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EATING well

Put Chicken Paillards With Peach and Arugula Salad on Labor Day menu

Get your fruits and your vegetables with Grilled Chicken Paillards With Peach and Arugula Salad.

Associated Press

Get your fruits and your vegetables with Grilled Chicken Paillards With Peach and Arugula Salad.

Labor Day, summer's last hurrah, is a feast day. And mostly, we tend to overdo it. Ribs, steaks, burgers and hot dogs? Check, check, check and check.

Vegetables and other light fare? Not so much.

Allow me to propose an alternative: chicken paillard. Paillard is a French culinary term referring to a piece of meat pounded thin, then grilled or sauteed. In this case, we're going to marinate and grill chicken breasts, then top them off with a peach and arugula salad.

You can pick up thin chicken breast cutlets at the supermarket, or you can buy chicken breasts of average girth, pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes, then cut them horizontally into two thin cutlets.

Whatever kind of breasts you start with, you'll need to pound the cutlets to the desired thinness.

Next, it's time to bathe the cutlets for an hour in a simple marinade of olive oil, lemon and garlic. Grilling the cutlets takes almost no time at all, about 1 minute per side. Let them rest for 5 minutes and they're good to go.

They also happen to be delicious at room temperature an hour later. However you do it, remember to save the juices from the plate on which the cutlets were resting; you'll want to drizzle in it onto the chicken.

And the salad is a cinch — sliced fresh summer peaches and baby arugula (or your favorite greens) tossed with a blue cheese dressing. A little bit of full-fat blue cheese goes a long way. In this recipe, 1 ounce serves four people.

GRILLED CHICKEN PAILLARDS WITH PEACH AND ARUGULA SALAD

2 pounds chicken breasts, pounded 1⁄16 inch thick

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 teaspoons minced garlic

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

8 cups baby arugula

4 large peaches, thinly sliced

½ cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup light mayonnaise

2 ounces finely crumbled blue cheese

1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

In a large zip-close plastic bag, combine the chicken with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and several grindings of pepper. Mix, then chill for 1 hour.

Heat the grill to medium-high. Use an oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs to oil the grill grates.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess liquid drip off. Grill the chicken until it is just cooked, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the arugula and the peaches. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise and blue cheese. Stir in enough water to achieve the desired consistency (about 1/3 cup), then season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the salad and toss well.

To serve, arrange one of the paillards on each serving plate and top with salad and nuts.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 370 calories (200 calories from fat, 54 percent of total calories); 22g fat (4g saturated, 0g trans fats); 75mg cholesterol; 13g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 8g sugar; 32g protein; 470mg sodium.

Put Chicken Paillards With Peach and Arugula Salad on Labor Day menu 08/21/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2014 6:21pm]
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