The Best Chicken Caesar Salad

Ceasar Salad

Caesar salads are ALL about the dressing! I have been obsessed with finding the best caesar salad dressing recipe! I have made about 6 or 7 different recipes and was never satisfied until I started mixing them around a bit and adding my favourite elements from a few different recipes until I finally nailed it down to my own concoction! This was the result of some elements from Gordon Ramsay, some from Donna Hay and some from various other recipes. Oh, and please, PLEASE make it from scratch, there is nothing like home made dressing! 🙂

The dressing: 

2 garlic cloves, peeled

300 ml grape seed oil

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

20g freshly grated parmesan

1 extra large egg – very softly boiled egg (boil for only 1 minute)

1 and a half teaspoons of dijon mustard

Juice of 1/2  a small lemon

2 anchovy fillets

1 and a half teaspoons worcestershire sauce

For the Croutons

4 Thick slices of ciabatta bread

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced

50 ml olive oil

For the Salad:

6 – 8 slices of streaky bacon, grilled until just crispy then break into pieces

3 chicken breast fillets (no skin), cut into thin strips and fried in a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper

3 medium to hard boiled eggs peeled and quartered

2 – 3 anchovy fillets finely sliced

Parmesan shavings to garnish

2 cos lettuce hearts, washed and separated into leaves

– First start with the croutons. Preheat your oven to 200c. Put the garlic slices and 50ml olive oil in a small sauce pan with a pinch of salt and gently heat for 3 – 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the garlic infuse in the oil as it cools. Strain off the oil and discard the garlic.

– Cut off the crusts from the ciabatta and cut the slices into small cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl and pour the cooled, garlic oil onto the cubes and mix around until the cubes are coated well. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Tip the bread croutons onto a baking paper lined baking tray and spread out in a single layer. Bake until golden brown. 4 – 5 minutes. Watch it carefully to avoid burning! Toss them halfway through. Take them out when golden and crisp and set aside.

– Now get onto your dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients except for the oil in a food processor and blitz until well combined. Then slowly stream the oil in (while blitzing) until a creamy consistency is formed. You can add a little but of water to thin it out if you like. But add the water very slowly so that you can get it the right consistency.

– Set your dressing aside and assemble a salad with the other salad ingredients. Start with the lettuce, then add the bacon and chicken and anchovies. Finish off with the eggs, parmesan shavings, croutons and finally the dressing!

OOOH! so now that you have this recipe, there are a few awesome variations that you can do with it!!

You can make Caesar salad wraps. Buy some wraps from woolies, and put the salad ingredients in the wrap (not the croutons) with the dressing and wrap it up and serve it for a different starter or a few on a platter for a cocktail party. 

One of the things I also love doing as a variation is to make Caesar Bruschetta! Do everything the same way, just don’t cut the  ciabatta into blocks, rather slice the ciabatta into thin slices. Coat in the garlic oil and bake as slices. Then you can pile little salad towers on top of that and serve as little individual portions. Also makes for an interesting starter! 

Just play around and enjoy!

It’s one of our family favourites! 🙂

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