This dish is the star of thickening sauces. At the end of cooking this meal you will have a mouthwatering sauce, but it will need to be thickened. Once you learn this skill, you’ll never look back.

This dish comes together very quickly, so make sure you prep everything before sautéing the chicken.



  • 1 pound fettuccine or other pasta of choice (or serve with veggies for gluten-free)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    WNK-The Cook's Book- bookcover The Cook's Book Bri McKoy
  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2–3 pounds total), halved horizontally to make 4 cutlets (or instead use 4 boneless, skinless thighs)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1⁄4 cup white wine or chicken stock, for deglazing

  • 1 shallot, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1⁄2 cup heavy whipping cream or half-and-half

  • 1⁄3 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder (optional)


1 If using pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Follow package instructions to cook until al dente.

2 Place a sauté pan on medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Allow butter to melt and bubble.

3 Season chicken with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

4 Add the chicken to the pan and cook about 5–6 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of your chicken. Once chicken is done, remove to a plate and cover with a piece of foil.

5 Take 1⁄4 cup white wine or chicken stock and deglaze the pan by slowly pouring the liquid in and using a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits.

6 Add the chopped shallot and let cook for about 2 minutes until softened. Add the garlic. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

7 Reduce heat to medium and add the stock and cream. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Season with the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Add in the Parmesan cheese and capers and allow the sauce to simmer for about 2 minutes, until it thickens.

8 Stir in the lemon juice and allow to simmer for 1 minute. (Note: If your family doesn’t like lemon, start by adding only half the juice and taste from there. Remember, addition is eas- ier than subtraction!) Taste and add any salt or additional lemon juice to your preferences.

9 If you would like a thicker sauce, in a small dish mix 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) with 11⁄2 teaspoons water. Add mixture to sauté pan while it is still on the heat and mix to combine. Allow the sauce to thicken for a few additional minutes.

To serve, place chicken on top of pasta or steamed veggies and spoon sauce over it.

TIP: Why salt pasta water and when? Salting your pasta water will allow the noodles to soak up some of the salt, giving them excellent flavor. Add half a palmful of salt to your water once it is boiling, right before you add the pasta. 

TIP: Chicken is always fully cooked when it registers at 165°F with a meat thermometer. To check the temperature of your chicken, place the tip of the thermometer into the middle of the thickest part of the chicken.

 “Recipe from The Cook’s Book by Bri McKoy, Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission. 2023.”

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