by Mario Batali
Best Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad Recipe
There are few fancy-pants French cooking terms I care to retain, but paillard is definitely one of them. It refers to a piece of meat that's been pounded thinly and then grilled. It's one of the more approachable and less complex food preparations everyone should have in their repertoire. You can use this same technique to prepare chicken thighs as in my recipe below, chicken breasts or essentially any protein you'd prefer broken down a bit.
One of the benefits to the paillard approach is how many options you have once you've got a thinly pounded piece of protein in front of you. My sons love to stuff and roll the meat with their favorite fillings, which usually involve a take on pesto. I personally prefer to cook my thinned meat skin-on in piping hot olive oil until the skin is extra crispy. Another perk about chicken paillard is that pounding usually tenderizes the meat enough so that you don't even need a marinade. In my Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad, I chose to marinade nonetheless, as I feel you can never add too much flavor to a springtime chicken dish.
Thinning meat gives the appearance of stretching serving quantity. This time of year, when we have the boys in and out of the house with sports and teammates over at unannounced times for dinner, I need all the meat I can get to satisfy these hungry teenagers. If your family sounds at all similar, I know you'll absolutely love this quick and easy dish.
Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad Recipe Ingredients
4 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs, pounded thin and marinated (recipe below)
Salt and pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus 3/4 cup (separated)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon black olive paste
1/2 pound arugula
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch thyme
1/2 bunch rosemary
1/2 cup apple cider
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad Recipe Directions
Combine all of the marinade ingredients together in a baking dish. Add the chicken and season with salt. Chicken can marinate for up to eight hours (overnight).
Preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat.
Drizzle the grill pan with 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and place the chicken skin side down. Place a brick on top (see note). Once skin is crisp, after about 4 minutes, flip over to finish, about 4-5 minutes.
Season the chicken with a pinch more salt.
While the chicken cooks, reduce the orange juice in saucepan over high heat until reduced by two-thirds, about 3-4 minutes.
Transfer the juice to a bowl and whisk in the Dijon mustard and black olive paste until well combined. Whisk in 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil until emulsified. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Toss the arugula with one tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
To serve, split the arugula salad among four plates, add a whole sun-dried tomato to each, place a piece of chicken on top and drizzle with vinaigrette.
Note: Especially if you don't know where your brick has been, it's a good idea to wash it and wrap it well in aluminum foil.
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