Belinda's classic chicken Caesar salad
Want to enjoy warm chicken with crispy skin all year round, even on hot summer days? I love the decadence of having warm chicken in a classic Caesar salad. It’s perfect to enjoy in the garden with friends and family in the summer. It also makes a great lunch using any leftovers you have from a roast chicken.
For this salad, I wanted to use as many delicious local ingredients as possible. I used the farmhouse white bread from the Cake Shop Bakery in Woodbridge to make the croutons, and eggs from the chickens in my garden. For a quick cheat, you can also use the Stokes Sauces Creamy Caesar Dressing. Mine wasn’t ready yet, but I will also be making this recipe with my home-grown lettuce soon!
4 chicken breasts with skin on, or meat from a roast Sutton Hoo Chicken
2 thick slices of sour dough bread or white farmhouse cut into chunky squares
4 tbsp olive oil
2 Little gem lettuce or for a longer leaf, Romaine lettuce, leaves separated and washed
Parmesan shavings, these can be done easily with a potato peeler
For the Caesar dressing:
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 egg yolks
1 generous tsp of Dijon mustard
2 tbsp grated Parmesan
8 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper
1. First make the dressing (or cheat with Stokes Sauces Creamy Caesar Dressing!). In a bowl add all the ingredients except the lemon and either with a hand whisk or a hand held blender, whizz or the ingredients together. Taste and add sea salt and pepper and gently add the lemon juice. You want a pale creamy sauce.
2. Next to make the croutons. Place the chunky square bread pieces into a bowl and pour over the olive oil and stir to coat them then place into a frying pan over a moderate heat and fry to colour. I like mine to remain slightly soft and not too crisp but if you want yours to be crispy you can place in a preheated oven on a low temperature and bake whilst you finish the salad.
3. Now you can cook your chicken breasts. Season well with sea salt and black pepper and pre-heat either a griddle pan or frying pan. Once the pan is hot, place the chicken breast skin side down into the pan and cook for approx. 10 minutes each side. Don’t forget you can also use part of a roast Sutton Hoo Chicken for this recipe (see cooking instructions here). Once cooked leave to one side to rest whilst you start to make up your salad.
4. To construct the salad, place the lettuce leaves in a wide shallow bowl, criss crossing each other. Spoon over some of the dressing to coat the leaves. Cut the chicken into thick slices and lay across the lettuce. Scatter the croutons and Parmesan shavings over the salad and add a little more of the dressing.