Grilled Chicken Paillard

with cucumber, fennel, citrus & brown rice

Ok, so “Paillard”. It’s meat pounded thin with no bones involved, and usually chicken comes to mind, right? If not, let me know. If you’re someone who immediately thinks of beef or veal Paillard, we should talk. We’re destined to be friends. But back to the chicken. When I think of a Paillard dish, I assume it’s normally served with some kind of pan sauce, probably something with acid like lemon, maybe even a mustard-based sauce or a cream-based sauce. I clearly wasn’t in the mood for any of that and, as always, felt like doing my own thing. So here we are with a totally different, but loosely inspired, Paillard dish. The chicken is grilled at high heat and super fast since it’s so thin, then served over brown rice and topped with crunchy shaved fennel, thinly sliced Persian cucumbers, refreshing citrus, and a good bit of buttery Castelvetrano olives. Oh, and a nice showering of crispy breadcrumbs on top because I want that delectable fried crunch.

I’m a big fan of this grilled chicken Paillard dish and will probably make endless versions of it all summer long. The grilled meat and bright crunchy salad, plus the briny olives, is a winning combo. It hits all the right notes. And the whole thing can be put together pretty quickly, other than prepping your meat (i.e., slicing and pounding it thin) and getting some brown rice cooking. The actual active cooking time is nice and quick. Prep your veg/salad situation. Heat up that grill. And in about ten minutes, you’re eating. My kind of meal. Now, onto the recipe below…

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Grilled Chicken Paillard Grilled Chicken Paillard with Fennel and Citrus
I clearly wasn't in the mood for any of that and, as always, felt like doing my own thing. So here we are with a totally different, but loosely inspired, Paillard dish.
Grilled Chicken Paillard with Fennel and Citrus


Grilled Chicken Paillard
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5 from 1 vote

Grilled Chicken Paillard

Grilled Chicken Paillard with Fennel and Citrus
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Inactive Time50 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: chicken, fennel, grilling, healthy, paillard, quick, summer
Servings: 2
Author: Rachel Lerro


  • 2 Chicken Breast butterflied and pounded thin
  • 1 Bulb Fennel sliced thin
  • 4 Persian Cucumbers sliced thin
  • 2-3 Citrus Fruits sliced or supremed
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano Olives  pitted and torn in half
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Brown Rice cook according to package or rice cooker instructions
  • ½ cup Panko


  • Start by getting your brown rice cooking. This will take the longest time, but it's mostly inactive, so get it started while you prep the rest of the ingredients for the recipe.
    1 cup Brown Rice
  • Take your chicken breasts and butterfly them, trying not to slice all the way through. You're aiming for one large piece of chicken, but it will still be delicious if you end up with two smaller halves. Layer the chicken between parchment paper or plastic film and pound it very thin. Aim for about 1/4 inch thickness. It will shrink up a bit when you grill it, so try to get it as thin as you have the patience for.
    2 Chicken Breast
  • Thinly slice your cucumber and fennel. Save a bit of the fennel fronds for garnish. Slice or supreme your citrus and pit your olives. Keep everything in the fridge to keep it cold while you wait for your rice to finish cooking and to get your chicken grilled.
    1 Bulb Fennel, 4 Persian Cucumbers, 2-3 Citrus Fruits, 1 cup Castelvetrano Olives 
  • Toss your breadcrumbs in a pan with a good drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Fry them over medium-high heat until they're golden brown and crispy. This should only take a few minutes. Keep stirring while they cook so nothing burns.
    ½ cup Panko
  • Season your chicken Paillards with salt and a light drizzle of olive oil. Grill them over high heat until they're cooked through. It should take about 3 minutes per side, depending on your grill.
  • To plate, scatter a generous serving of brown rice over your plate and top it with your chicken. Toss your salad ingredients together in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Top the chicken with your salad, scatter breadcrumbs and fennel fronds on top and eat up!
    ¼ cup Olive Oil

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