Chicken Caesar Salad


February 26, 2010 by Flora Dawn

We eat a lot of salads at our house.  They make a great lunch or side, add a little meat and you have a healthy dinner in no time.  Have you read the labels on most supermarket salad dressings? They are FULL of ingredients. One way to make your salads healthier, and yes, more flavorful, is to make your own dressing. This doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Salad dressing is really an easy and quick thing to make. Making your own also ensures that the ingredients you put in it are safe and allergen free for your family.

One word of caution though, my whole family enjoyed Caesar salad until one day when my husband saw me make the dressing, with anchovies. How could I? He was aghast. He HATES all things seafood. For years, literally, I have seen him eat Caesar salads at restaurants, but now that he knows one of the key components is anchovies he makes a funny face and thinks twice before eating. So if you have seafood hater in your house, you may want to prepare the Caesar salad dressing when they aren’t home and get rid of the evidence.

When making Caesar dressing, make sure to use fresh lemon juice and avoid the Parmesan cheese that comes in that green can, buy the real stuff. It will be more expensive, but if wrapped tightly it lasts a really long time in the refrigerator. I have used whole anchovies in the can and anchovy paste, and I think either is acceptable. We are completely gluten free, so we just skip to croutons, it hardly seems worth the trouble to make them.

The seasoning for the chicken comes from a Webber cookbook and the dressing is from Cook’s Illustrated. This is the first Caesar Salad dressing recipe I have seen that doesn’t call for a raw egg; I avoid serving raw eggs, so I was especially happy to come across it, and best of all, it tastes great.

Real Parmesan Cheese

Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken Caesar Salad

  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce, washed and torn
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • chicken, recipe follows
  • dressing, recipe follows

Paste for Chicken:

  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves
  1. In a small bowl, mix the oil, mustard, chili powder, salt and pepper. Spread paste over chicken. Grill the chicken over direct medium heat until the meat is firm to the touch and no longer pink (about 8-12 minutes), turning once. (I make sure meat is done by using a meat thermometer). Cut into bite-size pieces.

Salad Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 Tb fresh lemon juice
  • 6 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp peppers
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. Blend all the dressing ingredients except oil, in a blender or food processor (I use a mini-food processor) on high until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, add the oil in a steady stream.
  2. Place lettuce and chicken in bowls, top with dressing. Add additional pepper and Parmesan if desired.

4 thoughts on “Chicken Caesar Salad

  1. Lynn says:

    So I cheat and use the anchovies paste in a tube. Do you think the real anchovies are any better? Should I use them in recipes instead?

    • Flora's Gluten Free says:

      I also have used the anchovy paste, I think it is less messy. I couldn’t really tell the difference in Caesar dressing, so I would be comfortable using either.

  2. Swan says:

    Just FYI…instead of croutons on my chicken Caesar, I use walnuts! In my opinion, a much better option anyway. Thanks for the recipe!

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