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Monday, March 14, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch

I'm going to start this post out by saying that I'm not much of a luncher.  I go out occasionally but mostly I have lunch at home in between my errands.  It's not that I don't like going out to lunch, because I do.  It's just that the day seems to slip away so quickly that taking an hour or two out on a regular basis is a luxury I don't have these days.  Now, if I didn't spend every afternoon from 3:00 until 6:30 schlepping Kate to tennis, you can bet I would be lunching all the time.

But I do love lunch and I especially love chicken paillard.  I'm not sure if it's technically a lunch food or if it's more of a dinner food, but I love how sophisticated it seems at any time of the day.  I always picture well dressed women selecting it off a menu at Bergdorf's or at a chic little French bistro.  It's neat and tidy, with the simple piece of chicken and the salad right on the same plate.  Nothing gloppy or requiring of three napkins.  Chicken paillard is, to me, the ultimate "ladies who lunch" selection.

Here's my recipe for chicken paillard.  I like it with an arugula salad that has been tossed with a little lemon vinaigrette.  If you prefer a different kind of greens, by all means, use those instead.  Either way, chicken paillard is simple and elegant, just like you.

Recipe:  Chicken Paillard

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless and pounded to an even thickness
1 cup all purpose flour
4 eggs, beaten with a splash of milk or water
2 cups panko bread crumbs
kosher and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for cooking

Salad greens for 4 (I like arugula)
Grape tomatoes
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, boccancini, cut in half
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

To prepare the chicken paillard:
Prepare a breading station with three dishes, one for the flour, one for the eggs, and one for the panko.  Season the chicken pieces well with salt and pepper.  Coat the breasts in the flour first, then the egg, and then the panko.  Refrigerate the chicken for about 10 minutes to dry out the breading before you fry them.

Preheat the oven to 300F.

Using a large saute pan, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot, fry the chicken in batches for 2 -3 minutes on each side, being careful not to move them in between turning them over.  Place cooked chicken on a baking sheet to keep warm until you are done frying all the chicken.

To prepare the salad:
Pour the lemon juice into the bottom of your salad bowl.  Add the olive oil in a stream, whisking to combine well.  Add the salt and pepper.  Add the salad greens, tomatoes, and mozzarella to the bowl on top of the dressing.  When you are ready to serve, toss the greens with the dressing.

To serve, place one chicken breast on each plate and top with the salad.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by the Food Hound!! I love chicken paillard-- the Booze Hound made it for me one time and I think it's time for him to make it again... :) It is the quintessential lunching lady (as opposed to lunch lady :) meal!