Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chicken Paillard with Arugula & Tomato Salad

 A major perk to this whole diet change is that dinner takes much less time to prepare.  Fewer options means fewer decisions to make!  Nah, it hasn't been too hard.  There are tons of options from cuisines around the globe, you've just got to hone your recipe searching skills to suit.  There are no slow grains to cook and many of the fresh, unprocessed foods we are eating require little effort to taste fabulous, the ingredients speak for themselves.  The inspiration for this quick dish comes from Lincoln Road in Miami, it seems like each time I visit, I end up lunching on a patio enjoying this refreshing meal.  It's light and simple and provides the perfect fuel for powering an afternoon of intense shopping in the Miami heat.  Use the highest quality chicken, the juiciest tomatoes and freshest greens for this easy, bright tasting dish.

Chicken Paillard with Tomato & Arugula Salad
Origin: Jaime, Impeccable Taste

Notes:  To pound the chicken, you can place individual chicken breasts in a large resealable plastic bag and pound them with the flat end of a meat tenderizer, or pound them out between two sheets of parchment paper with a heavy rolling pin as I do.  The idea is to thin the chicken out a bit and ensure it is an even thickness throughout.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thinly
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 shallots thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper

6-8 cups baby arugula
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (any variety of good tasting tomato will do)
3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine, white wine or cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a baking dish (or in whichever vessel you want to marinate the chicken), combine the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, shallots and garlic, season well with salt and pepper.  Add the pounded chicken breast to the marinade and turn to coat.  Cover and set in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.  Take out 5 minutes before cooking.

Meanwhile prepare the salad.  Make the vinaigrette in the bottom of your salad bowl.  Combine the shallots, lemon juice, vinegar and salt and pepper with a whisk, drizzle in the olive oil, whisking to emulsify.  Place the arugula and tomatoes over the vinaigrette, toss just before serving.

To prepare the chicken, heat a large heavy bottomed skillet or frying pan over medium high heat.  Give it a few minutes and make sure it's really hot. Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off all the shallots.  Add just a teaspoon of olive oil to the hot pan, the oil coating the chicken should be enough.  When the pan is hot, add the chicken, you must hear a good sizzle or the pan is not ready.  Cook the chicken for about 3 minutes per side or until cooked through.  You want the chicken to have a good brown crust on both sides.

Toss the salad and serve with the hot chicken.  Serves 4.

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