Chicken Paillard. It sounds so exotic doesn’t it? In reality it’s one of the simplest ways to cook a chicken breast. The breast meat is pounded into a even thickness resulting in a tenderized and easy to cook portion. I remember one of the first places that I tasted it was right here in Washington, DC. I had lunch with an old friend at a brasserie. It wasn’t a fancy place nor was anything about the day special but I do remember that tender chicken paillard. I think the name made me curious.
Chicken paillard is a perfect chicken breast pounded into a thin escalope and usually served with a simple green salad. I recently had this dish for lunch in New York City. The salad paired with it was ‘tri-colore’ of three bitter winter greens. It was delicious. I’ve found that even on nights when I’m short of time to cook dinner, taking the time to pound out a chicken breast makes the biggest difference. The meat becomes so much softer from the tenderization. It’s just that much more delicious. Not too much is needed to top this paillard just a few grains of salt and maybe a spritz of lemon to heighten the taste buds. It’s an easy technique to integrate into other recipes as well. Making chicken marcella or parmesan? Why not make the chicken breasts into paillard-they’ll cook faster too. Chicken paillard has become my go to easy night recipe that will please a crowd but not exhaust the chef.
- 4 Chicken Breasts (tender removed)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (or your favorite fat)
- salt and pepper
- Take a foot long section of plastic wrap and lay it on the counter.
- Place on chicken breast at a time on 1/2 the wrap and cover it with the remaining section of plastic wrap.
- Take a meat tenderizer or a heavy mallet and pound the meat until it is of an even thickness.
- Repeat with the remaining breasts.
- Season each with salt and pepper.
- Heat a frying pan over medium high heat with 1/2 the oil.
- Add in two of the chicken breasts, cook for approximately 4 minuets or until gold brown areas begin to appear.
- Turn over and cook until juices run clear.
- Hold in a warming drawer or oven until rest of breasts are cooked.
- Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
- Serve with a simple green salad.