Friday, November 26, 2010

Chicken Paillard With Celery Root Puree, Mixed Salad Greens, and Goat Cheese Mornay

Remember to get in our Quickies Noodle Challenge.  Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to create a fun, sexy, inventive noodle dish.  The deadline for entry is midnight December 14, 2010.

The grand prize is a fantastic cookbook Quickies: Morning, Noon, and Night written by my good friend the super talented Denise Fletcher.

Guest Post Spotlight Saturday

Faith's An Edible Mosaic is one of the best blogs on the net. Obviously one that has been a source of inspiration for me as I chose it for my first ever Favorite Foodie Deconstruction Saturday. Faith is a marvelous cook. She’s smart, creative, inventive, precise and a good communicator. She has an easy way with getting her point across and her tutorials are exquisitely written. All the while, being a sweet supportive friend.

It truly is an honor to turn this floor over to a cook I respect the hell out of. Hopefully, you will see much collaboration between the fabulous Faith and I.

If you value my opinion, after you enjoy this, please hop on over to An Edible Mosaic.


Before I get to the eats, I want to give a huge thank you to Lazaro, who is not only an inspiring cook but also a genuinely wonderful person. I also want to thank him for working so diligently to bring bloggers together through his guest post series. I have been introduced to many wonderful bloggers through his site and I am honored to be guest posting here today.

Now for the food! Breaded and shallow-fried chicken cutlets are one of my all-time favorite meals. This is a dish that crosses cultures and is internationally loved. It’s known by a few different names depending on where you’re from, including Hänchen-Schnitzel (Germany), Chicken Milanese (Italy), and Chicken Paillard (France). I decided to go the French route and serve it with celery root puree and Mornay sauce.

Since Chicken Paillard is usually served with salad greens and many times I’ve seen goat cheese included in the salad, I wanted to incorporate goat cheese into this meal in a different way. Then the idea of making a light Mornay sauce with goat cheese struck me. It was perfect. It could be drizzled over the whole meal, as a sauce for the celery root puree and chicken cutlets, and as a salad dressing on the greens. The Mornay isn’t heavy at all so it doesn’t weigh down the greens, and if you use sturdy greens they don’t even wilt with the warm sauce. If you’re not into warm salad dressings though, feel free to use any dressing you like (but be sure to still make the Mornay…it’s amazing, especially on the celery root puree).

Celery Root

If you’ve never worked with celery root before you’re in for a real treat. It’s not the prettiest vegetable you’ll ever lay eyes on (truth be told, it’s pretty gnarly looking), but it is intriguingly delicious with its distinctive flavor that is reminiscent of both celery and parsley. It’s in season during colder months so now is a great time to look for it; when you’re buying celery root, look for ones weighing about 1 pound or less since they have better flavor and texture than their larger counterparts.

Chicken Paillard {With Celery Root Puree, Mixed Salad Greens, and Goat Cheese Mornay}

(Yield: 2 servings)

Celery Root Puree:
1 medium starchy potato, peeled and diced
1 (about 3/4 lb to 1 lb) celery root (also called celeriac), peeled, rinsed, and diced
1/4 c milk
Salt and pepper

Chicken Paillard:
1 TB olive oil
2 (about 6 oz) chicken breast cutlets, pounded thin
1 egg
1/4 c breadcrumbs
1 TB fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 TB fresh minced parsley
1 tsp fresh minced thyme
Salt and pepper
Lemon wedges (for serving)

Goat Cheese Mornay:
1 tsp butter
1 tsp all-purpose flour
1/4 c milk
1 oz goat cheese
1 tsp fresh minced parsley
Salt and Pepper

Salad Greens:
3 c mixed salad greens
1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar

For the Celery Root Puree: Put the diced potato and celery root in a medium pot and add enough cold water to just cover everything. Bring it up to a boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer until the veggies are very tender (about 15 minutes). Drain the veggies, then put them back into the pot and mash them. Stir in the milk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat over a double boiler if necessary before serving.

For the Chicken Paillard: Put the egg in a shallow bowl and beat it with a pinch of salt and pepper. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Dip each chicken cutlet in the egg, then let the excess drip off and dip each in the breadcrumb mixture. Add the olive oil to a medium-large skillet over medium-high heat; once the oil starts to ripple, add the chicken and cook until fully cooked and golden on both sides (about 3 minutes per side), flipping once. You can turn the heat down if the chicken starts to burn or cook too quickly; the chicken is fully cooked when there is no pink in the middle.

For the Goat Cheese Mornay: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour; cook for about 30 seconds, then whisk in the milk and bring up to a simmer. Whisk in the goat cheese and continue cooking until the cheese is melted. Turn off the heat and add the parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

For the Salad Greens: In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, salt, and sugar, then stir in the onion; add enough cold water to just cover the onion, then let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse and drain the onion, then pat dry. Before serving, toss together the salad greens, tomato, and onion.

To Serve: You will need 2 individual plates. Divide the celery root puree between the 2 plates and place a piece of chicken on top of each. Divide the salad between the two plates, arranging it on top of the chicken. Drizzle the Mornay on top of everything and serve with lemon wedges to sprinkle on top.

For more classy cooking, and wonderful photos like these, check out An Edible Mosaic.


  1. Faith,

    A great course. Glad I left the celery root side to you, yours is much better. The kind of dish I would be happy serving on my table. The goat chesse mornay was a smart choice for a finishing touch.

    Another informative thorough post. Thanks for sharing your talent with us here.

    Two thumbs up!

  2. i can't believe how many new and interesting things i've learned in this post. thank you for the new learnings...

  3. I love this dish look yummy and nice, thanks to Lazaro and Faith to sharing us! gloria

  4. amazing another fabulous post of delicious new adventures! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family!

  5. wow looking yummy...

  6. I too love breaded shallow-fried chicken cutlets, regardless of what they are called :) I think the goat cheese Mornay is truly brilliant, I love how colorful the dish is, well-rounded and covering all the major food groups! Great guest post!

  7. Hi Faith,

    Thank you for showing me what celery root looks like. I've always passed by this funny (and yes, quite "gnarly looking" I'd say) looking vegetable, but never paid much attention to it. Now I know what I can do with it. This is such a beautiful dish you've created. Making the Mornay sauce with goat cheese to incorporate this ingredient into this lovely dish was a very creative and brilliant idea! I can definitely see why Lazaro "respects the hell out of" your cooking. For an amazing cook such as Lazaro to say that, is saying huge amounts about your talents. Bravo to you, dear and a great guest post!


    You know I always value my friends' opinions. Heading over to Faith's blog right now. How could I not after reading this awesome post? Thank you for another lovely guest post.

  8. Hi Faith, I think the entire dish is fantastic but the addition of goat cheese mornay is brilliant.
    Wonderful combinations here, love it :)

  9. I don't have the TIME to experiment anymore with my cooking, but I still love to think about carving out time on the weekends to wow my guests with something new. What a lovely recipe and thank you, Faith!!

    HI LAZ! Anita

  10. I've been dying to try something with celery root...I see it in the market (ugly, isn't it?) and wonder what I could think up to try.
    This is a wonderful recipe, Faith. And goat cheese mornay sounds divine!
    Many thanks, Lazaro, for another great guest post.

  11. Thanks to all for your sweet words about my dish...hope you like it! :)

    Lazaro, Thank you so much for the honor of guest posting here. Your kind words are truly humbling...just know that I respect you too...and I am inspired by you all the time. I'm so glad you like the dish!

  12. What a great meal,Faith!!!Great guest post!I have to try some celery root soon.

  13. What a beautiful dish! I almost picked up a celery root and after seeing this I wish I had. Chicken paillard is my favorite too!

  14. Great and delicious guest post Lazaro!
    Hope, I love celery root and I'm happy you chose the french style chicken paillard to give your spin, that is one of my favorites too!

  15. I am fan of Faith cooking. This dish looks really awesome. Nice guest post Lazaro.

  16. Great post, I love Faith, she posts great stuff, doesn't she?!?

  17. The entire dish is beautiful - you've inspired me to make a celery root puree. Absolutely love chicken prepared this way - no matter what country :) but goat cheese mornay is a brilliant touch. Thanks Faith and Lazaro!

  18. I don't use celery root enough... and it is so lovely with so many things. This is a great combination of warm and rich and bright salad with wonderful photos... great dish!

  19. Faith, this is an excellent meal! I very much enjoy celery root, and have done a puree with it and apples last year, but for some reason haven't seen it in my store this year yet. The goat cheese mornay sauce sounds terrific and I bet it brings amazing flavors for the whole dish!

  20. Looks like my first comment didn't go through?

    Faith - love this gorgeous meal :) The chicken is perfection and the goat cheese mornay is for me, the highlight, though the celeriac puree is a close second. The texture of the mornay is absolutely beautiful, way better than the classical French version!

    Laz - thanks for sharing Faith's talent with us :)

  21. I've never cooked celery root before, but I bought one at the grocery just last week, Serendipity maybe? This looks delicious!

  22. Wow, I've never heard of this (my cooking scope doesn't extend as far as Faith's...yet :)) but it looks delicious! Great guest post!

  23. OMG that is absolutely beautiful! I want that now!!! Never cooked with celery root, this has inspired me top give it a try!!

  24. What a wonderful dish Faith. I have never eaten celery root before but I would love to try it, and the way you have prepared it in this delicious puree looks amazing and with the warm goat cheese dressing and breaded chicken...yum!

    Nice to meet you Lazaro...nice blog:)

  25. The key to yummy tasting celery root must be combining it with potatoes like you did, huh? I've had celery root once before and couldn't handle the celery taste... celery is my least favorite vegetable.

    Your chicken cutlet looks so tasty Faith, I am totally going to make this soon!!

  26. Greetings, Faith!
    So nice to find you here, today! I just made a yummy celeriac and sweet potato mash Saturday with only salt and pepper added. It is such a wonderful and understated root. The entire meal here, is enticing. The goat cheese mornay is something I have never heard of... that name. Cheese sauce: yes. But have never thought to make a goat cheese sauce though I adore goat cheese mashed potatoes. Sometimes, I just need to give my head a shake. That is why I am so thankful for posts like this: you have enlightened me!
    Thanks for the inspiration, and I agree with what you have said about Lazaro providing this opportunity for so many of us to meet one another. I have been introduced to so many new sights through this sharing.

  27. This must be delish from just looking at the picture :) Thanks for sharing this recipe Faith :) and of course not to forget Lazaro for providing this great opportunity for us to learn so many great dishes here :)


  28. Hi Faith! This looks super good. I've been wanting to try celery root in forever! I've seen many cooking shows and blogs cooking this as puree. I haven't got around to give it a try yet. Somehow, the root produce is slipped away from my list..sigh. Great guest post as always Laz!

  29. What a delicious sounding dish, I'm familiar with all the ingredients, and just love the recipe and they way it is put together, sounds like a special treat to be shared and savored with friends and loved one.

  30. I'm excited to make one too. Im actually into recipes like this - this is a perfect comfort food for me. I love the idea of pureed celery root and potatoes, a refreshing idea and alternative to the regular mashed potatoes. I love crumbly and fried,like schnitzel, so this is perfect for me. Love love love the touch of goat cheese mornay, and lastly I adore greens. The more rustic and organic, the more homey for me.. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe...


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