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Chicken caesar salad with olive oil poached eggs and home made croutons

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SKILL LEVEL :
Easy and quick

A great caesar salad begins with a great caesar dressing

The secret to a great casear salad is a great dressing. The key is the anchovies.  Trust me. You may think you don't like anchovies, but these omega-rich fish are a must. The anchovies provide umami, the 5th taste that literally makes food delicious. The mustard and lemon cuts the fishiness. Use a food processor to mince your garlic and pulverize the little fish. Slowly add the olive oil to create an emulsified dressing. Use whole grain mustard for both texture and flavor.

Homemade croutons - sour dough and gluten free

Homemade croutons are easy and a great way to use up stale bread. Remove the crust and either roughly tear the bread, or cut it into squares. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and pop in the oven.  Finish with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese. In the pictures I use sour dough bread to make the torn croutons and Udi's gluten-free bread to make the square-cut cut crouton. I'm not going to lie, gluten-free croutons are not as good as the real thing, but they are better than skipping croutons if you are gluten sensitive.

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Olive oil poached eggs

Rather than adding raw egg, like you do in a traditional caesar salad, I poach an egg in olive oil for each serving. Poaching in olive oil results in a very tender soft cooked egg. I use this oil poaching technique a lot. It makes for a delicious breakfast. Don't worry about counting all the calories in the olive oil. While you need 1/4 cup to poach 1-2 eggs, you don't consume all the oil. Most of the oil remains in the pan.

Parmesan Cheese

Don't skimp on the parmesan cheese. It goes without saying that good quality parmesan cheese does not come in a green can. If you can afford it, splurge on the real McCoy, parmigiano-reggiano.

Crisp up your lettuce

The key to a traditional caesar is really really cold crisp romaine. Clean your lettuce in a sink full of water, spin it and put it in plastic ziplock bags with a sheet or two of paper towel. Zip the bag shut and put the lettuce in the fridge for a couple hours or a couple days before serving.

A great way to use left over beer can chicken

One of the reasons I make two beer can chickens at a time is so I have left overs for caesar salad.

Chicken caesar salad with olive oil poached eggs and home made croutons

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

Garlicky caesar salad with homemade croutons and anchovy and lemon dressing is suitable for a side-salad or beefed up with chicken, steak or shrimp for a salad-for-dinner.

Ingredients

  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 1 can anchovies, drained
  • 1 T whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t tabasco or sriracha hot chili sauce
  • Ground pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus 1/4 cup for poaching eggs
  • 2 heads romaine, rinsed, chilled and torn into bite-size pieces.
  • 2.5 ounces good quality shaved parmesan cheese, plus .5 ounce grated parmesan
  • 3 slices of sourdough or gluten free bread
  • 2 cups shredded roast chicken
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse garlic in food processor until finely chopped. Add anchovies and pulse a few more times until anchovies are finely chopped. Add dijon mustard, Worcestershire, tabasco or sriracha, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Pulse to combine. With food processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil to create an emulsion. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  2. Spread bread on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Put in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and flip croutons. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Return to oven for 5-10 more minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a bit of grated parmesan. Return to oven for 1-2 more minutes to melt the parmesan.
  3. Put lettuce, parmesan shavings, chicken and croutons in a large salad bowl. Toss the salad with the dressing. Plate individual servings.
  4. Heat up 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small deep sided pan on a medium high burner. When the oil is hot slip in two eggs. Tilt the pan at an angle, so the eggs are covered in olive oil. Slowly spoon the hot oil over the eggs until they are cooked to your liking. Lift the eggs out of the oil with a slotted spoon, and put one egg on each serving of salad. Repeat with two more eggs so each salad is topped with an egg.

 

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Comments

  1. aonam says:

    will try the olive oil egg poaching… and of course, this amazing sounding salad. i love udi’s bread. off to buy ingredients for tonite’s dinner.. that great whole fish.

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