Award-winning chef Brian Emmett says everyone has time to make a FAST meal, even for weeknight dinners. What’s a FAST meal? FAST stands for Fresh, At-home, Simple and Tasty.
Watch how easy it is to make a delicious French dinner, and find out how to make a bonus meal with the leftovers.
Chef Emmett shows us how to make a classic French dish, Chicken Paillard (pronounced pay-yar), FAST style. No need to be afraid of French cooking. This recipe is simple.
FAST Herb Chicken Paillard
French chefs are known for their flavorful sauces and beautiful food. This recipe features a demi-glace. Demi-glace is a complex, rich brown sauce used alone or as a base for other sauces. Pre-made demi-glace can be found in some grocery stores or can be ordered through popular online retailers. It can keep in the refrigerator for about a week or frozen up to six months.
Ingredients (serves two to four):
2 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (or substitute turkey or pork loin cutlets)
1/3 cup wheat flour
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons chicken demi-glace
2 tablespoons minced scallions
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pound the boneless chicken breasts to about a 1/3 inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the flour on a plate, then dredge the chicken in the flour, coating the pieces completely; shake off the excess flour.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until the pan is almost smoking. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Add more butter and oil to the pan if needed. Transfer the chicken to a warmed plate and cover to keep warm.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot and then the garlic to the pan. Cook and stir until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes Add the sherry vinegar, stock and demi-glace and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, until the sauce thickens, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the scallions, parsley and tarragon, and season with salt and pepper.
Return the chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce. Serve immediately with sauce drizzled over the top and more fresh herbs for garnish. Top with fresh sliced lemons. Add a green salad and whole grain bread to make a complete meal.
Pro tip: Make more chicken than you need and use the leftovers to make another FAST meal with the recipe below.
Leftovers for Lunch
Have leftover chicken? Make another meal.
Chicken Salad Recipe
Ingredients (serves two):
1 cup bite-sized chicken chunks
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Squeeze of lemon juice
Handful of fresh herbs
Add a squeeze of lemon juice, fresh herbs and Greek yogurt to the bite-sized chicken pieces. Add Dijon mustard if you’d like a little more tang. Serve on whole wheat bread slices with fresh lettuce.
Take Your Time and Enjoy
Whatever you’re making at home, take a lesson from French culture and make time to sit down to enjoy your meal. Use a real plate, silverware and a cloth napkin for the full experience. Turn off the TV or your mobile device and have a conversation.
Taking time to pause and enjoy your food, especially with your family or a friend, can help you eat slower and digest your food. You may even find that you eat less when you take time to enjoy every bite.
Sources: France remains faithful to food as meals continue to be a collective affair, The Guardian, 2014; Growing Herbs Indoors, Penn State Extension