Chicken Paillard

Chicken Paillard PlatedSo Seattleites don’t like hot weather. This summer we experience record-setting heat which sent everyone out for air conditioners and forced us to learn to be creative about keeping our houses cool.  One 95 degree evening my son stumbled out into the kitchen and asked, “Will there be any food served this evening?”  I told him I was willing to turn the stove on for eight minutes and nothing more…voilà, chicken paillard! This is the perfect quick-cook light dinner or lunch.

 chicken paillard ingredientsDirections:

Remove chicken and from refrigerator and let come to room temperature. This will reduce cooking time to about 6 minutes from 8, if cold.

Remove arugula from refrigerator to take edge off and make more flavorful. Slice sweet pepper into thin strips.

Place chicken on parchment or in plastic bag and pound with meat hammer– I like a heavy metal one ($12.99 Sur La Table)– until about 1/2 inch thick. Any thinner and the meat tends to dry out.  Use parchment paper,  plastic produce bag or gallon zip lock layered over the pounding surface for sanitization.

Turn heat onto medium high and add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil into a large cast iron pan.

Chicken Pillard newDry chicken pieces with paper towels and place slowly in hot oil.  Add salt pepper and half of the za ‘atar. Cook for three minutes and turn chicken over with tongs. Repeat salt pepper and za’atar, and cook until done–about 3 more minutes. Check by slicing thickest part of a breast to make sure not pink. Remove from heat and let chicken rest to reabsorb juice.

Briefly sauté sliced pepper in 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add salt, if desired.
Chicken Pillard new cooked

To plate, layer chicken, a mound of arugula, and top with the sweet peppers.  Squeeze fresh lemon juice over arugula and serve extra lemon slices.

If desired, the arugula can be lightly dressed with a lemon vinaigrette.  Arugula leaves bruise very easily so pour vinaigrette around rim of the bowl and lightly move arugula around to incorporate (thank you, Bobby Flay for this technique).Chicken Paillard 3

Here the chicken paillard is plated with PCC’s Emerald City Salad and vinegar-soaked red lentils (I used Orange Muscat Champagne vinegar from Trader Joe’s–$3.29).

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