Chicken Caesar Salad

  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Serves: 2, 4
  • Level: easy

‘We think Dad’s Caesar dressing is heavenly, let us know if you agree?’

Pete
‘A WDC speciality, I’ve never had this better than at home… It’s all about fresh ingredients and proper Caesar dressing!’

What you need

For the salad

1 large roasted breast of chicken

1 large or two small heads of Romaine lettuce

2 thick slices of sourdough – or other – bread

Olive oil

Parmesan cheese

For the dressing

large pinch salt

large pinch ground black pepper

1/2 clove garlic – grated

2 large anchovy fillets in oil

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbs lemon juice

2 tbs good vinegar (ideally wine vinegar)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 large fresh organic egg yolk

1/2 cup virgin olive oil

2 tbs thick creme fraiche

 

 

 



Dad's Recipe Tales

‘Chicken Caesar please!’

Caesar salad is quintessentially American. Diners and family restaurants will always serve a choice of soup or a salad as part of a set meal. The salad is always the same mix of iceberg or Romaine lettuce, croutons and choice of dressing: French, blue cheese, or Caesar… Perhaps the ubiquitous nature of these salads has caused some to mock them as gauche. How many of us have turned our nose up at the iceberg in favour of a lollo rosso or simple English round lettuce? I can understand this – the best salad I ever ate was in roadside restaurant in France; a simple soft leaf lettuce dressed with vinaigrette.

But the crunchy, creamy Caesar is famous throughout the world for a good reason – its refreshing, light and healthy, and very tasty.

 

How Dad Cooked It

  1. Make the dressing. Put all the ingredients, except the olive oil and creme fraiche, into a small food processor or blender. Blend until very smooth – gradually add the olive oil while continuing to blend. Finally add the creme fraiche. Taste, and check the seasoning – adding more lemon if necessary. NB: easy on the salt as the Parmesan in the finished salad is salty. It is impractical to make dressing in less quantity, but it’s good on any type of salad, fried food, potatoes etc. and will keep in the fridge for several days.
  2. Wash the lettuce and spin dry – cut into pieces to suit your taste – or leave whole.
  3. Cut the bread into cubes. Put into a hot non-stick frying pan and heat on medium high heat, stirring and tossing for 5 minutes. Drizzle olive oil over the bread and continue to heat, tossing until the cubes are turning brown. Season and drain on kitchen towels. Alternatively put the cubes into a bowl, pour over a little olive oil so that each cube us coated in a little oil. Season and put on a baking tray and heat in the oven on 160C or Gas mark 4 for 20 minutes. Check to ensure they do not burn.
  4. Arrange the lettuce on a serving plate or in a large shallow serving bowl, arrange the chicken over, scatter the croutons over the salad. Grate or peel slivers of Parmesan over the the salad and serve with the dressing, (the original Caesar Cardini version used grated Parmesan).

If using egg is a concern – coddle the egg, or boil to soft-boiled stage and then use the yolk. Otherwise omit and use another 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche or two tablespoons of store bought mayonnaise.

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