Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Chicken Caeser Salad

I love this salad when I want a quick and easy, yet tasty tea. I love Caesar salad but it's just not something I'd ever made before this recipe and I never ever choose it when out so I thought it would be nice to make a homemade version. It really is very simple but the dressing is so very tasty. It went down very well with Mr M when I first made it and now it's a regular.

Making croutons was a revelation - that sounds very stupid, I know, but it's just not something that I'd ever considered making before. Maybe because there's not many meals I make that require croutons when I have needed them I've reached for a packet of the shelf but I'd never use shop bought again. Tesco didn't have any Cos lettuce when I made this so I used Iceberg and it worked just fine and I've always been a little scared of anchovies but I faced my fear and really, the dressing wouldn't have been the same without them.

You could adapt this recipe as you wish - it's not necessary to top with bacon. This recipe was meant to serve 4 but as a main meal I'd say it serves 2 hungry people!

Chicken Caesar Salad


1 medium ciabatta loaf
3 tbsp olive oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 large cos lettuce, leaves separated
6 rashers streaked smokey bacon

For the dressing;
1 garlic clove, crushed or minced
2 anchovies from a tin
medium block Parmesan for grating and shaving
5 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp white wine vinegar


Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Tear the bread into big, ragged croutons and spread over a large baking sheet or tray and sprinkle over 2 tbsp olive oil. Rub the oil into the bread and season with a little salt if you like. Bake for 8-10 mins, turning the croutons a few times during cooking so they brown evenly.

Rub chicken breasts with remaining oil and season. Place pan over a medium heat for 1 min, until hot, but not smoking. Lay the chicken on the pan and leave for 4 mins. Turn the chicken, then cook for 4 mins more. Check if it's cooked by poking the tip of a sharp knife into the thickest part; there should be no sign of pink and juices will run clear.

Meanwhile, grill or fry 6 rashers bacon until very crisp and leave to cool.

Mash the anchovies with a fork against the side of a small bowl. Grate a handful of cheese into the bowl and mix with garlic, mayonnaise and vinegar. Season to taste. The dressing should be the consistency of yogurt - if it comes out thicker, stir in a few tsps water to thin it.

Shave the cheese with a peeler. Tear lettuce into large pieces and put in a large bowl. Pull chicken into bite-size strips and scatter half over the leaves, along with half the croutons. Add most of the dressing and toss with your fingers. Break the bacon into bite-size pieces and toss through the salad along with the rest of the chicken and croutons, then drizzle with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top and serve straight away.

It really is that simple. I didn't get far mashing anchovies so I decided to pull out the Kenwood Mini Chopper and whacked the anchovies and garlic in there so it was truly minced! That thing is definitely one of my favourite kitchen items. It's perfect for small kitchen jobs and I'd recommend it to anyone.

love & kisses
Mrs M x

1 comment:

  1. Lovely salad. It would be great if you linked it in to today's Food on Friday which is collecting salad recipes.


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