i tend to find chicken breasts useless, both in my diet and in my palate. i prefer the flavorful dark meat that chicken has to offer, and i am wild about the amount of healthy fats dark meat provides, even though it has a falsely attained bad reputation. breast meat is too lean for my taste and yields a dry texture that almost always lacks flavor. my prejudice against breast meat aside, i knew it would be a pretty poor decision to use thigh meat to top a salad with. so i sucked it up and bought some good quality chicken breasts to feat my caesar salad. i used a method praised by america’s test kitchen, and with good reason. this produced a juicy, flavorful meat that was practically slow-poached in a flavorful juice and finished by searing all the goodness in by using a skillet to crisp it at the end.
it does help, too, that the chicken was drizzled with an awesome caesar dressing. fresh caesar dressing is simple to make, inexpensive, and a nutritious way to add a ton of flavor to a healthy salad. -healthy fats from the egg yolk, anchovy, and olive oil, plus the obvious benefits of garlic and lemon juice, this dressing is practically a super-food. make a double batch and keep the leftover in the refrigerator to use later on roasted potatoes, cooked asparagus, or fancy up a burger a little.
this recipe serves 2
for the dressing:
2 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
3 anchovy fillets
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp roasted minced garlic
1 egg yolk
S & P to taste
method: using mini food processor, blend all ingredients creating an emulsion, and a nice dressing forms. i like to keep some of the mustard seeds whole for a little added spice. this dressing tastes best served at room temperature.
chicken caesar salad
for the chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
juice from 1 lemon
1 tbsp thyme leaves
S & P
method: preheat oven to 350f. marinate chicken in all ingredients for half an hour while oven preheats.
in a glass baking dish, bake chicken with a foil cover over it for about 20 minutes. while chicken is in oven, get an iron skillet hot over medium heat with some oil or bacon fat in it. add chicken once skillet is hot and cook for 5 minutes, without touching it, and allow meat to brown. flip it over to brown other side. once chicken is done cooking (thermometer should read 165f), let it rest on a plate for 5 minutes before slicing.
for the salad:
1 small head romaine lettuce, chopped
some cherry tomatoes, cut in half
shaved parmesan cheese
method: combine all ingredients in a large bowl. split between 2 bowls or plates and top with sliced chicken and drench in caesar dressing.
this is such a flavorful and fresh tasting salad, i feel really good after i eat salads like this. i’m sure i’ll be chowing on this a few times a week after my upcoming easter binge to jump-start my lighter spring diet!