ShareThis Page

Chicken Paillard With Arugula Salad

| Saturday, May 17, 2014, 8:39 p.m.
Chicken Paillard With Arugula Salad
Kate Previte
Chicken Paillard With Arugula Salad

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 after 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.

Mario Batali is the award-winning chef behind 24 restaurants, including Eataly, DelPosto and his flagship Greenwich Village enoteca, Babbo.

Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

For the marinade:

12 bunch parsley

12 bunch thyme

12 bunch rosemary

12 cup apple cider

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the chicken and salad:

4 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs, pounded thin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 34 cup (divided)

12 cup orange juice

12 tablespoon Dijon mustard

12 tablespoon black-olive paste

12 pound arugula

14 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil

To prepare the marinade: Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a baking dish. Add the chicken and season it with salt. The chicken can marinate for up to 8 hours (overnight).

Heat a grill pan on medium-high heat.

Drizzle the grill pan with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and place the chicken skin side down. Place a brick on top of the chicken (see note). When the skin is crisp, after about 4 minutes, flip the chicken over to finish, for 4 to 5 minutes.

Season the chicken with a pinch more salt.

While the chicken cooks, heat the orange juice in a saucepan over high heat until it is reduced by two-thirds, for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer the juice to a bowl and whisk in the Dijon mustard and black-olive paste until well combined. Whisk in 34 cup of 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 4 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.

Makes 4 servings.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.