Tyler Florence's Chicken Paillard
(photo credit: Tyler Florence Family Meal Cookbook)
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. The cut is known as "scallop" in the US, not to be confused with the shellfish scallop. (Wikipedia)This is such an easy recipe! Paired with a caprese salad, it makes a delicious, light dinner that can be thrown together in a short amount of time. If you have any leftovers, the chilled chicken is quite good in a tossed green salad or sliced for a sandwich. This has become one of my favorite go-to recipes, especially in the summer when the tomatoes are fresh and yummy for salads.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 8 oz. each (see my note below)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 to 2 cups panko bread crumbs
Olive oil for frying
Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap (I use a Ziplock bag) and gently pound with a mallet or rolling pin to a uniform 1/2-inch thickness. 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 bowl.
Coat the chicken first in the flour, then in the egg, and lastly in the panko, shaking off the excess after each step. Place the breaded chicken on a plate and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. This helps to remove any excess moisture from the breading, which will keep it from falling off as you fry the chicken.
Heat 1-2 inches of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Test the oil with a little panko to see if it sizzles. Once the oil it hot enough, add the chicken and fry for 5-6 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer the cooked breasts to a plate lined with paper towels.
Serve with a wedge of lemon and either a caprese salad or a simple green salad.
Serves 2 (or 4, if chicken breast is cut in half)
When I buy boneless chicken breasts, they are almost always too thick, even after I pound them prior to cooking. I've started cutting them in half (lengthwise) just before they are completely defrosted. They are much easier to handle when they're still slightly frozen. This is not only cheaper than buying cutlets, but it also stretches the meal so we can have plenty of leftovers.
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