“What’s for dinner?” That’s always the question, isn’t it? It’s like they expect to eat every day, right?
Would you like a one pan, quick as a flash way to prepare chicken? Yes? Good! I’ve got you covered, it just takes a trick up your sleeve to get a delicious and rather spectacular dinner on the table in no time.
Introducing: Chicken Paillard. This is a French culinary term that describes quick cooking thinly sliced, flattened meat. You can also use this technique with pork or veal.
This sounds complicated but it’s not. This is a simple technique everyone needs to know. You simply take a chicken breast, slice it open horizontally in the middle like opening a book. Gently pound the split breast to an even thickness of one half inch with either a meat pounder or a rolling pin. The flattened piece cooks very quickly in a frying pan, the oven or on the grill.
Here is an inexpensive meat pounder and a great rolling pin that can get the job done.
Now here’s where this technique gets versatile. You can season the paillard simply with salt, pepper and a little garlic and sauté in a little olive oil. Divine. You can use your favorite marinades or spice rubs. Or you can dip it in a little egg wash followed by seasoned flour and sauté to make a crust like fried chicken. Add a little panko bread crumbs to the flour when finished drizzle with a little honey and you have magic on your hands.
Since these are pretty big you’ll likely only fit one or maybe two in the pan. If you have a large family and would like to eat dinner together; you will want to keep the cooked paillards warm on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven while you make the rest.
My favorite is to barbeque chicken paillards with caramelized grilled lemon on the side and top them with a blop (that’s a technical term, I’m certain) of dressed green salad. Simply divine.
If a salad you prepare once and it stays crisp and tasty for a week sounds good go here – The Ultimate Chopped Salad Recipe with 7 Variations
Grilled Chicken Paillard with Charred Lemon and Salad
Yield: 4 servings Time: 30 minutes
What You’ll Need:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 lemons – halved
- 4 cups salad and veggies of choice
- Olive oil or salad dressing of choice
- Heat BBQ to Medium. Begin by slicing each chicken breast in half horizontally, opening like a book and pounding out gently between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to a thickness of one half inch. Brush each paillard with a half tablespoon of olive oil.
- Place the chicken pieces on the grill for approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side depending on how thick the breasts are.
- Season the chicken with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, reserving the lemons. Place the lemons, cut side down on the grill to caramelize. Set chicken and lemons aside when done.
- Meanwhile, mix the lettuce and veggies with lemon juice and olive oil or salad dressing.
- Top the grilled chicken with 1 cup salad and enjoy.
When chicken breast is on sale use the paillard technique and place the flattened pieces individually in zip top baggies. Now, you can buy ahead and stock your freezer with quick dinners. Because they’re so thin, they freeze nearly flat and defrost in minutes. Winner, winner chicken dinner!
You may also like: Mock Beef Stroganoff