Grilled Chicken Paillard With Arugula, Fennel, And Parmesan Cheese

This week we’re lucky enough to have both arugula and fennel in our box. What better way to showcase their assertive flavors than in this dish, which combines them as a topping for grilled chicken breasts?

To create a paillard, the chicken is sliced horizontally, then pounded to create a thin fillet, which insures quick and even cooking. If you don’t have time to marinate the chicken before cooking, do a quick soak while you preheat the grill and prepare the salad topping.

4 servings

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each split horizontally

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use

1 large lemon, zested and juiced, divided use

1 garlic clove, minced

6 to 8 handfuls arugula

1 fennel bulb, core and fronds removed, very thinly sliced

1 cup shaved Parmesan-Reggiano cheese

With a mallet, pound the chicken breasts between waxed paper until they are around

1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the lemon zest and the garlic. Add the chicken and toss to combine. Set aside for 1 to 3 hours, if time allows.

When the chicken is almost ready, preheat the grill to medium-high.

In a separate bowl, combine the arugula and fennel. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, or until the mixture is lightly coated, and stir gently to combine. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and add oil or lemon juice to taste. Add the parmesan and toss gently to combine.

Grill the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until just cooked through and golden brown. Transfer to a serving plate and top the chicken with the greens.


  • This salad is so tasty, serve it as a side. It also pairs well with grilled rib-eye steaks or can be topped with a poached or fried egg for a light lunch.

  • To thinly slice the fennel, use a mandoline or very sharp knife.

  • A mandoline also works well to slice the cheese, or you can use a vegetable peeler.