Paillard is a French cooking term for a boneless piece of meat that has been pounded thin - tenderizing the meat and creating a large cutlet that cooks very quickly and retains its juices.
Traditionally, a paillard is topped with a freshly dressed pile of salad. This plate has three components, the pan sautéed chicken, the marinated tomatoes, and the freshly dressed greens. This is a delicious restaurant quality meal that literally takes ten minutes and can easily be cooked for one. It is beyond delicious and wonderfully bariatric friendly.
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 5 ounces (for a single serving)
- Sea salt
- Arugula - one handful per plate - buy a bag of baby arugula in lettuce section
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh herbs - I grow rosemary, thyme and oregano so that was my combo
- a few thin slices sweet onion
- A sprinkle of pine nuts (or slivered almonds)
- Lay the chicken breast on a large sheet of plastic wrap and fold the plastic wrap over the meat. Gently pound it out to an even thickness using the smooth side of a meat mallet or if you do not have one, use the bottom of a heavy saucepan or bottom of a wine bottle. Just keep tapping it and teasing it into a plate sized shape. Season both sides with salt. Set aside.
- Place a large handful of arugula into a salad bowl, lightly dress with oil olive, using just enough that the leaves take on a light sheen at the toss. Sprinkle with salt. The oil will help the salt cling to the arugula. Toss with balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
- Place tomatoes and garlic in mixing bowl and coat with olive oil, using enough to coat the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt add minced fresh herbs (if using). Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Mix gently. Set aside.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a non stick sauté pan and heat over high. When the oil is shimmering and gives off a tiny wisp of smoke, lay the chicken into the pan and give it a shake so it doesn’t stick.
- Reduce heat to medium high - enough heat to maintain the sizzle but not to burn. Cook until the underside is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the chicken is just cooked through and second side is golden, about 5 or 6 minutes total. When the chicken has just a slight resistance to the touch, it is done.
- Place the chicken in center of a large plate. Spoon the tomatoes over the chicken and place the dressed arugula in a pile. Top salad with onion and pine nuts. Drizzle with more balsamic.