Serves 4 to 6
A paillard, a French term that is often seen on Italian restaurant menus, is a thinly pounded piece of meat or chicken. It cooks fast and is usually highly seasoned due to the larger surface area.
2 1/2 to 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bag (10 ounces) washed mixed greens
2 medium-large tomatoes, cut in wedges
1 bunch scallions, all parts, sliced
1 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
Lay the chicken breasts on a work surface. With a scaloppine pounder or heavy skillet, flatten to 1/2-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the cheese and bread crumbs on both sides, pressing to adhere.
Glaze a large sauté pan, stove-top griddle, or grill pan with oil. Set over high heat. Sear the breasts for about 4 minutes each side in 2 batches if necessary, or until well browned and no longer pink in the middle. Press down occasionally with a pancake turner. Remove to a tray. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut into thick diagonal slices.
In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup oil, the lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk. Add the greens, tomatoes, scallions, basil, and chicken. Toss gently.
To prepare the salad when tomatoes are not in season, replace the basil with 2 teaspoons rubbed dried sage, sprinkling it over the chicken breasts after the salt and pepper. Replace the tomatoes with 1/2 cup recipe-ready, sun-dried tomatoes. Add 2 peeled and sliced navel oranges.
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