Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken Caesar salads are a ubiquitous (that’s a fancy for being everywhere) restaurant menu item. I went through a phase in life where that’s pretty much all that I ordered when going out to eat. Lately, we usually end up buying a bagged Caesar salad kit but as grocery costs skyrocket, so do those bags (nearing $4-and the lettuce lately is pretty sad looking).

I have made homemade Caesar dressing once in my life. I remember being extremely nervous because it contained raw egg yolks and anchovies. I’m not going to lie, I’m still a little bit freaked out by anchovies. A certain aroma wafts out of the can the minute you open it and the little filets have sort of a hairy/spiny appearance. Okay, I’m totally reeling everyone into making this recipe! No really, this was really easy to make and although it does contain whole anchovy filets, they are pureed in a blender and there is no evidence of their existence once the dressing is finished. There are no egg yolks in this recipe and very little oil, making this a “lighter” version of most traditional recipes. Topped with grilled chicken, this makes a nice light spring/summer supper.

Chicken Caesar Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

For the dressing:

1/4 C. buttermilk

2 T. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

2 T. reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 T. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 – 2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press

3 anchovy fillets , rinsed and patted dry

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded

For the chicken:

2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, butterflied

2 tsp. grill seasoning (such as McCormick)

1 tsp. salt

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

Juice of 1 lemon

For the salad:

Croutons

1 head Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped

Black olives (optional) 

Make the dressing:

Puree all of the dressing ingredients except the oil and Parmesan in a blender (or food processor) until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, add the oil in a steady stream. Stir in the cheese.

Make chicken:

Place chicken and marinade ingredients in a large zip-top bag. Marinate no more than 30 minutes. Grill until cooked through.

Assemble the salad:

In a large bowl, toss lettuce, croutons, black olives, and dressing together. Divide salad among four plates. Top each mound of salad with a sliced, grilled chicken breast half. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.

Dressing recipe from Cooks Illustrated

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