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Chicken Caesar Salad



Caesar Salad is a very tasty bread and lettuce salad which is elevated to another level by the dressing; something akin to mayonnaise but supercharged with anchovies, mustard, worcester sauce and tabasco sauce. I always assumed it was an Italian dish because of the flavour profile, but it is actually the fine people of Tijuana, Mexico we have to thank for this one. I didn't need another reason to love the cuisine of Mexico but I'm happy to have it! I will admit that technically there should be no bacon or chicken in a Caesar salad, but I wanted to write a recipe that is substantial enough to have as a full meal. This salad is very tasty and reasonably quick to make, perfect for an after work dinner. If you want to make the authentic version leave out the chicken and bacon, it is delicious either way.


Ingredients


For the Croutons


2 slices sourdough bread or 1 ciabiatta roll (torn into pieces)

1 tablespoon good quality olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


For the dressing


2 Anchovies in oil, chopped up

1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

Juice of half a lemon

Dash of Worcester Sauce

Dash of Tobasco Sauce

1 Egg Yolk

3 Tablespoons good quality olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


For the salad


2 Chicken Breasts

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil (for frying)

2 thick cut bacon rashers, cut into thin strips

half a head of lettuce

40g Parmesan, shaved or grated (use more if you fancy it!)


Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2 people (substantial enough to be a main)


Instructions

  1. Start with preheating your oven to 200c on the fan setting

  2. Take the bread and mix with the olive oil, toss to coat well and season to taste (just a light sprinkle is enough)

  3. Place in the oven and toast for 5 - 10 minutes, until nicely toasted but not overly so (see below photo, it should be toasted on the outside but still a little soft in the middle), allow to cool before adding to the salad

  4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, get a frying pan on a high heat and fry the chicken in the rapeseed oil on both sides until nicely browned (see photo), when browned remove and place on a roasting tray and finish in the oven (about 10 minutes but could be more if it is a big breast, you can always slice it open to make sure it is done)

  5. While the chicken is in the oven, get working on the dressing. Place all of the dressing ingredients except the olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Drizzle in the oil slowly with the blender still running, a bit like if you were making a mayonnaise

  6. When the chicken is almost done, fry up the bacon in the same pan you cooked the chicken

  7. Combine the lettuce, croutons, parmesan, chicken and bacon in a bowl

  8. Pour over the salad dressing and toss well to coat evenly, but not too vigorously as you don't want to bruise the lettuce

  9. Serve up and shave a little more parmesan over the top, then give each bowl a twist of black pepper

  10. Enjoy!


Prepping the Croutons

The toasted croutons

Seasoning the chicken

Browning the chicken

Making the caesar dressing

Getting ready to toss the salad

The finished Chicken Caesar Salad

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