Chicken Paillard Salad

Discover the Exquisite Flavors of Chicken Paillard Salad

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In the realm of culinary delights, the French have gifted the world with countless exquisite dishes. One such creation is the Chicken Paillard Salad, a flavorful combination of tender, thinly pounded chicken, vibrant greens, and a zesty lemon vinaigrette. This salad is not only a feast for the taste buds but also a visual delight, making it a perfect choice for a light and refreshing meal.

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The term “paillard” in French cuisine refers to meat that has been pounded thin before cooking. This method serves a dual purpose: it tenderizes the meat and allows for quick cooking. Traditionally, the meat is dredged in flour before sautéing. However, this gluten-free version skips that step without compromising on flavor or texture.

Discover the Exquisite Flavors of Chicken Paillard Salad

Chicken Paillard Salad

Preparing the Chicken Paillard Salad is a breeze, thanks to a few time-saving tips. For instance, you can make a double or triple batch of the lemon vinaigrette and store the extra in the refrigerator. This versatile dressing can be used throughout the week to enhance other salads or as a marinade for various dishes.

Let’s embark on a culinary journey and dive into the components that make this salad a delectable masterpiece.

Firstly, the lemon vinaigrette sets the stage for a burst of refreshing flavors. Made with extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, Dijon mustard, honey, and a pinch of sea salt, this dressing brings together a harmonious blend of tanginess and zest.

The star of the show, the chicken breasts, is transformed into tender cutlets through the art of pounding. Placing the chicken between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper, and using a meat mallet or rolling pin, they are delicately flattened to a quarter-inch thickness. Seasoned with garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper, the chicken is then sautéed to perfection, rendering it golden brown on the outside and juicy on the inside.

The salad itself boasts a delightful combination of ingredients. Fresh arugula forms the base, lending a peppery kick and a refreshing crunch. Cherry or grape tomatoes, when available, add pops of vibrant color, while fresh parsley provides a burst of herbaceous goodness. To elevate the flavor profile, the salad is adorned with shaved Parmesan cheese, which lends a creamy, nutty element.

Discover the Exquisite Flavors of Chicken Paillard Salad

Assembling This Dish

To assemble this masterpiece, toss the arugula, tomatoes, parsley, and Parmesan cheese with a generous drizzle of the lemon vinaigrette. Season with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper, ensuring that each bite is a harmonious blend of flavors. Divide the salad into individual serving bowls, and top each portion with a succulent chicken cutlet and a few warm lemon slices.

The warm lemon slices not only infuse the chicken with a subtle tang but also add a touch of elegance to the presentation. The remaining lemon vinaigrette can be served on the side, allowing each diner to customize the level of zestiness to their liking.

A Healthful and Nutritious Delight

In addition to its delectable taste, the Chicken Paillard Salad offers a range of health benefits. Packed with lean protein from the chicken, this dish provides essential nutrients for muscle growth and repair. The arugula, a leafy green, is rich in vitamins A and K, as well as antioxidants that support immune function and promote healthy bones. The cherry or grape tomatoes contribute a dose of vitamin C, while the lemon vinaigrette adds a refreshing burst of antioxidants and aids in digestion. With its balanced combination of flavors and nourishing ingredients, this salad is a guilt-free indulgence that fuels the body and satisfies the senses.

Chicken Paillard Salad is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a light lunch, a satisfying dinner, or even as an impressive appetizer at a gathering. Its combination of tender chicken, vibrant greens, and zesty flavors creates a culinary symphony that will leave your taste buds craving more.

So, next time you’re in the mood for a salad that transcends the ordinary, treat yourself to the delightful experience of Chicken Paillard Salad. Explore the art of French cuisine and savor the balance of flavors in this exquisite dish while eating clean. Bon appétit!

Discover the Exquisite Flavors of Chicken Paillard Salad

Recipe by Easy Clean RecipesCourse: MainCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 T. white balsamic vinegar

  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice

  • 1 t. lemon zest

  • ½ t. Italian seasoning

  • ½ t. garlic powder

  • 1 t. Dijon mustard

  • 1 T. honey

  • Sea salt, to taste

  • Remaining Ingredients
  • 1¼ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 t. garlic powder

  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large organic lemon, sliced and cut in half, divided

  • 6 c. fresh arugula

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

  • 3 T. fresh parsley, chopped

  • ¼ c. shaved Parmesan cheese


  • Prepare the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  • Place the chicken on a large sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper spread out on a clean work surface. Cut the breasts in half horizontally (with the blade parallel to the counter) and arrange both halves on the plastic wrap or wax paper in a single layer.
  • Cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper and pound to ¼” thickness with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Remove the top cover and season on both sides with the garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and most of the lemon slices, reserving 3 or 4 slices for garnish.
  • Cook until the chicken is golden brown on the bottom and releases easily from the skillet, approximately 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook on the remaining side another 2-3 minutes, or just until the chicken is cooked through.

    Note: Squeeze the lemon slices with tongs while the chicken cooks to release the juice. 

    Remove from heat and discard the lemon rinds. Transfer the chicken to a large platter and place the reserved lemons in the skillet for approximately 30 seconds per side to warm up. Place the warm lemons on the platter with the chicken and set aside. 
  • Add the arugula, tomatoes, fresh parsley, and Parmesan cheese to a large bowl and drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette on top. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and toss to combine.
  • To serve, divide the salad between 4 serving bowls and top each with some of the chicken and warm lemon slices. Offer remaining dressing on the side while serving. Enjoy!

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