November 17, 2010

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

This recipe is the bomb.com!  The end result is one of the best Caesar salads I've ever had.  Plus, you'll feel all fancy and what not after making your very own croutons and Caesar dressing.  Try this out tonight!  Seriously.  Oh, and it's easier than you think.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
For the croutons: 
6 slices sandwich bread (or an equivalent amount of baguette slices, about 12-15)

3 tbsp. olive oil OR 3 tbsp. butter, melted 
1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried parsley    
Kosher salt

For the dressing: 
1/8 cup lemon juice    
1/8 cup water

1 tsp. garlic, minced   
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese  
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad: 
Romaine lettuce    
2-4 chicken breast halves

Shaved Parmesan cheese 

To make the croutons, preheat the oven to 300˚F.  Cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes and place in a medium-large bowl.  (Trim the crusts off if you wish - I prefer to leave them on.)  Combine the olive oil or butter, garlic powder and dried parsley in a small bowl.  Stir together to blend well.  Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and toss gently until evenly coated.
Transfer the bread cubes to a baking sheet, spreading them out into an even layer.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Check to see if the croutons are golden and crisp.  If not, toss lightly and bake up to 15 minutes more.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Transfer to an airtight container until ready to use.

To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, water, garlic, mayonnaise, Parmesan, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Blend until well combined and completely smooth.  Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Wash and dry the lettuce leaves, removing the greener leafy portions if desired.  Chop or tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and place it in a large bowl.  Season both sides of the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken on a grill or grill pan, until golden and cooked through.  Remove the chicken pieces to a plate, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, add salad dressing to the lettuce (a couple tablespoons at a time) and toss to coat.  Add more dressing as desired.  Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice diagonally into long pieces.  
Portion the dressed salad into serving dishes.  Top with homemade croutons, grilled chicken pieces, and Parmesan shavings.  Serve immediately.

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