Grilled Chicken Paillard with Frisèe and Caper-Walnut Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Two chicken breasts and a handful of common pantry ingredients are all you need to make this casually elegant meal for two. Pounding the chicken helps it cook faster while ensuring that the meat stays tender and juicy. If possible, use freshly ground pepper for an extra kick of flavor.


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 to 8 oz. each)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 Tbs. capers, plus 3 Tbs. caper brine
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) toasted walnut pieces
  • 1 bunch frisèe (7 oz./220 g), rinsed, dried and torn from root


Rinse the chicken breasts and pat them dry with paper towels. Lay them on top of a piece of parchment paper and cover with another piece of parchment paper. Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer (or a rolling pin if you don't have one), pound the chicken breasts to about 1/2-inch thickness. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbs. olive oil. Sear the chicken until a golden crust forms or grill marks appear, and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C), about 3 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the capers, caper brine and Dijon mustard. While whisking constantly, start adding the olive oil and continue whisking until an emulsified mixture forms. Stir in walnuts and a few grinds of black pepper.

When the chicken is done, transfer to a cutting board and cover with foil while you plate the salad. Divide the frisèe between 2 dinner plates, drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Slice the chicken and arrange on top of the frisèe, then spoon over the dressing. Serves 2.

Belle English, Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen Director