Chicken Paillards with Pomegranate Sauce and Bacon and Baby Potato Hash
Present this perfectly pleasing meal of chicken paillards with pomegranate sauce and potatoes cooked with pancetta, scallions and red pepper flakes. Top the chicken with an arugula and fig salad dressed with fresh lemon and EVOO.
- 3 large pomegranates or 1 cup store-bought pomegranate juice
- 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 6 peppercorns
- 3 cloves
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied if large
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 1/4 pound thick-cut pancetta or bacon, diced
- 8 baby Yukon Gold or baby white potatoes, very thinly sliced
- 1 large shallot, very thinly sliced in rings
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 6 cups arugula
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 pint fresh figs, halved or quartered
Roll the pomegranates on the counter while applying pressure for a couple of minutes. Hold each pomegranate over a pot and cut into them with a small, sharp knife. The juice will come rushing out. Squeeze the pomegranates until 3/4-1 cup of juice is produced. Store-bought pomegranate juice can be used when fresh are not in season. Add the vinegar, peppercorns, cloves and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down to a simmer and reduce the liquid by half, about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, cover the chicken with plastic wrap on meat-safe cutting board and pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, to taste.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO. Heat a second medium-size skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan. Add the pancetta to the smaller skillet and cook until crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Add the potatoes and shallots in thin layer and season with a little salt and black pepper, to taste, then add the red pepper flakes. Cook, turning occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. In the larger skillet, add the chicken and cook for 8 minutes, turning once.
Remove the chicken to serving plates. Strain the reduced pomegranate sauce into the skillet with the chicken and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan, then turn off the heat.
Add the arugula to a large bowl and drizzle with the lemon and about 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Spoon the pomegranate sauce over the chicken. Top the chicken with the salad and figs and serve the potato hash alongside.