June is upon us!  We’re in high spring with summer just around the corner.  It’s time to fire up the grills!  Here’s a recipe for grilled chicken paillard that may very well become your go-to recipe for grilling season.  Paillard is a technique that involves flattening or  pounding the chicken cutlets until they are very thin.  This method not only tenderizes the chicken, but ensures a brief cooking time.  The chicken paillard is so thin, it grills in less than 5 minutes.  I like to serve chicken paillard on a bed of mixed spring greens salad accompanied by grilled multi-colored peppers and tomatoes.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

Chicken and Marinade

  • 4 chicken cutlets, pounded thinly
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or squeezed through a garlic press*
  • salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: lemon wedge or twist

Spring Greens Salad and Vinaigrette

  • 5 ounces mixed spring greens**
  • 10 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 pitted kalamata olives, sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted***
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or squeezed through a garlic press
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Grilled Peppers and Tomatoes

  • 1 red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 2” by 3” pieces
  • 1 green pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 2” by 3” pieces
  • 1 yellow pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 2” by 3” pieces
  • 1 orange pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 2” by 3” pieces
  • 12 ounces small multi-colored gourmet medley or heirloom tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 4   8” bamboo skewers

Chicken and Marinade:

  1. Place chicken on a cutting board between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound very thinly with a meat pounder to about 1/8” thickness. Try to keep the thickness as uniform as possible, avoiding breaks or tears in the chicken.
  2. In a mixing bowl or baking dish, whisk together marinade ingredients: lemon juice, olive oil, garlic cloves, salt and pepper.
  3. Place chicken in the marinade and marinate for about one hour.

Spring Greens Salad and Vinaigrette:

  1. While chicken is marinating, prepare the salad: In a large mixing bowl combine spring greens, grape tomatoes, red onion, olives, and pine nuts.
  2. In another bowl, make the vinaigrette: Whisk together balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, honey, salt and pepper.  Add olive oil in a stream and whisk until all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette (to drizzle on the grilled chicken paillard).
  4. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the spring greens salad and toss until salad and dressing are well combined.

To Grill Chicken, Peppers and Tomatoes:

  1. Preheat your grill for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Brush red, green, yellow and orange pepper pieces with olive oil on both sides.
  3. Thread the small tomatoes on the bamboo skewers alternating shapes and colors and brushing lightly with olive oil.
  4. Place peppers and tomatoes along with chicken pieces on the grill and watch them closely. They will cook very quickly.  The tomatoes will need only one minute per side, The peppers and chicken paillard will take about 2 to 3 minutes per side.   The chicken paillard should be golden brown and just cooked through.  Do not over cook, or it will be dry.
  5. Place finished chicken paiilard on a platter and cover with aluminum foil for a few minutes, allowing the chicken to rest and accumulate some juices.

Plating:

  1. Place a mound of the spring greens salad on a plate and top with one chicken paillard.
  2. Drizzle some of the accumulated juices and some of the reserved vinaigrette over the chicken.
  3. Place a tomato skewer next to the chicken and arrange alternating colors of peppers in a decorative pattern next to the tomatoes per the recipe photo.
  4. If desired, garnish the chicken with a wedge or twist of lemon.

Serves 4.

Notes

*My family can’t get enough garlic, so I double this amount.  You can use more or less garlic as desired.  Or, if you’re not a garlic fan, you can substitute shallots.

**If you can’t locate mixed spring greens, any pre-washed mix of baby greens that looks fresh and colorful will do.

***To toast pine nuts: Place pine nuts on baking pan in preheated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.