Chargrilled Chicken Paillarde with Aoili and Roast Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 4

4 (150g/6oz) free-range chicken breasts (skinless)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Maldon sea salt and cracked pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tbsp rosemary, chopped


2 egg yolks, preferably free range

¼ tsp salt

Pinch of English mustard or ¼tsp French mustard

1 dsp white wine vinegar

8 fl ozs (250ml) oil (sunflower, arachide or olive oil or a mixture) — We use 6 fl ozs (175ml) arachide oil and 2 fl ozs (50ml) olive oil, alternatively use 7:1 1-4 cloves of garlic, depending on size

2 tsp chopped parsley

4 branches of cherry vine tomatoes

Fresh rocket leaves

First make the aioli: Put the egg yolks into a bowl with the crushed garlic, mustard, salt and the white wine vinegar (keep the whites to make meringues). Put the oil into a measure. Take a whisk in one hand and the oil in the other and drip the oil onto the egg yolks, drop by drop whisking at the same time. Within a minute you will notice that the mixture is beginning to thicken. When this happens you can add the oil a little faster, but don’t get too cheeky or it will suddenly curdle because the egg yolks can only absorb the oil at a certain pace. Taste and add a little more seasoning and vinegar if necessary.

If the mayonnaise curdles it will suddenly become quite thin, and if left sitting, the oil will start to float to the top of the sauce. If this happens you can quite easily rectify the situation by putting another egg yolk or 1-2 tablespoons of boiling water into a clean bowl, then whisk in the curdled mayonnaise, a half teaspoon at a time until it emulsifies again. Finally add the chopped parsley and taste for seasoning.

Next prepare the chicken paillarde: Remove the fillet from each chicken breast and save for another dish. With a sharp knife slice each chicken breast from top to bottom, so that you can open it out like a book. Press flat with the palm of your hand to ensure a good flat shape. Drizzle with Extra virgin olive oil. Season the chicken paillardes with salt, freshly ground pepper and some chopped rosemary.

Just before cooking season with Maldon sea salt.

Preheat the grill-pan.

Cook the chicken for approx four minutes on each side, turning each after a few minutes to give a nice criss-cross effect.

To Serve: Serve the chicken on hot plates garnished with a bunch of roast cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves and a dollop of aioli.

Roast Cherry Tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 250C/400F/Mark 6.

Lay the cherry tomatoes on the vine on a baking tray. Drizzle with extra virgin oil, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and roast for 8—10 minutes until the tomatoes just burst.


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