In 13th century France, Dijon became an important center for the production of mustard. In 1336, at a feast held by the Duke of Burgundy, historical records state that guests consumed 70 gallons of mustard or “moutarde”. Later, in 1777, Grey Poupon®, the famous mustard manufacturing company, was established in Dijon.
Also part of French cuisine, “paillard” is a term used for thinly pounded, rapidly cooked meat. This easy chicken paillard recipe is delicately laced with “fines herbes”, a Mediterranean herb blend consisting of chives, chervil, parsley and tarragon. The accompanying sauce, made with Dijon mustard, adds a perfect zest to this dish. Your guests will rave and say, “It’s scrumptious” or “C’est si delicieux”.
Active Prep time: 25 minutes for chicken; and 10 minutes for mustard sauce
Cooking time: 5 minutes
For the Chicken Paillard:
4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded into 1/4-inch thick cutlets
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1-1/2 teaspoons Fines Herbes*
1 cup vegetable oil
1. Preheat oven to 325˚F.
2. Wash the chicken cutlets and pat them dry with paper towels; set cutlets aside on a plate.
3. In a wide, 1-quart bowl, beat the eggs with the salt and pepper. Place the cutlets in the bowl, coating them with the beaten egg mixture; set aside.
4. In the meantime, in another wide, 1-quart bowl, stir to combine the breadcrumbs and fines herbes.
5. Gently coat the cutlets with the breadcrumb mixture and set them aside on a clean plate.
6. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil. Fry the cutlets on medium heat until underside is golden brown, about 4 minutes.
7. Turn each cutlet once and repeat frying instructions.
8. Transfer the cutlets to a baking dish; cover and keep warm in preheated oven while making the mustard sauce.
For the Mustard Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon Grey Poupon® Dijon mustard
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg yolk, beaten in a small bowl
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a 4-quart saucepot, melt the butter.
2. Stir in the minced shallot and sauté until it is translucent, about 30 seconds.
3. Add the wine and the mustard. Simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes.
4. Stir in the cream and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.
5. Transfer half of the sauce into a bowl with beaten egg yolk.
6. Return the egg yolk and cream mixture to the saucepot; cook and stir for an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened.
7. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir and taste. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.
8. For a thicker sauce, mix together 1/4 cup cold water with 2 teaspoons cornstarch until smooth. Pour a little cornstarch mixture into boiling sauce, stirring constantly. The sauce will thicken immediately. Stop adding the cornstarch mixture when sauce reaches desired consistency. Adjust seasonings, to taste.
Serve warm, as an accompaniment to Chicken Paillard with A Side of Carrots & Green Beans, previously published on this blog on February 15, 2011.
Wine pairing suggestion: Chilled White Bordeaux.
*Fines Herbes is a dry herb mixture found in the spice section of most supermarkets or in a gourmet cook’s store.
Text and Photograph ©2011 Nancy DeLucia Real.