Caesar Salad with Chicken
Packed with crunch and full of flavor, this is a great introduction to the wonders of a good, hearty salad for dinner. Adapt the recipe to suit your family’s palate, using meatless chicken strips or patties, shrimp, or chickpeas instead of the chicken.
- 1 - 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or meatless chicken strips or patties, or use shrimp or chickpeas
- 4 - 5 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 loaf sourdough bread (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed), use 2 slices for croutons and serve the rest of the bread on the side, or use packaged croutons
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, sea salt, or other coarse salt
- 2 Tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise (or use any variety),
- 1 clove garlic minced, about 1/2 tsp.
- 1/2 lemon juice only, 2 Tbsp.
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (for a vegetarian and gluten-free option use 6 drops hot sauce and 1/4 tsp. sugar per each Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce)
- 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste, or use mashed capers or seasoned soybean paste
- 1 head romaine lettuce washed, dried, and cut or ripped into bite-sized 8 - 10 cups
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees if you are making your own croutons. Cut each chicken breast crosswise into thin strips. Place the chicken on a dish, drizzle it with 1 Tbsp. oil, the salt and the garlic powder, and flip the chicken several times to coat it.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté the chicken, turning occasionally, until it is cooked through, 5 - 7 minutes. (Set some cooked chicken aside for non-salad eaters, if needed.)
- To make the croutons, cut 2 slices of bread into ½-inch cubes (you can leave on the crusts). In a medium bowl, toss the bread cubes with 1 – 2 Tbsp. oil and the kosher salt. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 3 - 5 minutes, until they are slightly crisp and browned. (Watch them carefully so they don’t burn!) Set them aside. (After the croutons are prepared, reduce the temperature of the oven or toaster oven to 300 degrees to warm the remainder of the bread, if you are serving it.)
- To make the dressing, thoroughly whisk together the mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp. oil, the garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and anchovy paste.
- Just before serving, toss the lettuce, cheese, chicken, croutons, and dressing (you probably won’t need to use all the dressing) in a large salad bowl, and serve with the warmed bread on the side.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Cut the chicken breasts into strips and refrigerate, season and cook the chicken, prepare the croutons and store in an air-tight container, peel the garlic, juice the lemon, make and refrigerate the dressing, cut and refrigerate the romaine, shred or grate the cheese if necessary and refrigerate. Scramble Flavor Booster: Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper and use aged Parmesan cheese. Tip: Don't throw away those heels of bread that are languishing in your fridge or your bread box! Instead, throw them in a food processor to create bread crumbs. You can then freeze them for months and use them as needed to bread chicken or fish. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 290, Total Fat: 13g, 20%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 15%; Cholesterol: 70mg, 23%; Sodium: 410mg, 17%; Total Carbohydrate: 13g, 4%; Dietary Fiber: 3g, 12%; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 31g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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