Chicken Paillard with Arugula and Fennel

Servings: 4

In this dish, thin chicken cutlets are flash-cooked and topped with an enticing mixture of arugula and fennel for a light, fresh-tasting dinner.

A paillard is a piece of chicken or meat pounded until it is very thin and almost doubled in size and then cooked quickly. If you don’t have the patience to pound properly, there are several tricks you can use to speed up the process. One is to butterfly each breast by cutting partially through it so it opens like a book, creating one very large piece to pound. Other ways are to buy “thin-sliced” boneless chicken cutlets, or to make your own by slicing each breast in half lengthwise and then using a mallet to compress those slices. These methods will give you pieces about half of the size of using a full breast so you might need two pieces per serving.

Use a mandoline or a very sharp knife to thinly slice the fennel.


  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved, thick core and fronds removed, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Nutrition Analysis:

Per Serving:



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  1. In a bowl, combine the arugula and fennel. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil and stir gently to combine. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper and additional lemon juice, if desired.
    With a mallet, pound the chicken breasts between wax paper until they are between 1⁄4- and 1⁄2-inch thick. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Cook the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until just cooked through and golden brown. You will probably be able to fit only two pieces of chicken in the skillet at a time. Remove the chicken and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Repeat with the other pieces.
  3. Top the chicken with the salad and Parmesan shavings.
When making a salad, experiment with different greens, such as peppery arugula and buttery baby lettuce. Other bitter leaf vegetables such as crisp endive and radicchio add unique flavors. Fennel has a licorice-like flavor and adds crunch.
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Excerpted from The American Cancer Society New Healthy Eating Cookbook, Fourth Edition. Copyright ©2016 American Cancer Society.