Chicken Paillard Is The One Meal Andrew Zimmern Could Eat Every Night

Andrew Zimmern will forever be associated with a willingness to consume so-called "bizarre" foods such as roast porcupine (which he says was the best thing ever) and fermented shark (which he doesn't recommend). Pointing out that it's wrong to "other" foods considered perfectly common or even delicacies in other cultures, Zimmern says he deeply regrets that his TV show went by the sensationalist name "Bizarre Foods." Still, this most omnivorous of celebrities doesn't always have a taste for global goodies. He often enjoys dining on simple fare.

In a TikTok clip, Zimmern explains that one dish he could "eat every night of the week and never get tired of" is a rather minimalist recipe with a fancy name — chicken paillard. While "paillard" is a French word that translates as "bawdy," there's nothing NSFW about the chicken dish. Instead, the culinary definition is thinly sliced meat, pounded flat, and cooked at a high temperature. On his YouTube channel, Zimmern shares that he's been "addicted" to this chicken dish since he was a teenager because, at the time, it was trendy in the New York culinary scene. According to his website, he used to cook chicken paillard at the restaurants where he worked in the '80s, but this oldie-but-goodie remains part of his 21st-century repertoire.

Zimmern likes to serve his chicken paillarde with an Italian-inspired side

As chicken paillard is more of a technique than a specific recipe, there is no one way to cook it, which may be what makes the dish so versatile. Andrew Zimmern demonstrates a different method on TikTok than he does on YouTube. In the first instance, he fries the paillards in hot oil, while in the second, he cooks them over an outdoor barbecue. The chicken paillard recipe on his website uses the latter method, grilling the chicken breasts for two to three minutes per side after dressing them with olive oil, chives, and parsley and pounding them into flat circles between sheets of plastic wrap.


A little Sunday chicken paillarde #ASMR

♬ original sound – Andrew Zimmern

While the chicken is relatively plain, Zimmern likes to dress it up with a panzanella salad. This Tuscan dish is traditionally made with stale bread, tomatoes, onions, and basil and dressed with oil and balsamic vinegar. Zimmern keeps the bread, tomatoes, oil, and basil but makes his version extra-bougie by using an artisan loaf, shallots, fennel, grapefruit, and sherry vinegar. He then piles the panzanella atop the paillards, calling the result "a classic of spring cooking." While Zimmern admits that chicken paillard is easy to make, when it's topped with the Tuscan-style salad, he says it "tastes very, very, very complex in a delicious way."