Grilled Citrus-Marinated Chicken Paillard

To keep the chicken cutlet moist, be sure to let it rest for five or six minutes after cooking!

The French word paillard {pahy-yahr} describes what Americans call a cutlet — a pounded or thinly-sliced piece of chicken or veal or pork that is then cooked any way you like — grilled, sauteed, etc. For a quick-and-easy meal I like to take chicken breast cutlets and marinate them for a few hours with garlic and loads of minced herbs in citrus juice, in white wine, sometimes apple juice. I might do this in the morning and come back to them for an early dinner. You can heat up a grill-pan or the outdoor barbecue and have the chicken fully cooked in under fifteen minutes. Throw in a simple salad and a whole-grain starch (think quinoa or brown rice) and you’ve a got a very healthy, completely yummy dinner.

Yesterday I bought four pre-cut chicken breast cutlets from the market and marinated them in the following mixture:

  • the juice of one small tangerine
  • the juice of one small lemon
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Konriko Greek Seasoning (use whatever, Bay Spice works)
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
I mixed this up and poured it over the chicken cutlets, which I’d put into a large mixing bowl. Using my hands I turned the cutlets in the marinade until they were coated uniformly, and then I transferred them to a heavy-duty ziploc bag and put that on a plate in the refrigerator. I usually like to marinate chicken for four to eight hours, but if you’re pressed for time a minimum of 30 minutes will get a little flavor into your white meat chicken.
About four hours later I took out the bag of marinating chicken and left in on the counter to come to room temperature for about 45 minutes. I preheated the oven to 325° F. I took out the chicken and wiped most of the marinade off the meat. I added a little more olive oil and seasoned the chicken with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
I heated a well-oiled grill-pan over high heat until smoking-hot. I grilled the cutlets for about five minutes on either side and then popped the whole pan into the oven for another five minutes. I removed the pan and let the chicken rest on the cutting board for another five minutes.
I sliced the cutlets into strips and served them with a wedge of fresh orange and a leafy salad on the side. A delicious, light dinner!

Try to get some good grill marks on the chicken!

2 thoughts on “Grilled Citrus-Marinated Chicken Paillard

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