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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chicken Caesar Salad

This salad is one of our favorites. It's easy to make, and bonus! you can make the components ahead of time. That's always a plus for me! It also makes it a good choice if you're having friends over, because you can just assemble the salads right before you serve them. But please, be nice and rip the greens into small enough pieces so you don't have to watch each other trying to shovel huge pieces of lettuce into your mouths. It's not easy to look graceful while eating a salad, but with a simple step, you can avoid embarrassment, lol. And dressing all over your face. So here we go...

Chicken Caesar Salad

  • Dressing:
  • 10 TB olive oil
  • 4 large egg yolks (or about 4 TB egg beaters)
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 2 TB white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced anchovy fillet
  • For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together, and you’re done with that step. Now get started with the croutons...
  • Croutons:
  • 1 loaf Italian bread, cut in ¾-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • olive oil
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  1. For the croutons, heat the oven to 375.
  2. Place the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then toss to coat.
  3. Bake about 12-15 minutes, until golden brown, tossing halfway through cooking if needed.
  4. Set aside, and they should look like this:
Now, for the chicken:

I always fillet chicken breasts. They cook faster, so they don't have time to dry out. Well, I suppose they could, if you really try to overcook them, but they only need a few minutes per side. If they're thin, 2-3 minutes per side is good, and if they're thicker, like the kind you get from "new and improved" mutant-sized chickens, they take about 5-6 minutes per side. And it's so easy to fillet them, too! Just put your chicken on a cutting board, get a good sharp fillet knife, and place your palm over the chicken breast, like the way you're supposed to cut a bagel but no one ever does? "Hello? 911? Bagel emergency! But please stop off first and get me a new bagel...I seem to have ruined this one..." So you've put your palm over the top, and then you slice the breast horizontally from the thick end of the breast, to the thin one. See? Easy, and injury free!
  1. For the chicken, fillet each breast for fast and even cooking. Trust me, they're better this way, and the chicken cooks so quickly that it doesn't have time to dry out.
  2. So you've filleted each breast, right? Now sprinkle each side of the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Don't overdo, it, just enough to season the chicken.
  3. Heat your skillet to about medium high, and drizzle a little olive oil in the pan.
  4. Add the chicken and cook on one side for 3 minutes, then turn them and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden and no longer pink. (You've filleted them, so they won't take longer than this to cook.)

  1. Place the cooked chicken on a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes, then slice each piece into strips.

  1. Assemble the salads:
  2. Put the lettuce in the 4 plates, next put the chicken, then drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with croutons and parmesan cheese.

And that's it, you're done! Simple, right? Next time, we'll try shrimp, and see how that goes. How bad could it be? Shrimp makes everything better!

For a printable version of this recipe, click here.

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canarygrli said...

OMGAWDDDDDDDDD. I think I might have just died and gone to heaven. I want that salad! And you are SO right about tearing the leaves into bite sized pieces! It's not fun to be the dinner guest with salad up your nose. lmfao Awesome step by steps, Elle! :)

Elle said...

Thanks, cg! Coming from you, that's a huge compliment!

Katy said...

yum! i will be fileting all future chicken breasts. :-)

Elle said...

Hi Katy! I swear, my life changed when I discovered filleting. I got this strange long, skinny knife in a set and figured I should give it a try, and I've never looked back. lol.

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