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September 2, 2012

Chicken Paillard (Tyler Florence)



I love to cook, but after a long day at work (9 hours on my feet!), the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen. And this summer, it's actually been too hot to do much grilling. So instead of sweating over a hot grill, I turn to my quick and simple recipes, such as Tyler Florence's Chicken Paillard. He writes:
I make this for dinner all the time. It's simple, easy to put together, and on the lighter side—perfect for a night when you want something delicious that's not too heavy. Pound the chicken between sheets of plastic wrap to keep your cutting board clean, and try to use organic, free-range chicken whenever you can.

I couldn't agree more! I discovered this favorite in the Tyler Florence Family Meal cookbook, which as previously noted, is a fantastic cookbook. There are wonderful blurbs and photos for each and every recipe, as well as anecdotes about Tyler's career as a chef in Mill Valley. I've made this particular recipe a few times and wasn't very impressed with the Creamy Parmesan Dressing, so instead, I've modified it to enjoy with a simple Caprese Salad. I usually wind up with an extra chicken breast, which is excellent diced up and served on top of a tossed green salad the following day for lunch.



Chicken Paillard with Salad Greens and Creamy Parmesan Dressing

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 8 ounces each
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying (I use olive oil)

Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound with a mallet or rolling pin to a uniform 1/2-inch thickness. (I use a large zip-lock bag rather than the plastic wrap.) 

Prepare a breading station, placing the flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, in one shallow bowl; the eggs in another; and the panko (also seasoned liberally with salt and pepper—you should be able to see the seasonings) in a third. 

Coat the chicken first in the flour, then in the egg, and finally in the panko, shaking off the excess after each step. 

Place the breaded breasts on a plate and refrigerate for 10 minutes or so to dry the crust; this will ensure there is less moisture in the coating and less chance it will crumble when you cook the chicken.

In a large skillet, heat 2 inches of olive oil (interesting that he says olive oil here, but not in the list of ingredients) to 350 degrees (F). 

Add the chicken breasts and fry for 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Transfer the breasts to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain, and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place each warm, crispy chicken paillard on a plate and top with half the salad. Serve with a wedge of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Serves 2

Note:

As I mentioned above, I chose not to use the Creamy Parmesan Dressing (which you can find here, if you wish). I served a simple Caprese salad on the side, which is quite similar to Florence's salad of mixed greens, grape tomatoes and bocconcini (fresh mozzarella balls).

I don't use a recipe for my Caprese salad. However, Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman) has one that looks pretty much like what I make, although for this meal, I place the tomatoes and cheese on top of a bed of greens. Go here for PW's recipe.

Delicious! 

Paillard is an older French culinary term referring to a quick-cooking, thinly sliced or pounded piece of meat. In France, it has been largely replaced by the word escalope. (Wikipedia)

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12 comments:

  1. Sounds good and looks wonderful. When I actually had people to feed around here, I usually used breast tenders breaded with Italian seasoned bread crumbs, grated Parmesan and lots of dried dill or oregano, then baked them on a cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes at 350. Also excellent with a nice mixed greens salad. Now I'm hungry!

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    1. Mmm, your chicken tenders sound good, too!

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  2. That chicken looks very tasty, but I'd just gobble up the caprese salad. Yum, yum! Simple and so good.

    And I can't believe you found a photo of what my hair looks like in the mornings after I get up! Amazing! ;-p

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    1. Yep, we've become big fans of caprese salads. The flavors are amazing!

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  3. Both the chicken and your salad look wonderful!

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    1. They are, Kathy. And I'm all about easy recipes during the work week.

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  4. Your chicken recipe sounds yummy. And, you are right; it's too hot to do too much cooking. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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    1. It's nice to have some simple summer recipes to fall back on when it's too hot, but I'm beginning to crave soups, stews and chowders. Yes, I'm ready for fall!

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  5. What a great summer meal. I don't have that Florence cookbook but it looks like I should take a look at it.

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    1. The cookbook has several recipes I want to try, but there are also quite a few I'm not in the least bit curious about. I may wind up passing it on once I've finished with the ones I'm interested in. I'd be happy to send it on to you, if you'd like. I'll let you know.

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  6. I'm coming over for dinner!! Sent this post to my email so that I can try the recipe sometime!!

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