Chicken Caesar Salad - Restaurant quality salad, it's all about the homemade dressing!
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4.95 from 18 votes

Chicken Caesar Salad

A classic Caesar Salad, with the addition of chicken to make this an incredibly satisfying meal! The homemade dressing is spectacular - store bought will never EVER compare. Makes more dressing that you will (probably!) need for this salad, but difficult to make less. I usually use around 2/3 of the Dressing for the salad. Also see this healthier mayo-free Caesar dressing (it's terrific!)
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner, Salad
Keyword: Caesar Salad
Servings: 3 -4
Calories: 660kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1 garlic clove , minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets or 3/4 tsp Anchovy paste (Note 1)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise , preferably whole egg (Note 2)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese , or 1/4 cup store bought grated parmesan cheese (Note 3)
  • 2 - 4 tbsp milk (to adjust consistency)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Black pepper

Chicken

  • 2 chicken breast fillets , skin on or skinless (~500 -600g/13oz - 1lb)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Croutons

  • 2 slices white bread , 2/3" / 1.5cm thick (to make 1 cup of croutons)
  • 1 garlic , cut in half
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Salad

  • 3 - 5 oz/100g - 150g bacon , chopped
  • 2 - 4 eggs
  • 1 large or 2 medium romaine / cos lettuce , washed and dried (Note 4)
  • Freshly grated parmesan
  • More anchovies (optional!)

Instructions

  • Dressing: Whizz ingredients in food processor until smooth, starting with 2 tbsp milk. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired, and use milk to get the dressing to the desired consistency. (Note 5)
  • Chicken: Either pound the chicken to about 1.2cm/ 1/2" even thickness, or slice each breast in half horizontally. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the first side for 5 minutes, turn then cook the other side for 2 minutes. Remove, cover loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes. Cut into slices.
  • Bacon: Add the bacon into the skillet and cook until golden. Drain on paper towels.
  • Eggs: Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Place over medium high heat and bring to simmer. Once the water is simmering, turn down to medium (gentle simmer) and cook for 3 minutes (for soft centres), 4 minutes for firm yolks and 7 minutes for hard boiled. Remove eggs, run under cold water for 15 seconds then leave submerged in a bowl of cold tap water for 5 minutes. Peel then set aside. (Note 6)
  • Croutons (Note 7): Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Toast bread in the toaster for 1 minute until surface is dried but not browned. Rub both sides of each piece of bread with the cut side of the garlic. Remove crust from bread (optional) and cut into cubes - around 1 cup. Drizzle with 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with salt, then bake until golden, shaking the tray once.
  • Chop lettuce to desired size - I just stack the leaves and cut into 1 inch strips.
  • Assembly: Place lettuce in a bowl with half the chicken and half the bacon. Drizzle with dressing then toss. Top with remaining chicken and bacon, croutons, place eggs on the side and garnish with freshly grated parmesan if desired.

Notes

1. The anchovy fillets are key to achieve a true restaurant quality flavour. You can't taste it, but it's the seasoning for the sauce so if you skip it, you'll need to add more salt. Make sure you use the dark brown anchovy fillets in oil that come in a jar or can in the canned fish aisle of supermarkets, not the white anchovy fillets that are brined in vinegar, not oil, that are typically sold at delis, not prepackaged.
Anchovies in a jar (it's small) are more convenient than cans because they keep for ages in the fridge. Next time you make a olive oil based or tomato PASTA, chop up an anchovy or two and saute it with the onions, then add the other sauce ingredients. It gives the pasta an extra something-something flavour - this is a restaurant secret!
If you really prefer not to use anchovies, 1 tsp of fish sauce will be an adequate substitute.
2. Whole egg mayonnaise is not as vinegary as normal vinegar.
3. Store bought pre-grated parmesan is denser than freshly grated which is why you don't need as much.
4. Dressing won't coat wet lettuce so make sure it's dried!
5. Don't thin the dressing too much, otherwise it won't cling to the lettuce. You can whizz it up in a blender or use a stick blender too!
6. Cooling the eggs stops them from cooking further and helps make it easy to peel them.
7. The purpose of this step is to add garlic flavour to the croutons. I prefer not to toss the croutons in minced garlic because the garlic burns before the croutons turn golden.
8. Nutrition per serving (4 serves), assuming 2 eggs (i.e. half egg per person) and 3/4 of the dressing is used. If the bacon is substituted with turkey bacon, the calorie per serving is 557 calories.
Caesar Salad Nutrition

Nutrition

Serving: 440g | Calories: 660kcal