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Grilled chicken Caesar salad with home made croutons

Yes there are many Caesar salad recipes….however this one comes from the original one out of Mexico. The story behind the salad dressing goes something like this…..

Off the coast of San Diego California is the Coronado islands, at one time the wealthy Americans and Mexicans traveled by boat to the small islands about twelve miles away to gamble and drink the night away. The  owner wanted something to serve his customers that was light but pleasing to the mouth. And from that day the Caeser salad was born. 

Good ingredients are key…..crappy olive oil or lemons can spoil this before you even have a bite. 

Several steps are involved……this is how I do it to make it easier to prepare. For two people this recipe works good….you will have leftovers so buy two heads of lettuce for the next day or two.

  • Romaine lettuce (2 heads)
  • French bread, a nice whole loaf
  • Chicken boobs boneless, no skin (I use two halves)
  • Good olive oil

DRESSING RECIPE…..

  • One lemon
  • 1clove garlic
  • Grey poupon mustard 1large heaping tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup good olive oil
  • Pepper
  • Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Two cans of anchovies plus the oil
  • One egg
  • 1/2 stick butter

What I do first is cut the bread into large cubes and let sit out most of the day. You want them just starting to get stale. I then wash and cut the romaine lettuce into bite size pieces. Putting a few paper towels in with the lettuce you can bag it or leave it in a bowl for the day. This helps crisps up the lettuce if it is left a little wet. Cover and Put in refrigerator. 

About an hour before eating start your grill, bbq or whatever you use to grill the chicken. I cut the boobs in half….to make them thinner, they cook faster and more evenly. They do not have to be perfect….the grill does not care. I season them with olive oil and an Italian type herbs or my favorite spices. While waiting on the grill I cook the croutons.

Heat a large skillet, medium high heat, and  I love cast iron…..put cubes in a large bowl, drizzle olive oil over cubes and toss a bit, then add garlic powder, and your favorite herbs or spices. I have used lemon pepper, Italian, bbq, creole, season salt etc. you really can not blow it with what you choose. Pour it on…..but don’t be crazy and make it too much. When the skillet is hot add olive oil…about a teaspoon or two….put in one half of the bread cubes and start tossing immediately. Add half of the butter while the bread is being tossed mixing and tossing and toasting the bread, do not let it sit for too long they can burn. When a few edges are brown remove and do it all again with the second batch of bread cubes. The bread cubes should be crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. Set aside on a paper toweled plate. 

Now go cook the chicken…..since they are thin it should only take 5-10 minutes tops., depending on your heat source….do not over cook, it will be tough and dry. Plus since it will sit a bit while preparing the dressing they will finish cooking. Do not chop up just yet, do this right before you serve. 

Dressing:

  • In a blender add everything: garlic clove smashed, vinegar and olive oil, juice of the lemon, egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, one can of anchovies…juice and all….plus the juice from the second can. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. About three minutes tops. 

The other can of anchovies we use on the salad before serving. Cut into smaller pieces. 

Remove lettuce from refrigerator, take out paper towels. Put a 1/4 cup of dressing on the salad and toss…mixing well. You will find less is more with this dressing….add more afterwards if you must but it can be too much if you just pour a ton on. Dish up on a plate, adding chicken hunks, croutons and anchovies pieces. 

As always we hope you enjoy. 

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