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20 February, 2014

My Famous Chicken Caesar Salad: A Recipe

While the boy's out training I'm left at home watching awesome trashy Danish television and making one of my personal absolute favourite dishes, chicken caesar salad, for our late dinner.

Just about as simple as it gets but I am, 'til this day, still on the hunt for a place or person to top a small Italian chain restaurant we found in Arizona called Nicks' salad.  It is perfection on every level, very picky when it comes to this dish and nearly just this dish.

If you haven't got much left in the fridge, or are just lucky with what actually happens to be left...much like us today (ahh, the epic "argument" of who was supposed to go grocery shopping :P), I'd say this is a pretty good idea for a "light" lunch or dinner dish.

It's my first time doing this properly, so go easy on me!! :)  If you fancy, here's the recipe that I use:

Ingredients:

-(Iceberg) Lettuce
-Parmesan Cheese
-Caesar Dressing
-Chicken Breast
-Croutons (or leftover bread that you can heat on the pan with some garlic, parsley, and butter.  A good recipe can be found here: http://savorysweetlife.com/2010/01/homemade-croutons-recipe/)
-Avocado
-Olive Oil
-Mayonnaise
-Lemon
-Salt
-Pepper
-Paprika
-Rosemary

Recipe:

1.)  Unfreeze chicken.  If you're terrible at remembering this like me then I leave it in hot water for 5 minutes before popping it in the microwave for 2-3 min.

2.)  Heat up pan with either olive oil or butter.

3.)  Season chicken with salt, pepper, and a bit of rosemary for an my first extra addition to this classic recipe.

4.)  Slice chicken and place the pieces on the heated pan.  Keep an eye on it and flip the slices every so often so that they don't burn.  It's alright for it to be a bit crunchy, I think that's a nice balance to the otherwise rich+fresh taste of the salad.  Once it's at half-way or so, squeeze some lemon over the chicken, mmmmm.

5.)  While the chickens starts to heat up on the pan, cut of the end bits of the salad/lettuce heads and wash under cold water.

6.)  Shake the salad until it's dry, chop, and place on your plates.

7.)  Grate parmesan, not too fine otherwise it gets plain powdery and that's just no good.  If anything, do thin slices, your choice.  Me? I'm a cheese addict so I do both and use the slices as edible decoration on the top of the salad.  Sprinkle/place parmesan on top of your fresh salad.  Throw some croutons on their while you're at it.  If you're making croutons yourself, start them with the chicken.

8.)  The second extra addition to this recipe is due to my love of avocado.  You can slice, dice, or mush the avocado however you like.  I personally like to make a little chunky guacamole to dollop onto random parts of the salad for that unexpected "kick".

Slice avocados open, remove the seed, and remove the inside.  Cut/dice/smash those lovely little ones however you please and add salt, pepper, paprika, and a splash of olive oil and lemon.  Make sure if you're using "full pepper, not to use too much...I can't stand getting that oooonneee piece of ground pepper that's just a bit too big/potent in with a bite of avocado.  This all works best if you're mashing so feel free to jump over the seasoning if you want slices of avocado--I think I'd do the same :)  Add the avocado to the salad now.

9.)  Hopefully by the time all of this is done and prepared, your chicken should be ready or close to be finished.  If it's not quite there--see #11 below.
Add it whenever it's met your meaty standards--crispy, crunch, or soft.

10.)  You can do one of two things when it comes to the dressing.  You can be weird, like me, and add some mayo to it to make it more thick and creamy and mix it up in a glass at this point so it's ready to drizzle (or drown, I suppose) over/on the salad once it's all done and ready to be served. This should always be the last part of the recipe so that the salad doesn't get soggy...unless you're into that.  If you're making this dish for more than just you, quite good to ask so to be 100% that the other person likes dressing.  If they know you're making chicken CAESAR salad though, they're a strange human if they don't want the dressing.  Best to ask any who cos I know a few people who simply don't like dressing drizzled everywhere and would prefer to choose themselves how much/where they'd like it--serve separately.

That's all for now :)
On that note, I'm going to go check on my chicken and make some dessert (I'm thinking vanilla milkshakes since we've been so good these past few days).  The boy ought to be home any minute now so I better wrap it up and get dinner on the table and take some pictures of the final result.  Hope my recipe goes well, that I haven't forgotten anything (ha.....that would happen to me),  and that this doesn't convince you all that I'm a terrible cook/housewife.  How awkward.

Enjoy, and have a lovely night!!

xxEm












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