Thin cut Chicken Paillard quickly browned on both sides and topped with a peppery, lemony Arugula Salad is an easy, healthy and delicious weeknight meal.

Chicken Paillard with Arugula
Chicken Paillard topped with a salad was one of my staple meals when I waited tables at my Father’s restaurant. It was quick and easy enough that I didn’t feel bad asking asking for it, healthy, and surprisingly tasty. The key to a Chicken Paillard, and this extends to many other preparations of chicken breast, is slicing it across and pounding it thin (that’s actually what the cooking term paillard means). When it is thin like this, you can cook the chicken through very quickly without drying it out. Another advantage is this results in more surface area, which equates to a better ratio of seasoning and more of the chicken to brown which equals more flavor. Thin to win baby!

Top it with peppery arugula tossed with lemon juice, and extra-virgin olive oil, and you have something much more elegant than a typical salad with the chicken breast thrown on top.

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Chicken Paillard with Arugula Salad Recipe

  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 24 whole boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound of arugula
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmigiano-reggiano cheese


  1. Take each chicken breast and slice lengthwise. Place each slice of chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper and pound with the flat end of a meat mallet until very thin.
  2. Place the arugula in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat.
  4. Season the chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes for each side. You may have to work in batches, and add a little more olive oil between batches.
  5. Transfer the chicken to warm serving plates, and top each portion with some of the arugula salad. Using a vegetable peeler shave some of the parmigiano-reggiano cheese over the arugula and serve.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins

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