Our fresh and flavoursome chicken Caesar salad makes the perfect main for summer entertaining. The classic version of this dish normally includes a simple mix of lettuce, croutons and cheese in an anchovy and garlic dressing. However, several variations have since developed, using additional ingredients such as avocado, lobster, bacon and chicken. We’ve used the latter and boosted the flavour of the chicken by marinating it in lemon juice for up to 30 mins before cooking. We also found that charring the chicken gave the salad a subtle smoky flavour, and topping it with a sprinkling of chicken crackling provides extra texture.
We’ve created some extra special croutons by baking them with cheese to help form a crisp edge as they cool. Another tip for extra crispiness is to rip the sourdough bread into large pieces rather than cutting it into the usual cube shapes.
We’ve kept the dressing creamy but ditched the raw egg, and found that using shop-bought mayonnaise achieved the same consistency as an egg yolk emulsion. The dressing has a strong flavour due to punchy anchovies, lemon, garlic and Dijon mustard, so you may need to adapt it to taste and balance the levels of acidity and saltiness.
All the elements of this salad can be conveniently prepped in advance, although they do need to be combined immediately before serving, otherwise the lettuce will become limp and the croutons lose their crunchiness.
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