This classic Chicken Paillard recipe features tender, thin chicken breasts that are quickly cooked and served with the very best pan sauce! This is a cooking method that every home chef can easily master with just a few easy steps. It’s one of my favorite ways to prepare chicken breasts! Recipe for the best arugula salad to plate it with is also included.

Pan sauce is being drizzled over a cut of cooked chicken.

Chicken Paillard

Like all classic cooking methods, paillard chicken is tried, true, and EASY. Honestly, this is one of my favorite ways to prepare a chicken breast. While there are plenty of recipes I love that call for big, juicy chicken breasts, sometimes I prefer them nice and thin. When you make chicken paillard, it’s important to first slice them in half and pound them prior to cooking.

A thinner, flatter chicken breast is a hallmark of chicken paillard. The other key step is making the pan sauce! You can’t have chicken paillard without that simple, savory, and mouthwatering sauce. What’s really great about the flavor palate here is that there’s the perfect amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice to keep things on the brighter side so it’s not too heavy. It’s a great summer entree!

To freshen things up on the plate even further is a vibrant arugula salad. While you can certainly choose really any other side dish you’d like, I highly recommend trying out this salad! Arugula is all dressed up with two simple ingredients – parmesan and grapefruit. It’s fresh, summery, and delightfully simple. If you’re craving a meal that’s filling, flavorful, and on the healthier side, this is it!

Several chicken breasts are in a skillet with pan sauce.

How to Make Chicken Paillard

Making chicken paillard with fresh arugula salad is delightfully quick and easy. For more exact step by step instructions and ingredient measurements, scroll down to the recipe card below.

  1. Flatten the chicken. Place the chicken breasts, one at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap or in a zip top bag. If you use a bag, don’t seal it! Use the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin and pound the chicken. Once flattened, season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Cook the chicken. Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and it’s all simmering, add the chicken and cook until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes). Flip the chicken and lower the heat to medium. Keep cooking until the chicken is fully cooked. Work in batches if needed.
  3. Make the pan sauce. Remove the chicken from the pan. Add shallots and more butter to the pan and cook until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for just 1 more minute. Stir in the lemon juice, zest and stock. Increase the heat to medium-high to bring it all to a simmer. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits that have gathered on the bottom of the pan. Simmer the sauce until reduced by half. Stir in butter, cream, dijon and honey.
  4. Plate with salad. Divide the arugula among four plates. Tip with freshly grated parmesan and grapefruit. Place the chicken right on top of the salad and spoon the pan sauce all over the chicken. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
An arugula salad is plated next to chicken paillard on a plate.

Storage and Reheating

Let the chicken and pan sauce fully cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. Properly stored, it’ll keep for about 3-4 days.

Leftovers are best reheated right back in the pan over low heat until warmed through. However, you can always microwave leftovers for 30 seconds at a time if needed of course! Just try not to microwave for too long or you’ll dry out the chicken.

Serving Suggestions

After several delicious taste tests, I’ve concluded that the simple arugula, parmesan and grapefruit salad is the very best pairing for chicken paillard! However, there are plenty of other sides you can plate this classic chicken entree with.

Keep things fresh with something like Cucumber Tomato Salad or simple Steamed Broccoli (that has just the right amount of lemon). Or, plate your chicken paillard with Mashed Potatoes or pasta to help absorb all of that delicious pan sauce.

Chicken paillard and salad is on a white plate.

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Several chicken breasts are in a skillet with pan sauce.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Paillard Recipe

Summer flavors shine in this simple yet elegant dish. Seared chicken paillard provides a base for the zesty combination of peppery arugula, sweet-tart grapefruit, and a tangy dressing.
5 from 1 vote


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts , cut in half horizontally.
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon and zest
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 cups arugula
  • 1 cup shaved parmesan
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented


  • 1 skillet


  • Place the chicken breasts, one at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap or plate in a zip top bag, do not seal.
  • Using the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin, pound the chicken until flattened to 1/4 inch thickness. Remove from the plastic wrap and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat until the oil is simmering and the butter is melted.
  • Add the chicken to the pan, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minute. Flip the chicken and reduce the heat to medium. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  • Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • Add the shallot and 2 tablespoons butter to the pan, cook until softened, approximately 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
  • Add the lemon juice, zest and chicken stock. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer while scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer until the sauce reduced by 1/2. Stir in the remaining butter, cream, dijon and honey. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer. Season to taste.
  • Divide the arugula evenly among 4 plates and top each with the parmesan and grapefruit segments. Arrange the chicken on top and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately
Calories: 365kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 1447mg, Potassium: 456mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 1807IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 382mg, Iron: 2mg