Wish Upon A Dish: Chicken Paillard with Roasted Pears, Walnuts and Blue Cheese

December 2, 2013

Chicken Paillard with Roasted Pears, Walnuts and Blue Cheese

My favorite way to cook a chicken breast is breaded and shallow fried. We call them cutlets. My favorite way to eat a chicken breast is a pounded and breaded cutlet served with a salad on top.
Now the The Nudge has his new favorite.

In Italy they top it with a lemony arugula and call it Milanese, in France, it has been largely replaced by the word escalope. In new Orleans they still use the old word paillard and in Germany they top it with a fried egg and call it Weiner Schnitzel.

Anyway you call it, it's a great way to eat chicken. If you have not yet tried this version with a salad on top, you must make it really soon. Good enough for company, Ina even served hers to Mel Brooks.

With the cooler months upon us and the holiday spirit slowly creeping into my bones, I decided to make a roasted pear, blue cheese and walnut salad to top my cutlets with.
Family coming for Christmas? Overnight guests need to eat. I guarantee your family will be talking about this meal more than the turkey.
I bread my chicken with both panko and Italian bread crumbs. The places on the chicken that the panko won't adhere to, the bread crumbs will, so it gets total coverage....yum

The salad makes the dish. What's not to love?
Roasted pears, chunks of bleu cheese and toasted walnuts with hearts of romaine lettuce. Oh My!!

I used a walnut oil to roast the pears with but any good quality oil would work.
I sprinkled the tops with sage, a dusting of sugar and a pinch of salt. Once the tops got some color, I flipped them over and roasted them 4 more minutes, repeating the sweet and the salt. You need to buy unripe pears and a few more than you need. Ripe ones will fall apart and turn to applesauce when roasted. If that happens just add them to the dressing and start over. No more pears, use apples.

Since the roasting depends on the ripeness, just roast until a knife slides in and out without raising the pear.
To serve, place a few romaine leaves on one side of the chicken. Slice the pears into lengthwise 1/4-inch slices and fan them out over the lettuce. Sprinkle with bleu cheese and the walnut pieces. Spoon the dressing over the salad and serve more on the side.

This was my best version to date. I made sure I had extra of everything so The Nudge would have lunch of this fabulous dish in sandwich form. The guys are gonna flip when they see that!!!

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