled onions, finely chopped, would also work. Just something to give the dish a little bite. You could get away without them but just be sure you're squeezing in some fresh lemon juice and maybe a teaspoon or two of freshly-grated lemon rind.

acookswords added 9 months ago

Yes, I love Peggeen's suggestion of chopped olives, and I'm guessing that she implies green. Quick-pickled onions would be lovely, too. I have made these often enough that I keep them on hand always (I am a vegetarian, but the pickled onions are the icing on any proverbial cake) : http://food52.com/recipes...

PazzoNico added 9 months ago

I was thinking olives, too, or chopped sun dried tomatoes. Or even anchovies (my favorite).
Or you can go in another direction; some kind of dried fruit like currants, apricots, or raisins (great with chicken).

andrea lee added 9 months ago

Kalamata olives since they have a strong and salty flavor similar to that of capers.

jsdunbar added 9 months ago

I agree with the similar look and taste of chopped green olives. In a pinch I'd even mince in a sour pickle.


June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 9 months ago

OP did not say why she wanted to sub for the capers. Curious if it is about just not having any on hand, or an aversion to the vinegary tang?


pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added 9 months ago

ChefJune I was about to ask the same thing. Capers don't need to be briney, in fact I vastly prefer the salt packed ones, although you do need to rinse the salt off. Using olives as a substitute I like cerignola or luques. You don't even need to pit them just let your guests know that olives have pits.


Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added 9 months ago

All those subs sound good. You could also just leave them out and let the lemon be the major flavor.

Pegeen added 9 months ago

Who is "OP" ? Thanks!

nutcakes added 9 months ago

OP = original poster

Pegeen added 9 months ago

Thanks, nc

Pegeen added 9 months ago

Karen, your chicken piccata dinner may have already come and gone... but in case you're still toying with ideas, I liked PazzoNico's suggestion to combine salt and sweet. Green pitted olives, some (golden) raisins and maybe sun-dried tomatoes. Garlic slivers. Lemon juice and maybe some tiny chunks of lemon pith.
Hope you have a great dinner!

Pegeen added 9 months ago

p.s. I would also add artichoke hearts and anchovies


Rebecca is a recipe tester for Food52.

added 9 months ago

preserved lemon? i'm not sure why you would have/like that instead of caper, but i would put them in same category. also, the artichokes packed in oil i just posted would be great... same idea.

Karen added 9 months ago

Thank you for all your helpful answers!! I did not have capers on hand, so took your advice and used green olives instead and it came out great!!! My boyfriend loved it! Thanks again for all your help!

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