Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing and Croutons

Caesar salad is probably my favorite salad! You can find it in almost all restaurants. But it is hard to find a good store-bought Caesar dressing. Most of them are not creamy enough. Finally, I have made up my mind to try to make my own salad from scratch. (Bryan said that I didn’t make the salad from scratch, because I only use anchovy paste not the real anchovy.) Oh well, it is close enough! I am proud of what I have put out! The dressing was so tasty and creamy. The croutons went so well with the salad. The store-bought dressing and croutons can’t really compare to the homemade version. However, the whole process is pretty time consuming. This is more like a weekend recipe. Enjoy!

Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing and Croutons (Adapted from Tyler Florence’s Caesar Salad)

Serving: 2

Ingredients:

–   1 head romaine lettuce

–   1 clove garlic (minced)

–   ¾ teaspoon anchovy paste

–   1 egg yolk

–   ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

–   ½ lemon (juiced)

–   ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

–   1/8 cup freshly grated Parmesan

–   Ground black pepper

–   Salt (if needed)

–   Croutons (recipe followed)

–   Chicken thigh fillets or chicken breast (shredded or cubed, recipe followed)

Directions:

  1. Separate the lettuce leaves and wash them thoroughly. Set aside for the lettuce to dry.
  2. In a mixing bowl, put in the minced garlic, little salt, and a few drop of extra-virgin olive oil. Smash the garlic with a big spoon until it is almost like a paste.
  3. Add anchovy paste, mustard, egg yolk, and lemon juice. Mix together with a whisk. Stabilize the bowl with a towel on the bottom. Whisk the mixture and pour the extra-virgin olive oil in slowly until the dressing thickens up. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add salt and black pepper as needed.
  4. Chop up the romaine lettuce into desired size.
  5. Put the lettuces in a salad bowl. Add enough dressing to coat the salad to your liking. Add some extra Parmesan cheese, the homemade croutons, and chicken pieces and toss the salad well. Serve immediately.

Tips:

  1. Try to smash garlic as small as possible. It is because you are eating the garlic raw, and you really don’t want to have a big chunk of garlic piece in your bite.
  2. I didn’t add any salt to my dressing. The Parmesan cheese give the dressing enough saltiness.
  3. You can use 1 anchovy fillet to substitute the anchovy paste.

Homemade Croutons

Ingredients:

–   ½ loaf of French bread (better to use old bread)

–   About ¼ cup olive oil

–   Salt

–   Ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Cut the bread into ½ inch to 1 inch cubes with a bread knife.
  4. In a large bowl, toss in the bread cubes. Add enough olive oil to coat the cubes. Season with salt and black pepper to your liking and mix well.
  5. Pour the bread cubes on the baking sheet evenly. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Toss cubes a few times during baking.
  6. For storage, the croutons can be store in a container or plastic bag for up to 2 weeks in room temperature.

Simple Roasted Chicken Fillets

Ingredients:

–   2 chicken thigh fillets or 1 chicken breast fillet

–   Salt

–   Ground black pepper

–   Garlic powder

–   Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Grease the foil slightly with olive oil.
  3. Wash the chicken fillet(s) and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Season the fillets with salt, black pepper and garlic power.
  5. Lay the fillets on the baking sheet. Cover the chicken with a little bit of olive oil.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Take the chicken fillets out and put them on a plate with paper towel. Set aside to cool for the salad.

Original recipe: Read

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