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Crispy Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad & Lemony Vinaigrette

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Crispy Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad & Lemony Vinaigrette

Crispy Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad & Lemony Vinaigrette
Aimee Herring
Provided by:
total prep
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.


  • 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
  • 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
  • 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



    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!

    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.