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golden brown chicken on a slate board with arugula salad topped with pickled red onion, parmesan and almonds

Chicken Paillard with Browned Butter Shallot Sauce and Arugula Salad

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American/French
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A foolproof chicken paillard recipe featuring a browned butter shallot pan sauce and a delicious arugula salad. This all-in-one meal can feed 4–5 people though we recommend serving with bread or rolls to ensure everyone leaves happy.



Arugula Salad

  • 1 (5-ounce) container arugula
  • ½ cup pickled red onions
  • ⅓ cup marcona almonds 
  • ¼ cup Parmesan strips
  • 1 lemon 

Champagne Anchovy Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon anchovy paste
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Chicken Paillard

  • 4 (10–12 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 pounds total)
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1 shallot minced (about ¼ cup)


Salad & Vinaigrette

Arrange arugula, pickled onions, almonds, and Parmesan on a large platter.

Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, anchovy paste, Dijon, and honey; season with ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper. Set aside. 

Chicken Paillard

Cut each chicken breast in half crosswise to create two halves, one that’s naturally thicker and one that’s naturally thinner. Slice thick halves in half horizontally to create two thinner halves.

Arrange chicken pieces on a cutting board and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder (or rubber mallet) pound chicken pieces into an even ¼-inch thickness. 

Heat 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high until shimmering and just starting to smoke. Season both sides of chicken with kosher salt (1–1½ teaspoons total). 

Add half of the chicken pieces in an even layer and cook until bottom sides are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until second side is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the centers registers 163–165ºF, 3–4 minutes more. 

Transfer chicken pieces to a plate; season with pepper and set aside. Repeat with remaining 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil and chicken pieces.

Remove pan from heat, add shallot and cook until starting to brown, 2 minutes. 

Return pan to low heat and whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time (this is called mounting), scraping up any brown bits until shallots are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Pour in any released chicken juices (from plate of chicken) and cook, whisking constantly, until sauce is deep brown and thickened, 2–3 minutes.

Dip each chicken piece in pan sauce to coat then arrange next to salad on platter. Using a microplane, grate lemon zest over salad then drizzle with dressing; serve immediately.


Serving size: if your a big salad-eating family, I recommend adding more greens to the 5-ounces of arugula. There’s enough vinaigrette to dress a larger salad.

Ingredient Substitutions: Feel free to use baby kale or spinach in place of the arugula. Dry roasted almonds will work in place of marcona almonds and Pecorino Romano will work in place of the Parmesan. White wine vinegar will work in place of the champagne vinegar while sugar or maple syrup can be used instead of honey. 

Anchovy Paste: if you don’t have anchovy paste and/or haven’t cooked with it before, I encourage you to grab some at the store. It adds a savory flavor to the vinaigrette, not a “fishy” taste.

Grapeseed oil is not as healthy as olive oil but healthier than canola or vegetable oil. Grapeseed oil is a great option for pan searing because it has a higher smoke point than olive oil. This means it can be heated to a higher temperature without smoking.

Cooking the chicken: It’s important to use a 12-inch skillet to avoid overcrowding. If the chicken cutlets are too crowded they will steam instead of sear. To achieve adequate browning on the chicken, try not to season the chicken with salt until just before adding it to the skillet

Pickled red onions: I recommend making and keeping pickled red onions in your fridge frequently. Not only does it make for one less step during dinner, but they’re a great addition to sandwiches, burgers, tacos and salads. 


  • Serving Size: 2 ½ chicken pieces + 1/5 of the salad
  • Calories: 397
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 821mg
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.5g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Protein: 64g
  • Cholesterol: 168mg

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