Avec Chef Jim (via Avec Eric)

Wednesday evening I had two huge chicken breast halves to cook and hadn’t planned a menu so I started rummaging through the fridge and pantry to see what I could turn up.  Found an extra bulb of fennel that I hadn’t used for our dinner party last weekend and decided I needed to use it or lose it!

Started by searching Eat Your Books for chicken plus fennel recipes.  Came up with several to chose from but Eric Ripert’s Chicken Paillard with Tomatoes, Fennel and Olives enticed me as I THOUGHT I had all the ingredients!  It was dinner time so there was no time for a quick run to the store!

Here’s a peek at the dish right out of the oven:

Finished Dish

The recipe is in AVEC ERIC the companion book to the TV series of the same name, I enjoyed the handful of episodes I caught, and decided to invest in the book.  While I have given it a quick perusal, this is the first recipe I’ve made from it.  To me, his style of cooking isn’t over the top, he uses lots of good ingredients and doable techniques and styles of cooking to turn out beautiful food.

Now here’s a list of my subs to accommodate my pantry:

  • Whole Pitted Kalamata Olives for Green Olives Pitted & Sliced
  • Dried Orange Flavored Cranberries for Raisins plumped in Dry White Wine
  • 1/2 Pint Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes halved for 1 cup diced seeded peeled Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted Pistachios for 1/4 cup Pine Nuts, toasted

The Cranberries were probably a little sweeter than the raisins would have been otherwise it was a good version of the original.


Chicken Paillard with Tomatoes, Fennel and Olives

Recipe By:  Eric Ripert

Serving Size: 4


4                 skinless boneless chicken breast halves — butterflied and lightly pounded flat

1/2 cup      shallots — minced

2 cloves      garlic — minced

1 cup          tomatoes — peeled, seeded and diced

3/4 cup      fennel — thinly sliced

1/2 cup      green olives — pitted and sliced

1/4 cup      raisins — soaked in white wine

1/4 cup      pine nuts — toasted

2 tblsps      capers

4 sprigs     thyme — leaves removed

1/2 cup      olive oil

3 tblsps      basil — julienned

2 tblsps      parsley — chopped

ground pepper — to taste

sea salt — to taste



Preheat oven to 450° F.

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a lightly greased baking dish.

Combine together in a mixing bowl the shallots, garlic, tomatoes, fennel, green olives, raisins, pine nuts, capers, and thyme leaves. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover the chicken with the tomato, fennel and olive mixture and drizzle a little more olive oil over and around the Paillards. Bake the chicken in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Sprinkle the parsley and basil over the Paillards and serve immediately.


“Avec Eric”




The hardest part of this recipe or I should say the most time consuming is gathering the ingredients, after that it couldn’t be simpler!  It was delicious and have added it to the repeat menu list.

As you can see I served it with roasted sliced beets w/balsamic glaze. We also enjoyed Olive Oil/Roasted Garlic slathered slices of toasted Ciabatta!  Another great pantry meal!

Eat Well….Be Well!


This entry was posted in Chef Jim Menu, Chefs, Recipe. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Avec Chef Jim (via Avec Eric)

  1. sallybr says:

    Would you believe I never made paillards in the oven? Sounds like a great recipe, as all the saucy components prevent the meat from drying out, right? Lovely recipe, and I think your adaptations made it even better!


  2. Chef Jim says:

    For other applications I’ve sauteed paillards for a little color and finished in the oven, but I must say these were perfect, and reheated leftovers were awesome! And yes the saucy components and short cooking time allowed them to stay perfectly moist! Just the right proportion of everything. Next time I’ll shave the fennel on the mandoline although I enjoy it crunchy so maybe 1/2 and 1/2 LOL!


  3. chefconnie says:

    Fennel and chicken are one of my favorite combos. What a great pantry meal. Glad to have found this blog.


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