Friday, 24 December 2010

Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken Caesar Salad is one of my Mums favourite dishes. She can't eat tomatoes, so it's one of the salad options that's pretty much guaranteed not to have them in. I don't think I had ever really eaten it before we went Paris, I'm not a big fan of creamy salad dressings much preferring vinaigrette, but the one she had in Paris was delicious and I have been craving it ever since. So I thought I'd try and make my own version with some left over roast chicken from last weekend and the results were pretty good. The sauce has the right consistency and flavour and was much better made from scratch than bought in a bottle, and the salad as a whole was really good. a lovely classic Caesar Salad.

Chicken Caesar Salad (adapted from Good Food Magazine June 2006)
(Serves 4)

1 medium ciabatta loaf (or 4 thick slices crusty white bread)
3 tbsp olive oil
leftover roast chicken
1 large cos, romaine or 2 little gem lettuce, leaves separated

For the dressing
1 garlic clove
2 anchovies from a tin
medium block Parmesan or Grano Padano cheese 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 or, if you prefer, cut with a bread knife. 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 (sea salt crystals are best for this). Bake for 8-10 mins, turning the croutons a few times during cooking so they brown evenly.

Bash the garlic with the flat of a knife and peel off the skin. Crush with a garlic crusher. Mash the anchovies with a fork against the side of a small bowl. Grate a handful of cheese and mix with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Season to taste. It should be the consistency of yogurt - if yours is 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. Scatter the rest of the chicken and croutons, then drizzle with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top and serve straight away.

1 comment:

  1. One of our favorite things in the summer is on the weekend to marinate chicken breasts in olive oil and lemon juice, grill them, and use them in salads during the week, like you did. The salads aren't as classic as your Caesar salad, but sort of similar. The grilling of the chicken adds a complexity to the flavor that works well with the flavors of the salad.