Nutty Chicken Paillard

Chicken paillard coated with almond flour, that is. I often just pound the chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper, and throw them on the grill, and they are terrific that way, but flouring before frying adds nice browning and another layer of flavor. Today, I’m trying almond flour instead of all-purpose flour. I had wanted to try coconut flour, but couldn’t find any in my local store.

Here’s a video of the contemporary method of butterflying a chicken breast before pounding, but some people butterfly by cutting through one side almost to the other edge, and some people simply pound the whole breast. All these methods work, and if you accidentally cut through too far, just work with the pieces you get. The point is to have meat of all the same thickness that cooks very quickly. Keep trying, though, until you can get the lovely large pieces.

The video chef is right that chicken breasts are getting bigger and bigger, so I didn’t choose the method of simply pounding the whole breast. That would take a lot of pounding, and as it was, things fell off shelves from all my pounding. If you find a package of small chicken breasts, however, I do recommend that method rather than butterflying. I had three large ones; I cut one from one side to almost the other, and I did the remaining two using the method in the video. I did not remove the tender, but included it in the paillard, adding to their final size. As you can see in my photos, I put a hole in one, but otherwise, they came out pretty well. I cut them in half before dredging in the almond flour, just to make them easier to cook and turn in the large frying pan.

Nutty Chicken Paillard

  • Servings: 1 chicken breast per person
  • Difficulty: moderate
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boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can use ones with skin on, if you can find them)

1/2 cup almond flour per breast

salt & pepper

olive oil or vegetable oil for frying

  1. Butterfly large breasts, if desired. Place breasts between plastic wrap or in large unsealed plastic bags. Pound breasts to an even thickness of about 1/4-1/2 inch with a tenderizing mallet or even a handy kitchen object like a coffee mug with a flat bottom.
  2. Season paillards with salt and pepper, then dredge in almond flour.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. You are not deep frying the chicken, so you don’t need an amount of oil that comes over the tops. You can add more oil to the pan as needed, and can probably only cook one at a time.
  4. Cook each paillard for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned. It’s hard to get a thermometer in thin pieces of meat, so I use the test of pressing on the thickest parts until there is little resistance, the same method used to test steaks (see the method here: Remove to platter and cover with foil while you cook the rest.

They were really tasty and worth trying.

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