Chicken Paillard


Avec Eric is a PBS TV show in the United States. It features the Eric Ripert, co-owner and executive chef of Le Bernardin in NYC – still one of the most highly rated restaurants in NYC.

The show involves a visit to a part of the world, talking to fishermen or farmers or chefs. From his travels he gains inspiration and the shows end with Mr. Ripert preparing a dish influenced by what he saw, tasted, and learned.

Sometimes, for me, he is hard to understand because of his pretty heavy French accent. I shouldn’t really comment because my French is terrible, and at least Mr. Ripert is bi-lingual. But what really comes across in Avec Eric is his love of all things food and wine, and his perfectionism. And he seems like a really nice man.

What does make me laugh is that he’s best friends with Anthony Bourdain. Can you imagine a more opposite pairing of people?!!!

In any case, the recipe I’m posting today is based on one I saw Mr. Ripert make at the end of his show, after he visited Chianti, Italy, to witness olive oil production.

The recipe has many ingredients, and I’ve even left a few out. But the flavors and textures are fantastic.

Chicken Paillard
Based on Eric Ripert’s recipe, to serve 1

2 tablespoons white raisins
2 tablespoons vincotto
2-3 small ripe tomatoes
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Sliced green olives
Olive oil
1 breast chicken
Salt, pepper
Dried thyme
Pine nuts
Chiffonade of basil

Soak the raisins in the vincotto, warmed slightly, and set aside.
Set the oven on 450 degrees.

De-seed and finally chop the tomatoes and place in a small bowl. Add the shallot and garlic, and olives and capers according to your taste. Season with salt and pepper, stir well, and set aside.
Pour a little olive oil in a small baking dish.

Slice the chicken breast horizontally, without cutting all the way through, so as to butterfly it. Place it in the baking dish and season with salt and pepper.

Add the raisins and vincotto to the tomato mixture along with a little dried thyme.

Stir well, then spoon the mixture on top of the chicken.
Sprinkle on a few pine nuts and drizzle with a little olive oil
Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn off the oven but keep the skillet in the oven 5 more minutes.
Immediately place the paillard on a plate. Drizzle the liquid from the baking dish over the chicken.
But we’re not done yet. Sprinkle on the basil and add a squeeze of lemon, and then serve!

Cooked this way, the tomato mixture caramelizes with the high heat, but the chicken remains moist.
Because it’s still summer where I live and I was able to use wonderfully ripe tomatoes, I celebrated this dish along with rosé.
This recipe than be doubled or quadrupled.

48 thoughts on “Chicken Paillard

    • The show is fun and interesting, not flashy. I was lucky enough to go to Le Bernarding once when I took one daughter to NYC when she interviewed with Sotheby’s in 2010 maybe. It was complete perfection.

  1. When I saw the first pic, I’m thinking to myself, how many ingredients does this have. But then when I read through, it wasn’t that many, and they all compliment each other. You had me at capers anyway…

  2. Really like the combo of olives, capers, and tomatoes. And garlic, of course. :-) Really nice way to dress up a simple chicken dish — thanks.

  3. This is really gorgeous, Mimi! I wish I could see his show – just not available on my PBS station. I am planning to try this Friday night for supper! Perfect for our GF, dairy-free guest!

  4. I LOVE Eric Ripert. I had no idea he has a TV show. Thank you so much for this post–for the info and for the recipe :)

    • Well you just don’t hear about the ones on PBS! It’s all about the food channels. I always loved Mario Batali on PBS – his show was passionate, informative, and not just glitzy!

  5. This looks delicious, and I’m looking forward to gathering the ingredients and doing something special with chicken. I’ve found it difficult to find superior recipes for chicken. So glad to receive these ideas from you.
    RuthAnn Ridley

    • I know what you meant about chicken. I never order it in a restaurant. I think the key is to cook it properly! I’ve been at friends’ houses and they bbq it till it’s so dry and unpleasant. But this recipe was outstanding, and I cooked the chicken is about 1/4 of the time as was suggested, and at 450 instead of 500.

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