Chicken Paillard with Arugula, Asparagus and Fennel Salad with Shaved Parm

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper 

1 teaspoon fennel pollen

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon granulated onion

2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest 

6 to 8 tablespoons EVOO

8 spears asparagus, trimmed 

6 to 7 cups arugula, stemmed if leaves are large, or a combination of arugula, escarole and romaine

1 small bulb fennel, trimmed, halved, cored and thinly sliced or shredded on mandoline or box grater, reserve a handful of fronds 

1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced or shredded on mandoline or box grater

A chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 

2 stalks celery with leaves, sliced

Juice of 1 lemon 

Directions

  1. Place chicken breasts on a gel board and halve horizontally but not all the way through, then open like a book and evenly pound to 1/8 inch thick. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Combine fennel pollen, granulated garlic, granulated onion and zest and use to season both sides of chicken.
  2. Pour 3 turns of the pan of EVOO into a large skillet.
  3. Fill a medium-sized mixing bowl with ice water. Use a vegetable peeler to thinly slice the asparagus lengthwise; place in ice water.
  4. Place the arugula in bowl. Drain asparagus. Top the greens with asparagus, fennel and red onion. Use a vegetable peeler to shave and curl the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and add to bowl. Add the celery stalks and leaves.
  5. Heat the EVOO in skillet over medium-high heat and have a transfer tray or platter on hand. Add 2 paillards at a time. Cook over medium-high heat for 6 to 7 minutes per batch, turning occasionally.
  6. Dress the salad with lemon juice and 2 to 3 tablespoons EVOO and season with salt. Serve the paillards on platters topped with a pile of the citrusy, peppery salad. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Cook’s Note

This is a meal that provides a full plate, rather than an over-filled stomach. If you don't like the taste of fennel, you can substitute more celery stalks and leaves.

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