January 2020

Chicken Paillard with Roast Pumpkin and Fresh Mozzarella Salad


For Chicken Paillard:

Four 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

For Roast Pumpkin & Fresh Mozzarella Salad:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 kabocha squash or small pumpkin
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chipotle chile
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 heads frisee lettuce
1 ball fresh mozzarella

Maple Shallot Vinaigrette to taste (recipe follows)

½ cup toasted pepitas (optional)
Flaked sea salt to finish

For Maple Shallot

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
Fresh herbs, minced (optional) — mint, oregano
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk to combine


For Chicken:

Place a chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and use a flat meat pounder/tenderizer or heavy skillet to flatten to an even 1/2 inch thick being careful not to tear. Place pounded chicken on a large plate or platter and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

Drizzle the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, turning to coat the breasts on both sides, then sprinkle the chicken on all sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt.

Heat a gas or charcoal grill over medium-high heat (you can use the below process in a skillet if no grill is available). Use tongs and a dishtowel or paper towel dipped in olive oil to lightly grease the grill. Place the chicken on the grill and cook until it has nice marks, 2-3 minutes, and easily releases from the hot surface. Turn the chicken over and grill the other side until the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and repeat with remaining chicken.

For Pumpkin:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Rinse and dry pumpkin. Slice into even wedges 1”-2” thick.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, cumin, chile powder and salt. Add the pumpkin and toss to combine well. Arrange pumpkin wedges on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven until segments are tender, sticky and caramelized, and the underside is deeply golden brown, about 30 minutes.

For Salad:

Chop or tear four heads of frisee lettuce into bite sized pieces, then wash and dry. Chop 1 fresh mozzarella ball into 1” cubes. Just before serving, gently toss lettuce and cheese together with vinaigrette to taste.

To serve, prepare plates with a chicken paillard each, layer with roasted pumpkin, and top with a generous serving of salad. Finish with a sprinkle of toasted pepitas for crunch, if desired, flaked sea salt and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.

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