Chimichurri Chicken Paillard with End-of-Summer Salad
All you need to do is fire up the grill for the best bites of summer's end.
This is the perfect quick and easy meal that tastes as good as it looks, featuring all the best produce from the end-of-summer harvest. Not only does this dish come together with minimal effort, but it’s healthy and filling, too. Chicken breasts are sliced in half and then pounded into thin paillards before being marinated in chimichurri, a delicious sauce made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, onions, garlic, and lots of fresh herbs. You can buy the chimichurri at Stew Leonard's or make your own. A colorful salad of arugula, peaches, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh summer corn completes the dish.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; paring knife; wax paper; meat mallet; wet measuring cup; measuring spoons; mixing bowls; fork or reamer; mini strainer; grill or grill pan; tongs
4 chicken breasts (2 - 2½ pounds) 1 cup of chimichurri, plus ½ cup extra for plating kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5-ounce container of arugula
4 ripe peaches
3 ears of corn
2 heirloom tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the grill to 400F.
2. Slice each chicken breast in half from the thick top to the thin tip so that you have eight pieces.
3. Place each half between two sheets of wax paper and pound thin to make the paillards, approximately ¼-inch thick.
4. Combine the chicken with 1 cup of the chimichurri, mixing well to coat evenly. Season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the salad ingredients.
ILOC tip: don’t forget to wash your hands and your work surfaces before you begin the salad preparation to avoid any possibility of cross-contamination.
5. Slice the corn off the cob and place the kernels in a large mixing bowl.
6. Then slice the peaches in half, discard the pits, and slice each half into quarters. Place the peach slices in the same bowl as the corn.
7. Cut the tomatoes into chunks, discard the core, and place the cut pieces in the same bowl as the corn and peaches. Set aside.
8. To grill the chicken, place the chicken breasts on the pre-heated grill and cook for approximately three minutes per side, turning only once. Remove the chicken from the grill.
ILOC tip: to make those fancy grill marks known as “quadrillage,” place the chicken paillards at an angle on the grill, cook for one minute, then turn to the opposite angle to cook for another minute or two before turning. You only need to “mark” the one side, the presentation side. Once you make the grill marks, turn the chicken over and cook undisturbed until done.
9. Prepare the salad by adding the arugula to the corn/peaches/tomatoes. Drizzle with the juice of one lemon and 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss well to coat.
10. To serve, place the chicken on individual plates (2 pieces per person) or on a platter. Season again with salt and pepper, and drizzle lightly with chimichurri. Top the chicken with the salad and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.