Chicken With Arugula & Tomato Salad

I know I have said this many times, but I really do like poultry. I am not sure exactly why it is, but I know I could eat chicken everyday and simply never tire of it. We recently we had dinner up at the little trattoria on the hill behind our property here in Umbria and I noticed they had chicken on the menu. For some reason, restaurants in this area rarely ever have chicken on the menu, so I ordered it, because as I have said, I LOVE chicken. The chicken dish I ordered consisted of thinly sliced and quickly fried chicken cutlets without any breading at all, topped with fresh arugula and some tomatoes tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and it was absolutely delicious! Although I still do love my crispy, breaded cutlets, this dish was so light, tasty, and healthy, that is has now become my new favorite chicken dish. I have made this recipe many times since first tasting it, playing around with seasonings, cooking preparations, and ingredients, but found as in most great Italian dishes, the simpler the better.

For me, this is a complete meal on a plate and perfect for those warm summer days when you do not want to spend a lot of time in a hot kitchen, and is really so pretty (and delicious) that it is great for summer entertaining as well. Just be careful not to overcook the chicken, because sliced this thin the chickens cooks up quickly. I always buy my chicken breasts whole, and debone and slice them myself, but to simplify things you could buy your chicken already sliced if you prefer.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

A light, healthy, and easy to prepare chicken dish that is great year round.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Small Chicken Breasts, Deboned
  • Juice & Zest of 1/2 Lemon
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 6 Cups Fresh Arugula

For The Tomato Salad:

  • 4 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Small Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

  1. If slicing the chicken yourself, place the chicken breasts in the freezer for one hour before slicing.
  2. Slice the breasts lengthwise 1/3 of an inch thick.
  3. Place the chicken slices in a bowl and add the olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest.
  4. Toss to coat the chicken evenly. Let the chicken rest 1 hour before cooking.
  5. While the chicken is sitting, toss together the ingredients for the tomato salad.
  6. To cook the chicken, lightly spray a non-stick frying pan with oil and fry the chicken pieces for about two minutes on each side over medium high heat until lightly browned and cooked through.
  7. Arrange the chicken on four individual plates with the arugula on top.
  8. Spoon the tomato salad on top of the arugula and chicken, dividing it equally amongst the four plates, and drizzle any of the dressing over the tomatoes.
  9. Serve.