Switch-up the same-old meal of grilled chicken on top of salad by turning it upside-down! Thinly pounded, grilled chicken breast (“chicken paillards”) makes an elegant platform for a pile of seasonal salad. Here, it’s a spring celebration of snap-peas, strawberries and arugula in a bright, lemony dressing. If you purchase chicken labeled “thin-cut” or “cutlets” you may be able to skip the pounding step.
Grilled Chicken Paillards With Sugar Snap Pea and Strawberry Salad
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Four 5- to 6-ounce pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see headnote)
8 ounces fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 cup baby arugula
4 medium strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
Toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are golden and fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Whisk together the oil, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, the honey, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper in a mixing bowl, to form a smooth (emulsified) dressing.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a large cutting board. Place 2 pieces of the chicken on top and then cover with another sheet of plastic wrap. Use a mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to an even thickness of ¼-inch. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of chicken. Season the chicken with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Lightly grease a grill pan with cooking oil spray or a little oil, then preheat it over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 1½ to 2 minutes per side, until grill marks have formed and it is just cooked through. Transfer to a plate; drizzle the chicken with the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice.
Cut each sugar snap pea pod lengthwise into 3 or 4 slices, exposing the cut peas inside. Add them (plus any loose peas) and arugula to the bowl with the dressing. Toss gently to coat evenly.
To serve, divide the chicken paillards among individual plates. Top each with a mound of the snap pea salad, then scatter with strawberry slices and toasted almonds. Season lightly with salt.
Makes 4 Servings
Per serving: Calories 300; Total Fat 13g; (Sat Fat 2g); Protein 35g; Carb 8g; Fiber 3g; Cholesterol 105mg; Sodium 210mg; Total Sugar 5g (including 1.5 g added sugar)