07 September 2014

Food: The grandest of grand chicken caesar salad

Caesar salad has always been one of my all time favourite dishes, yet it had never occurred to me to make my own.  No idea why since I am a dab hand in the kitchen ;).  I was watching an episode of Jamie Oliver's 15 (or was it 30?) minute meals, he was making chicken caesar salad and after seeing how easy it was I had to give it a go.  Making my own dressings and sauces had always scared me, but with my new food processor that I got for Christmas (thanks mum!) all set up and ready to go I couldn't wait to give it a try.

So this is my adaptation of Jamie Oliver's Chicken Caesar Salad.  It is a great mid-week, quick and easy recipe that will serve 2 (with leftovers).

You will need:

For the chicken-
2 ready cooked roasted chicken breasts
1 tsp Paprika
6 rashes of unsmoked streaky bacon

For the dressing -
200g natural yoghurt
1 bunch of fresh basil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp english mustard
1 garlic clove
2 anchovy fillets
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp worcester sauce
40g grated parmesan cheese
Juice from 1 lemon

For the salad - 
1 romaine lettuce
3 large salad tomatoes
1 punnet of growing salad cress

For the croutons -
5 slices of ciabatta bread
2 tbsp olive oil


I always start with the dressing, get it done and out of the way as it's the most messy part.
It is so easy, all you need to do is add the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Leave to one side.
Tip: finely grate the parmesan so that it really breaks down and you don't get that gritty texture.

Next, move onto the salad.
Simply slice the lettuce up, chop the tomatoes into quarters and slice the tops (with stalks) off of the growing salad cress.
Pop it all into a salad bowl and leave to one side.

Finally get going on the chicken, bacon and ciabatta.  I use one frying pan for these.
Chop up the bacon and fry in 1 tbsp of oil until lightly cripsy.
Next, take the skin off the pre-cooked chicken breasts and roughly tear up.
Sprinkle over the paprika and add to the bacon in the pan.  This is just to warm the chicken through.
Once the bacon is proper crispy (I like it almost burnt) remove everything from the pan but make sure you leave all the oils behind.
You can add the chicken and bacon into the salad at this stage

Slice the ciabatta into chunks.
Tip: this works so much better when the ciabatta is frozen.
Have a look at your pan which should have some lovely juicey leftover oil from cooking the bacon and chicken.  Add some extra oil (if you need to) so that there is a shallow covering on the bottom of the pan.
Once it is sizzling hot add in the ciabatta chunks and fry until crispy.
Add these to the top of the salad.
I like to serve up the salad and then pour over the dressing but you can add the dressing to the salad bowl if you prefer.

If you have more time on your hands you could make breaded chicken as an alternative.
Take two (raw) chicken breast fillets and cover in paprika and breadcrumbs.  Bash them until they are 1.5cm thick and pan fry in oil until crispy and cooked through. Slice them up and add to the salad.

Try this out for yourself and let me know what you think!



  1. OMG that was the best chicken Caesar salad ever. Thanks Nic

  2. mmmm this looks so good!! x