Chicken Paillard: the Simple French Way - Dr. Axe

Chicken Paillard: the Simple French Way of Cooking Chicken

Chicken paillard

This chicken paillard recipe is classically simple yet so delicious. With this chicken paillard dish, you won’t even have to turn on your oven. It’s loaded with protein and essential vitamins including vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C thanks to ingredients like organic chicken, arugula and cherry tomatoes.

Before we get to the making of this delicious chicken paillard salad, what is paillard?

What Is Paillard?

“Paillard” is a French term that simply describes the flattening and quick cooking of a piece of meat. The meat is usually veal, chicken or pork. To make a paillard dish, you can buy the meat in thin slices or you can purchase thicker cuts and use a meat tenderizer to pound them out until they are very thin.

Chicken paillard recipe - Dr. Axe

Paillard sounds like a fancy word, but it’s really a straight forward dish to create. It’s often served with just a squeeze of lemon juice or a really simple sauce. If you’re looking for an easy, tasty and nutritious lunch or dinner, chicken paillard is a perfect choice.

So what is chicken paillard exactly? Paillard chicken is a piece of chicken that is very thin, typically cooked quickly on the stovetop in a skillet. There is also grilled chicken paillard and as you would expect, the thin chicken breasts are grilled in this version. Some people like to include a lemon butter sauce for chicken paillard or you can make a chicken paillard salad (like this recipe).


Nutrition Facts

One serving of this chicken paillard recipe contains about:

  • 459 calories
  • 9 grams carbohydrate
  • 1.4 grams fiber
  • 2.6 grams sugars
  • 17.9 grams fat
  • 62.5 grams protein
  • 199 milligrams cholesterol
  • 426 milligrams sodium (28% DV)
  • 26.5 milligrams vitamin B3 (niacin) (190% DV)
  • 2.3 milligrams vitamin B6 (175% DV)
  • 4.4 milligrams vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) (88% DV)
  • 62.4 micrograms selenium (113% DV)
  • 608 milligrams phosphorus (87% DV)

As you can see, one serving of this recipe provides a really well-rounded dose of vital nutrients, and it’s extremely high in protein and B vitamins.

Chicken paillard ingredients - Dr. Axe

What makes this recipe so nutritious as well as gluten-free? Here are some of the healthy ingredients worth highlighting:

  • Chicken: When purchasing chicken for this recipe (or any recipe), I recommend opting for organic, free-range chicken to ensure you’re getting the highest quality meat, which means chickens raised in healthier conditions including no usage of antibiotics. Opting for organic, free-range chicken can also reduce exposure to really harmful bacteria such as salmonella often found in conventional chicken meat.
  • Arugula: Chicken paillard is often paired with fresh greens, and arugula’s peppery flavor makes it a perfect pairing. Arugula is impressively high in bone-boosting vitamin K. It’s also rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, both of which are antioxidants known for guarding the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Cassava flour: This recipe includes making a roux, but I’m keeping this recipe completely gluten-free by opting for cassava flour, which is made from the yuca root. Cassava flour does not contain any gluten yet easily substitutes for wheat flour in so many recipes.

How to Make Chicken Paillard

To prep for this chicken paillard recipe, you’ll need to have some thin chicken cutlets on hand. You can either buy them thin or make them by buying chicken breast and using a meat tenderizer. Pound the meat on a cutting board until it’s thin. No need to hit the meat too hard!

Not all chicken paillard recipes call for marinating the chicken first, but I recommend marinating it to increase the flavor and tenderness of your final product. Place the raw chicken cutlets into a medium-sized bowl.

Add the marination ingredients, starting with the juice of half a lemon. Add the avocado oil, oregano, salt and pepper.

Chicken paillard step 3 - Dr. Axe

Mix the cutlets around a bit so the marinade covers them all well. Cover and let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Transfer the chicken breasts to a large pan over medium heat.

Chicken paillard step 6 - Dr. Axe

Cook for about 10 minutes or until done. Set the cooked chicken cutlets aside on a paper towel so you can make the roux.

In the same pan over medium heat, combine flour, chicken broth and the remaining avocado oil. Whisk to create a light roux.

Chicken paillard step 9 - Dr. Axe

Pour a small amount of roux into the bottom of your bowls for serving.

Chicken paillard step 10 - Dr. Axe

Add the arugula. You can also add a cooked grain at this point if you choose, along with cooked vegetables. It’s a very adaptable recipe.

Chicken paillard step 11 - Dr. Axe

Add the chicken breast and cherry tomatoes.

Chicken paillard step 12 - Dr. Axe

Top with the remaining roux and a squeeze of lemon. It’s as simple as that. Enjoy!

Chicken paillard recipe - Dr. Axe

Other Great Chicken Dishes from Different Cultures

While chicken paillard is a French dish, here are some main dishes from other cultures that also feature chicken:


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Chicken paillard

Chicken Paillard Recipe

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Making chicken paillard is a wonderfully French way to make chicken. Usually pounded thin, this marinated chicken paillard is covered with a roux and served on top of a salad. You can also go with cooked grains like rice and cooked veggies.


  • 6 chicken cutlets or 4 tenderized chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 4 tablespoons cassava flour
  • ½ cup chicken broth (ideally bone broth)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. If you buy chicken breast, use a meat pounder and pound it thin on a cutting board. If you use a chicken cutlet, you don’t need to pound the meat.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, marinate the chicken breasts in lemon juice, oregano, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons avocado oil. Cover and marinate in fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. In a large pan over medium heat, transfer chicken breasts and cook for about 10 minutes or until done. Set aside on a paper towel to make roux.
  4. In the same pan over medium heat, combine flour, half-cup of broth and remaining oil. Whisk to create a light roux. About 10 minutes.
  5. Pour a small amount of roux at the bottom a bowl for serving.
  6. Add arugula, chicken breast and tomatoes.
  7. Top with remaining roux and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French


  • Serving Size: 1 serving (368g)
  • Calories: 459
  • Sugar: 2.6g
  • Sodium: 426mg (28% DV)
  • Fat: 17.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12.1g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Protein: 62.5g
  • Cholesterol: 199mg

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