Grilled Chicken Paillard is a quick, easy, and delicious dinner. It's perfect for weeknights and also worthy of special occasions.
Quick dinners are so convenient, you might also like this ground beef and broccoli recipe that is ready in 30 minutes!
What is chicken paillard?
Chicken paillard is a French term for a piece of boneless meat that has been pounded thin and cooked quickly. The meat can be chicken or pork and can be grilled or sauteed on top of the stove.
Why you will love this recipe
- Grilled chicken paillard is a quick, easy, and healthy dinner and perfect for grilling season!
- It's versatile, see recipe variations below.
Here is what you will need
This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken cutlets
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Dijon mustard
- Lemon juice
- Lemon (for garnish)
- Garlic powder
- Baby arugula (optional for serving)
- Outdoor grill, indoor grill or grill pan
- Meat mallet to pound the chicken breasts
- Hand-held citrus juicer to extract the lemon juice from the lemon
- Grilling Tongs
- Meat thermometer
Here is how to make grilled chicken paillard
Prepare the ingredients: Squeeze the lemon juice from the lemon, chop the fresh herbs and measure the olive oil, mustard, honey, and garlic powder.
If you are not using chicken cutlets, cover the meat with waxed paper or parchment paper and use the flat side of a meat tenderizer or meat mallet to pound the chicken breasts into ¼ thick pieces.
Step 1. Mix the marinade
Mix the marinade ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Then place the pieces of chicken into a shallow dish and pour half of the lemon marinade mixture over the top. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
Step 2. Add the mustard and honey
Stir in the mustard and honey to the reserved marinade and set it aside—Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
Step 3. Grill the chicken
Place chicken pieces on the preheated grill and reduce to medium heat. Cover the grill and cook the chicken for about 3 to 5 minutes until the chicken begins to turn golden brown, flip and cook for approximately 3 minutes longer until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees f.
Step 4. Serve
Combine arugula or field greens with a little bit of olive oil and arrange it on top of a large plate. Place the chicken breasts on top. Pour the lemon sauce over the top of the chicken and garnish each piece of chicken with lemon wedges, lemon slices or lemon zest.
Time Saving Tip! Chicken cutlets are already pounded thin and will save time when making this recipe.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
The full list of ingredients to make this recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients along with ideas for substitutes.
Chicken - boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken cutlets are the best options for this recipe. Chicken cutlets are a little more expensive, but are more convenient since they are already thin.
Dijon mustard - adds a touch of flavor and helps to emulsify the sauce. It can be replaced with your favorite mustard.
Fresh herbs - any of your favorite fresh herbs will work in this recipe such as fresh basil leaves, oregano leaves or tarragon leaves.
Grilled chicken paillard is a blank slate, and so versatile! You can change up the flavor profile and use up what you have in your kitchen. Here are some suggestions.
- Mexican chicken paillard - Replace the lemon juice with fresh lime juice, add ½ teaspoon chili powder and replace the herbs with fresh chopped cilantro and parsley.
- Mediterranean paillard - Instead of lemon garnish, use a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes, a small red onion that's been sliced, and a handful of feta cheese crumbles.
- Asian chicken paillard - Replace lemon juice with fresh orange juice, mixed with a tablespoon of soy sauce.
- Spicy chicken paillard - Add a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes, or cherry pepper rings to the reserved marinade.
- Change up the meat - use boneless pork chops that have been pounded thin or slices of pork tenderloin.
Serve grilled chicken paillard with air-fried potatoes, asparagus risotto, broccoli and cauliflower, sweet potato casserole or green beans.
How to store leftovers
Store leftover chicken paillard in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Enjoy leftovers cold on top of a salad or reheated in the oven or microwave.
- If the chicken sticks to the grill grates after three minutes of cooking, it's not ready to be flipped, let it cook for a minute or two longer, and then flip it over.
- Try not to overcook the chicken, use an accurate meat thermometer, and remove the chicken as soon as it reaches 165 degrees.
- Brush a little bit of olive oil onto the grill grates just before adding the chicken.
Follow the instructions in the recipe card to make the marinade, reserve half and marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
Heat a large skillet coated with extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is heated, add the chicken cutlets and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Serve with remaining marinade.
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Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or chicken cutlets pounded thin.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme and parsley chopped
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Lemon slices for garnishing optional
- Pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet until they are a quarter inch thick and place them into a shallow bowl
- Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder and chopped herbs in a small bowl or jar.
- Pour half of the marinade over the chicken breasts.
- Add the dijon mustard and honey to the reserved marinade and set it aside.
- Preheat a gas grill or indoor grill to medium to high heat.
- Once the grill is hot, add the chicken breasts, reduce to medium heat; cover the grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over and cook for 3 to 5 minutes longer, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees f.
- Serve the grilled chicken over a bed of baby arugula or field greens.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
Yum! Pounding meat thin is really underutilized! Makes it so tender and quick to cook!