Chicken Paillard with Fingerling Potato Salad & Goat Cheese
In this healthy chicken paillard recipe, pounded chicken breasts are topped with a buttery fingerling potato salad featuring fresh greens, kalamata olives and creamy goat cheese. It’s the ULTIMATE combination of flavors and textures! Dandelion greens work wonderfully in this recipe, but you can swap them out for arugula or spinach if you prefer (if using spinach or arugula, toss them with the potatoes right before serving to prevent the leaves from wilting). Be sure to mix the potatoes with the onion and vinegar while the potatoes are hot—the warm potatoes will absorb the vinegar, giving them more flavor, and they will soften the onion. Finally, if you prefer, you can grill the chicken breasts instead of cooking them in a skillet—brush the chicken with oil before grilling to prevent sticking. Don't miss my other tips (including ingredient swaps) in the Notes below!
Servings: 4 people
- 1 pound fingerling or new potatoes, cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- ½ medium red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups coarsely chopped dandelion leaves (from 1 bunch)
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon, thyme and/or dill, divided
- 5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼- to ½–inch thickness
- 4 ounces goat cheese
Cook the potatoes
Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until they're tender but not falling apart, about 6-8 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse the red onion slices with cold water and place them in a large bowl. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and immediately add the hot potatoes to the bowl with the onions; toss well. Stir in the dandelion greens and olives.
Make the sherry vinaigrette
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar with the grainy mustard, honey, 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon (or other herbs) and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Pour the dressing over the fingerling potato and dandelion greens salad and toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Cook the chicken
Season each chicken breast on both sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining chopped herbs evenly over each (on both sides) and pat to adhere.
Heat your largest skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat. Working in batches, sauté each breast until golden brown on each side, about 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
- You can ask your butcher to pound the chicken breasts out for you, or you can do it yourself. First, pull off the strip of tenderloin from the bottom of the chicken breast (if you don’t know what this is, don’t fear; it will naturally show itself when pounding, separating from the rest of the breast). You can freeze the tenderloins for chicken fingers down the line, or cook them right alongside the paillards. I find that the easiest way to pound out chicken is to place it inside a large zip-top bag (don’t seal the bag). Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound the chicken, starting in the middle and moving the mallet in an outward motion. Keep working your way around the breast until you have an even thickness. The breast might be an odd shape, but that’s okay!
- If you want to skip the pounding, you can use chicken cutlets instead (plan on about 2-3 cutlets per person, depending on their size). Turkey and pork cutlets are also delicious!
- You can pound out the chicken the day before to save on time (refrigerate the chicken until ready to use).
- You can use the thin, upper stems of the dandelion greens, but remove and discard the lower, thicker stems (which are less tender).
- Use your largest skillet and cook the chicken in batches, if needed. You can use a stainless steel, cast iron or non-stick skillet.
- You can swap out the red onion for 1 large shallot.
- Any tender herbs will work in this recipe. I love tarragon, thyme and/or dill, but basil and parsley are also delicious.
- Feel free to swap out the goat cheese for crumbled feta or shaved parmesan.
- You can use red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar in the dressing (also, you can use Dijon mustard, if that’s what you have!).