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.
- 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)
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.
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.
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.