Chicken Paillard with Watercress & Tomato Salad

I just got back from a fantastic vacation.  My parents visited my husband and me for ten days, and we spent five of those days at Yellowstone National Park.  What an amazing time of year to visit such spectacular beauty!  Needless to say, we had a wonderful time sight-seeing, spotting wildlife, hiking, and laughing.  Now, we’re back home and getting back into our daily routine.

One thing I’m certainly glad to get back to is my regular diet.  Wyoming and Montana didn’t strike me as the most health conscious of states (although elk and bison are two very lean red meats, and, yes, I did enjoy eating both)!  Thankfully, we kept groceries on hand for healthy breakfasts and lunches, and I had packed some homemade muffins and granola bars for the trip.  Still, my body welcomed the abundance of fruits and vegetables when we returned home.

Another thing I was happy to return to was my kitchen!  I’m one of those crazy people who find joy in cooking.  I wanted to share my recipe that I made this evening for dinner.  I whipped up this light, delicious, and healthy meal in less than 30 minutes.  It was perfect after a busy day.  Let’s face it, we all have days, yes, even those of us who truly love to cook, when we simply don’t have the time or energy to make anything elaborate.  Chicken Paillard with Watercress & Tomato Salad is absolutely perfect for such days.  I’ve taken this recipe from Ellie Krieger’s wonderful cookbook, So Easy.  This recipe captures the heart of the cookbook perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds thin-cut skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large bunch watercress, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 slices whole-grain baguette

Combine the chicken, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat.  Preheat a grill or nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat.  Grill the chicken until grill marks form and the meat is just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Remove from the grill and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.

In a large bowl, toss the watercress and tomatoes, with their seeds, with the remaining 2 tablespoons of each olive oil and lemon juice, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of each salt and pepper.  Distribute the chicken among 4 serving plates and top each with 1 1/2 cups of the salad and 1 to 2 tablespoons of accumulated liquid from the salad.  Serve with the baguette slices.

This recipe is fairly adaptable as well.  Don’t like watercress?  Use spinach or field greens.  Try pairing it with brown rice or quinoa instead of the baguette as well.

Another thing I like about this meal is the simplicity of the ingredients.  You may have all of these ingredients on hand already.  This makes it a fairly inexpensive meal (always a plus in my book!).

Hope you find this recipe helpful.  Here’s to the start of another sane and sensible healthy week!

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