Apricot & Pistachio Chicken Paillard

apricot-pistachio-chicken-paillard

Welcome Summer! That's right, today is officially the first day of Summer. To celebrate, a few of my blogger friends and I are hosting a Virtual Summer BBQ! We are all sharing our favorite summer recipes - from appetizers to cocktails which I'll link below.

My contribution to the BBQ is this Apricot & Pistachio Chicken Paillard featuring tender grilled chicken and lightly grilled apricots tossed with a simple salad. Now, you may be thinking "what's a paillard" or wondering why something with such a fancy name is on the menu for a summer BBQ but let me explain. 

Paillard simply means a thinly pounded piece of meat, whether it be chicken or veal or beef, and then quickly cooked either over the grill, seared in a screaming hot pan or lightly pan-fried. Often, a quick sauce is made in the pan the meat was cooked in or the paillard is simply topped with a light green salad like it is here. 

The best thing about paillards is that they cook QUICKLY and, especially in the case of chicken breasts, remain tender thanks to the process of flattening the meat. In this recipe, I like to provide extra flavor by briefly marinating the chicken in a mixture made with lemon juice, olive oil and dijon mustard which is a natural complement to summer apricots. 

So, before you go off and make this recipe to ring in our new season go ahead and check out some of these other delicious recipes my friends decided to bring along to our BBQ!

Appetizers:

Greek Bell Pepper Boats - Alex from Ruffled Apron Blog (@ruffled.apron)  

Mexican Grilled Zucchini and Corn Salad - Emily from Get Well With Em (@getwellwithem)

Main Dish:  


Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops with Prosciutto and Asiago - Jess from Plays Well With Butter (@playswellwithbutter)
 

Side Dishes:

Gluten Free Shrimp Pasta Salad - Taryn from Hot Pan Kitchen (@hotpankitchencom)


Patriotic Red, White and Blue Potato Salad – Bonnie from BonnieTaubDix.com (@bonnietaubdix)


Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Green Goddess Vinaigrette - Ellen from Hungry By Nature (@imhungrybynature) 

Drinks:

Spicy Jalapeno Paloma - Allie from Miss Allie's Kitchen (@miss.allieskitchen)

Pineapple Gin Cooler Cocktail - Michelle from Cup of Zest (@cupofzest)

 

Apricot & Pistachio Chicken Paillard

Serves: 4

Time: 15 minutes plus 30 minutes chill time

Ingredients:

For the Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly pounded* 

1 shallot, minced

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Apricot & Pistachio Salad

1/2 lb. apricots, pit removed and sliced in 3/4" slices

3 ounces baby arugula (about 3 cups loosely packed)

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the apricots

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. In a shallow baking dish, prepare the chicken marinade by whisking together the minced shallot, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, sea salt and black pepper until well combined. Place the chicken in the dish and coat evenly with the marinade before covering and placing the in fridge for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat your grill to high heat and remove the chicken from the marinade. Grill the chicken for 3-4 minutes per side until thoroughly cooked. Remove the chicken from the grill and set aside. 

3. Lower the grill heat to medium-high. Brush each apricot slice with a little bit of olive oil. Grill the apricots for 3 minutes on each side or until gently seared. Be careful not to overcook the apricots - they should not be too mushy!

3. Combine the arugula, grilled apricots, red onion and pistachios in a large mixing bowl. Pour the red wine vinegar and olive oil over the mixture. Season with the salt and pepper and then toss to combine well. 

4. Place a piece of chicken on a plate and top with some of the salad mixture before serving. 

Note:

  • The best way to do this is to cut open one side of a large Ziplock bag. Place a chicken breast between the two layers of the bag and use a small, heavy skillet (or meat tenderizer) to pound each piece to about 1/4" thickness.