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Classic: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad With Real Dressing

You know what the hell is funny? It's googling for a proper caesar dressing recipe, only to find most of them with no raw egg yolk or anchovy. That is not caesar dressing. Not in this world. Luckily, I already know how.

Ingredients:

  • 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large egg yolks at room temperature (pastured is best)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh squeezed is nice)
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or as needed)

Instructions:

Chop up the anchovy and garlic as finely as possible, then crush and slide across with the side of your knife blade to make a paste (this takes some work and practice). Alternatively, you could use a small food processor or, my favorite method: an old style garlic press with the small holes and tight piston plunger. Put a chunk of anchovy at the bottom, piece of garlic clove over, crush and repeat, until done.

Put your paste in a bowl, the 2 egg yolks, lemon juice, Worsh, and then whisk to mix. Once smooth, slowly introduce the olive oil at a drizzle (like making mayo) until you have emulsification. Some recipes call for using the white of one of the eggs to help get a thicker emulsification, but I always go with the traditional. You can also add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, or to taste.

This will give you enough dressing for 2 1/2 — 3 heads of romaine lettuce, which will be enough to cover 4 dinner plates.

...You know what else the hell is funny? It's googling for chicken caesar salad preparations only to find that virtually every one calls for skinless chicken breasts. What in holy hell?

OK. Onward. I placed two full chicken breasts (yes, with the skin, silly) in the oven on a rack, 350 for about 45 minutes or so. Take them out and let them cool 30 minutes so the juice remains in them, before slicing. Fire up the grill on high, let it get hot and grill the skin side and the underside, about 2-3 minutes each with the lid open (you don't want to heat the inside any more) You can also use the broiler in your oven, but you won't get the grill marks which to me, is aesthetically pleasing. I then let them rest at room temp for 30 minutes—or you can let them sit for hours, doesn't matter. I don't want hot or cold chicken on my caesar salad. I want it room temp.

Slice it up and present with a sprinkle of course sea salt and some cracked pepper. This way, your guests can put the portion of chicken on their salad they wish.

IMG 1034
 

The last step is to dress the salad right before serving so that the romaine is nice and crisp. Take great care to get very fresh romaine, snappy and crispy. Makes all the difference.

You'll also want to serve some freshly shaved parmesan cheese. But no croutons, of course.

IMG 1035


 

And so there's the beautiful finished product. ...By the way, I've been experimenting with iPhone pics using Instagram, trying different effects. Damn cool app, especially combined with the various sharing features.

Comments

  1. If you don’t have anchovies, fish sauce is a conveniently non-perishable approximation. (Thanks to Paul Jaminet for the tip.) Go easy on it, as it’s quite strong!

    JS

  2. I don’t think you can even buy chicken breasts with the skin on at my grocery store, but you can for everything else. Weird.

  3. Keoni Galt says:

    You know what the hell is funny? Trying to find Worcester sauce that isn’t made with High Fructose Corn Syrup.

    The only one I’ve found so far is Target’s Pantry brand.

    • Lea and Perrins. Sugars, but not corn sugar

      Ingredients:

      Distilled White Vinegar, Molasses, Water, Sugar, Onions, Anchovies, Salt, Garlic, Cloves, Tamarind Extract, Natural Flavorings, Chili Pepper Extract.

      • Yep, L&P changed the recipe in the US a few years ago in response to all the complaints about HFCS. The occasional dash of Worcestershire was literally the only HFCS in my entire diet, so I didn’t worry about it.

      • Good call, Alex. This is the difference between going to church every Sunday, or just on Christmas and Easter. :)

  4. Keoni Galt says:

    Bah…perhaps in your part of the world. In Hawaii and the West Coast USA, Lea and Perrins has HFCS.

    Believe me, I’ve checked.

    • Not sure if it is worth it or if you’d want to attempt it, but there are lots of recipes online to make your own W sauce.

    • Maybe the stock shift hasn’t hit you yet. My pantry has both regular and low-sodium Lea and Perrins that were bought in the SF Bay Area.

  5. Fat Bread doesn’t fly as croutons?

  6. What about making crontoons out of your paleo bread?

  7. Justin Foster says:

    Real Ceasar Salad Dressing doesn’t have Anchovies… the history of the salad is well documented, as is the original recipe. It was made table-side to off-load some of the work from the kitchen. You build the dressing in the bowl, on the lettuce. Raw eggs part is accurate, though (and delicious).

  8. That Jack Elliott says:

    Yep yep yep — the original Caesar salad didn’t contain anchovies, except for what is found in Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce — this according to his daughter Rosa Cardini – please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_salad#cite_note-8

    On the other hand, Caesar Cardini’s brother Alex’s “Aviator Salad” did have chunks of anchovy in it.

    This is a quibble, though — thanks for posting this — I’m-a gonna make it. I’ve gotten tired of picking up bottles of salad dressings in the supermarket to read the ingredients and finding a whole got-damn paragraph of stuff I don’t want to read . . . usually starting with either soy or canola oil.

    Anyone know of a blue (“bleu”) cheese dressing that is made from Real Stuff?

    • TJE

      Yea, easiest way to make creamy BC is with sour creme or creme fraische, mayo, and the BC (herbs & spices as desired, but beware that BC is already pretty salty). You can use any proportions your like for the consistency. I like it more saucy than thick, so I’ve been known to add some milk or cream to get that.