Paillard is a term used for meat, usually veal or chicken, that is pounded thin and then quickly seared on top on the stove. This recipe for chicken paillards from Martha Stewart Living is healthy and quick to make for a weeknight supper. In addition to the chicken, it includes roasted squash and onion, and a garnish of fried sage leaves and baby spinach. And, if you’ve had a tough day, pounding the chicken can be very therapeutic!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The only thing that may contain artificial ingredients is the butter, which can contain colour. Look for a brand of butter that has only one ingredient: cream.

Toss the squash and onion with oil and put in the oven to roast.

Pound the chicken to a thickness of about a quarter-in

Fry the sage leaves

The sage should be crispy

The thin paillards sear quickly on top on the stove

Chicken paillards with squash, onion, fried sage and spinach


½ small kabocha or acorn squash, unpeeled, seeded and cut lengthwise into ¾ -inch (1.9 cm) slices

1 small red onion, cut into wedges, root end attached

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

4 skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves, 4 to 5 ounces each, (113 g to 141 g each), butterflied

Red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon (15 ml) unsalted butter

16 fresh sage leaves (from about 4 sprigs)

1 cup (250 ml) baby spinach leaves


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). Distribute squash and onion evenly on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil, season with salt, and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and roast until squash is tender, about 15-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, pound chicken to a 1/8 to ¼ -inch (0.3 cm to 0.6 cm) thickness (use the smooth side of a meat tenderizer, a rolling pin or a heavy pot). Season on both sides with salt and red pepper flakes. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Swirl in remaining tablespoon (15 ml) oil, then butter. Fry sage until just crisp, about 1 minute; let drain on a paper towel.

Working in 2 batches, add chicken to pan and cook until golden and cooked through, about 1 minute on each side. Divide chicken among 4 plates and top with spinach, squash, onion, and sage. Serves 4.

From Martha Stewart Living