Caesar salad is a classic. Most people choose bottled dressing, but homemade is so much better. There are a few extra steps, but it is worth it. After you make this dressing once, you will be able to whip it up quickly anytime you want. Adding some tasty chicken to the mix just kicks it up another level. We also recommend baking a few potatoes to serve on the side with a knob of butter. You will be happy.
This recipes calls for anchovies, which can weird some people out. Don’t let them scare you! Embrace the anchovy. In our opinion, anchovies are the bacon of the sea. Think about it…they are. Seriously though, we put them in and on everything. You can do it!
· 2 small heads Romaine lettuce
· 1.25 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast.
· ½ cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
· 1 cloves fresh garlic, peeled, smashed, then minced
· 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (plus more to taste)
· 4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
· 1 teaspoon anchovy paste, or 1-2 anchovies, smashed and minced (optional)
· 1 egg, coddled (see instructions)
· 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
· 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (plus one more for chicken, optional)
· Freshly ground black pepper (1/4 teaspoon or to taste)
· 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
For Side of Baked Potatoes: 2lb Yukon Gold Potatoes
Optional Homemade Croutons
1 loaf (can be a few days old) baguette, focaccia or other rustic bread. Really any bread works. We think Bread Box Bakery Country Wheat work great.
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Make the chicken, potatoes and croutons
Toss chicken breast in ¼ cup olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper to. Optional but recommended – add a bit of Worcestershire and Dijon mustard if you want more flavorful chicken. (This can be done up to 24 hours before and refrigerated, or a minumum of 10 minutes before cooking.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the chicken along with on a baking sheet for roughly 30 minutes or until fully cooked. On the same pan place 1-2lbs of yukon gold potatoes (russet also work but we think yukon have a sweeter taste). Make sure to prick each potato with a fork before putting it in the over or they may explode! Bake the potatoes until fork tender. If the chicken is done first, remove it and return the potatoes to the oven.
Make the croutons (optional): Chop 1 clove of garlic and add 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large (ideally metal) bowl. Chop bread into roughly 1 inch cubes; add to bowl. Toss the bread and oil garlic mixture until well coated. Get into it. Toss it high. Feel all cheffy. Then place the bread on a baking tray.
Tip: Reserve the bowl you made the croutons in, you can make your dressing in it later. Less dishes = a good thing right? J
Cook the croutons by either:
1. Broiling them. Let them brown slightly under the broiler for about 2-4 minutes then remove. DO NOT WALK AWAY. We 100% guarantee the second you do they will burn to a crisp, your smoke alarm will go off, you will say many expletives etc. Listen to us… don’t walk away. Remove when slightly brown and let cool.
2. Baking them – Put in oven at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.
If you are trying to be efficient, bake the croutons while you are baking the chicken. Just remember the croutons will be done before the chicken is.
Coddle your egg (optional): If you don’t mind using a raw egg yolk, and know how to remove the white from the yolk, you can skip the coddling step. If the idea of raw egg freaks you out a bit, then coddle it!
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the egg to the rolling point for 1-1.5 minutes. Remove egg and cool in a bowl of cold water. When you crack it open (into your dressing bowl), the white should be cooked while the yolk is still runny. Put the yolk in the dressing; leave the white in the shell. If some egg white goes in, don’t stress.
Make the dressing: Crush and finely chop garlic and add to large bowl with your egg (or clean jar with lid). Add anchovies, Dijon, salt and pepper, Worcestershire (optional) and 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
Now slowly add 1/2 cup of olive oil. Whisk until creamy OR shake until creamy if you chose the jar option. Whisk in half of the parmesan cheese. Taste, add more lemon juice to taste. The lemon should give an edge to the dressing, but not overwhelm it.
Clean and chop the lettuce: Chop your lettuce and rinse in a salad spinner. If you do not have a salad spinner, buy one. Seriously. You won't regret it.
Make the salad: Toss lettuce with dressing, the rest of the cheese and croutons. Top with chicken and enjoy!
You can keep leftover dressing in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week.