Its December and that means a packed schedule of parties, happy hours, brunches, school performances….and lots of yummy high calorie treats, dinners and cocktails. Just go ahead and book your trainer now for January-it takes away a bit of the guilt.  But, if your house is like mine the kids still want to eat even if I have a party to go to and I have to feed them something other and Chic Fil A and Canes-right?  And there are times throughout the holiday season that I just want a quiet dinner at home which means I have to make something as good as Chic Fil A and Canes.  This recipe for Chicken Paillard with Pears and Arugula is DELICIOUS! It is so easy, quick and light and your kids will eat it because it is tangy and salty and sweet.  I adapted this recipe from Tyler Florence- a chef I LOVE.  His recipes are always easy and just “normal”. Nothing fancy, but always tastes fancy.

Paillard just means pounded thin so don’t be scared off by the fancy French word. You don’t even have to pound anything with grocery stores now offering thin cut chicken breasts already packaged. It takes all the work out of it!  I love anything pillared because it cooks quickly and I am a lazy/impatient cook and like things quick.  Just look for thin cut chicken breasts or ask your butcher to paillard regular chicken breasts.

This recipe calls for pears, but you can use figs (like the original recipe calls for) if you can find them. The fig season is so short so I like to use pears which add just as much sweet and texture as figs and are easy to find especially the fabulous, amazing Costco:) And you can also substitute pomegranate seeds for the dried cranberries-would be delicious and very Christmasy!

Hope your December is Merry and Bright!


5 from 1 vote

Chicken Paillard with Pears and Aruglua

Servings 3



  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded thin
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lb pancetta, sliced or cubed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 lb. blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 bag arugula
  • 1 pear, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)


  1. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar and shake well.  If you do not have a lidded jar just combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.

  2. In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add pancetta and cook until crispy- about 4-5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

  3. Add the chicken to the pancetta oil and cook 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove to serving platter. 

  4. The skillet add the vinaigrette and cook until warmed through-about 1-2 minutes. 

  5. Sprinkle pancetta, blue cheese, arugula, pears and cranberries over chicken.  Drizzle warmed vinaigrette over everything.  Serve immediately.  

Needed Items