I can’t count the number of bad chicken Caesar salads I’ve had in pubs and chain restaurants, it made me forget how delicious this dish can be when done right. You might think a homemade chicken Caesar salad doesn’t sound that exciting, but actually if you make the dressing from scratch and pan fry your chicken so it is delicious and juicy and you make rustic, chunky croutons it is actually something very special.
When I served this to my boyfriend he was amazed, he absolutely loved it – wolfed it down in fact and I’ve made it several times since. The flavours are simple and classic, a deep salty and creamy dressing of parmesan, garlic and anchovies on crispy lettuce leaves with crunchy croutons, succulent warm chicken and shavings of cheese.
The recipe I used came from Jamie magazine and is simple to follow and really delivers on flavour. I have amended it somewhat, for ease and to suit me. I hope you feel inspired to give this classic dish a go (please don’t get out the shop bought sauce, I’ll never forgive you!) It would be perfect for an informal dinner for friends on a Friday night or a romantic dinner for two…….
Chicken Caesar Salad (serves 2)
One cos lettuce
Two chicken breasts, skin-on
Sprig of rosemary
One garlic clove, sliced
Parmesan to serve
100ml whole-egg mayonnaise
1tbsp crème fraiche
1 garlic clove, minced
2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
20g freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
2. Make some croutons by slicing up some crusty bread into chunks, place on a baking try and rub with a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in an oven at 170 degrees and bake until golden.
3. Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Then place in a hot frying pan skin side down. If possible find something heavy to put on top of the chicken breasts to press them down and get the skin crispy. Turn over and do the same on the second side. Cook for around 10 minutes in total, turning two or three times.
4. Check to see the chicken is cooked through, then remove to a chopping board. Toss your lettuce with plenty of the dressing, sprinkle on croutons. Slice the chicken breasts and sit on top of the salad. Use a vegetable peeler to grate shards of parmesan over the salad. Serve with the left-over dressing on the side.