Chicken paillard is fast and easy
Do not let those fancy schmancy French or other ethnic names for dishes daunt you. Most are simple, fast, and easy to prepare.
Paillard is a technique where meat or poultry is butterflied and pounded thin. It is usually grilled or seared.
This version is an elegant adaptation. It is also a one plate meal. The breasts are topped with a salad of tomatoes, fennel, shallot, and other good things.
I had some left over Belgian endive so I used it. It added a slightly bitter element complimenting the saltiness and citrus.
Prep time is about fifteen or twenty minutes, depending on your skill level. Cooking time is 15-20 minutes.
If you do not know how to butterfly chicken breasts, have your butcher do it for you. There is a video below demonstrating the technique.
This serves two.
1- Roma tomato or other small tomato diced
2-3 pieces of fennel sliced thin
1/2 medium shallot sliced thin
1-2 cloves of garlic sliced thin
1/2 Belgian endive sliced thing (Optional)
10-12 kalamata olives chopped
1 tbsp capers
Juice of one lemon
2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts butterflied
Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a bowl combine the fennel, tomatoes, endive (if using), olives, capers, shallot, and garlic.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add some olive oil and lemon juice.
Season both sides of the breasts.
Pour some olive oil in a baking dish.
Place the chicken in the dish.
Top each breast with the vegetable mixture.
Pour the remaining dressing over it all.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Carefully remove the breasts from the dish and plate. A wide or fish spatula comes in handy for this.
Pour some liquid over each piece and serve.
You can eat this as a meal or compliment it with a side of rice or your favorite potatoes.
I just had a large slice of bread to sop of all the juices.