Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Chicken Caesar Salad

I'm back! Did you miss me?!



Well, I'm excited to be back- it feels like a long time since my last post! We've had a lovely break though; we were in Cape Town for New Year and, far more importantly, to celebrate the wedding of one my closest friends! So 2013 so far has pretty much looked like this:

How's your 2013 looking?

Having slightly waaaay overindulged during the festive season, and not exactly taken it easy while on holiday, I'm keen to get back into a more balanced way of eating and thought I'd kick things off with a Chicken Caesar salad.

OK, I know Caesar salads aren't exactly the healthiest salad on the block, but lets not get crazy about this OK? I do still have to feed a well established carnivore too... but thankfully this passes the Mr E test with flying colours. Moist (does anyone else hate that word?!) chicken, punchy dressing, crunchy croutons and the kind of lettuce that even I like (being a self professed lettuce hater). All good in my book!

Chicken Caesar Salad
Serves 2

2 chicken breasts, skin on (I did say we weren't trying to be too healthy!)
2 Little Gem/ Sweet Gem lettuce hearts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tblspns lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tspn Dijon mustard
1/2 tspn Worcestershire sauce
1 tblspn milk
2 slices of stale bread (we keep these in the freezer from the end of loaves)
2 tblspns olive oil
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
1 tspn garlic powder
Pinch of salt
1) Preheat your oven to 180c/ 160c fan/ 350f/ Gas 4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put a large frying pan over a medium heat and get it nice and sizzly hot. Add two tablespoons of olive oil, and when that starts to sizzle add the chicken breasts skin side down. Leave these for 5-7 minutes on a medium heat until the skin is golden- try not to lift or move them, or the skin will tear and won't get as nicely crispy as we'd like. That would be sad.

2) Turn the chicken over and put the pan into the oven for 20 minutes until they are cooked through. When they're done, remove them from the oven, wrap them in foil and let them rest while you get everything else ready.

3) Chop your bread slices into 1" chunks and toss with 2 tblspns olive oil, rosemary, garlic powder and salt. Scatter over a baking tray and pop into the same oven with the chicken for 15 minutes, until golden and as crunchy as you'd like- toss them every 5 minutes to make sure they're cooking evenly.

4) Whisk together the mayonnaise, parmesan, lemon juice, minced garlic, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce and milk until thoroughly combined. Taste and then adjust to suit your preference (if you like a thinner dressing then add a splash more milk, or if you want more zing add more lemon juice).

5) Wash your lettuce and tear the leaves apart, discarding the chunky root. Drizzle with half the dressing and toss lightly; serve the rest of the dressing on the table so everyone can suit themselves. Slice the chicken as thinly as you'd like and rest on top of the salad, topped with the golden croutons.

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