Crispy Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad & Lemony Vinaigrette
Provided by: Gail Simmons
This recipe is a great way to give standard boneless, skinless chicken breasts a fresh makeover. The peppery arugula (available year round in many supermarkets) and lemon vinaigrette bring in serious flavor and color, and dredging the chicken in breadcrumbs before pan-frying gives it just the right crispness.
- FOR CHICKEN PAILLARDS:
- 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1 pound total)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 turns Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- optional: 1/2 teaspoon fine salt for seasoning
- FOR ARUGULA SALAD:
- 2 cups fresh baby arugula
- 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed and halved
- 1/2 hot house cucumber, peeled and finely sliced
- 1/2 small red onion, finely sliced into crescents
- FOR LEMONY DRESSING:
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely minced or grated on a microplane
- 1/2 cup good quality, fruity extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 2 3 turns Freshly ground black pepper
- FOR CHICKEN PAILLARDS:
Rinse chicken breast under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. If the breast is whole, split it down the middle so you have two even-sized halves.
- Place each chicken breast half between two sheets of plastic wrap and lay flat on a cutting board. Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer (or the back side of a small saucepan) pound out each piece of breast, working from the center out, until the pieces are about 1/2 an inch thick.
- Set up your breading station: Pour bread crumbs out into a large flat dish and season with salt and pepper. Place flour in another flat dish and season generously with salt and pepper. Pour the buttermilk into a third dish and season with salt and pepper. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge first in flour, then dip in buttermilk and finally coat well with breadcrumbs. Gently press the breadcrumbs into each piece of chicken so they have a nice consistent coating. Place on a flat tray in a single layer as you coat each piece.
- 4. Set a large, non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and once the oil has a slight shimmer, carefully place chicken into the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan, so depending on the size of your pan you may want to cook just two pieces at a time or work with two pans simultaneously. Fry each chicken breast half 3-4 minutes per side until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels and season with a little salt (use fine salt if you have it as it will stick better). Serve each paillard topped with a large spoonful of fresh arugula and cherry tomatoes tossed in vinaigrette!
- FOR ARUGULA SALAD & LEMONY DRESSING:
Toss all vegetables together in a large bowl. Whisk first 4 ingredients of vinaigrette together in a small bowl and then slowly pour in olive oil in a thin stream, whisking as you add to emulsify the dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour vinaigrette over the salad and toss well to combine just prior to serving.