The classic Caesar salad with Chicken is one of the most popular salads in the world. I really like this salad and the dressing is absolutely fantastic.
Caesar salad was invented by Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant in the USA. He had a restaurant in Tijuana, a Mexican city bordering the USA. It was a period of alcohol prohibition in America while in Mexico alcohol could be served without any problems. Americans crossed the border and visited restaurants from Tijuana. It is said that once on July 4th, which is the USA Independence Day, an elite Hollywood crowd visited Cardini’s restaurant. Due to the huge number of customers because of the holiday, Cardini ran out of ingredients. Then he invented a salad, called “aviator salad”, with the few ingredients that he had in his kitchen and served it to his clients. He never imagined that it would become so famous. In a short period, his salad became very popular in the USA, especially in Hollywood.
From the beginning, Caesar salad was composed of green salad, usually romaine lettuce, croutons and absolutely delicious dressing based on egg yolk, fillets of anchovy and grated parmesan. Later, this salad was supplemented with chicken, shrimp and/or tomatoes. I also chose to add grilled/fried chicken too, but even in its simplest form, Caesar salad is still delicious.
Caesar salad is versatile and today there are many versions of the recipe. The ingredients vary and almost every restaurant adds its own touch to the recipe.
Today I chose to prepare the most popular version of Caesar salad, the one that as I think is seasoned with authentic Caesar salad dressing.
Ingredients for Caesar Salad Dressing:
The dressing used in this salad is a special one, and for it, you need some special ingredients: parmesan and anchovy fillets. Actually, in some sources, it is said that the authentic Caesar salad dressing did not include anchovies and chef Cardini used Worcestershire sauce. As this sauce is generally derived from anchovies, we can dispute what actually did he use. Anyway, all these ingredients can be easily found in big supermarkets.
So you will need:
Anchovy fillets or anchovy paste – the fillets of anchovy can be found in the section with canned fish, regular in small glass jars or you can choose the variant of paste that comes in a tube. Do not be afraid that anchovies will give fishy taste to the salad, actually they provide more briny blast than taste. And I think a good caesar salad definitely needs such a rich flavor to the dressing.
Yolks – as you have to use raw egg, I highly recommend you to grab high-quality eggs. Do not avoid them when preparing the dressing because you’ll miss the richness they add to the sauce.
Lime/lemon juice – studying a lot of different sources, I found some dressings soured with lime juice instead of lemon. Honestly speaking, I could never sense any difference between the 2 citruses for this specific salad. Therefore, it is up to you what to use.
Garlic – ok, garlic for me is a perfect and the main ingredient in almost all kinds of dressing. This is one of the cases when you cannot go without it.
Parmesan – I recommend that you buy a wedge of parmesan but not the shredded one that comes in a bag. The aroma of the wedge one is more flavorful and so you can be sure you are using genuine cheese.
Olive oil – no comment here! That’s the basic ingredient! Just make sure it is not bitter, otherwise, you risk messing up the dressing.
How to Make Caesar Salad Dressing?
I adore this Caesar salad dressing, it is absolutely wonderful and can be used at any other salads. The secret of smooth and delicious dressing is in the method of preparation. You will need a food processor or hand blender with a whisk.
Start with anchovy. Start slowly whisking 2 tsp of anchovy paste( if you bought anchovy fillets then previously mash it in a paste), 2 yolks and ½ tsp salt. Then add 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp previously minced garlic and 2 tsp of dijon mustard and whisk a little again. On medium speed, start adding in a thin slow stream 1 cup of olive oil. Whisk the mixture until it looks thick and glossy. At the end whisk in ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate until use. Store dressing in the fridge for about 24 hours.
How to Make Caesar Salad?
Preheat a skillet/grill at medium-high temperature. Drizzle some drops of olive oil and cook the chicken until golden( better when marinated ahead of time). I prefer to use boneless thighs instead of chicken breasts because the meat is more fragile. When the poultry is cooked, set aside and allow it to cool. Then slice the chicken meat into bite-size strips.
Meanwhile, using your hand, tear off chunks of lettuce in a large salad bowl. My favorites are romaine or iceberg lettuce. I like them because of their crispy texture. Add the croutons and pour the dressing on top. Then gently toss to combine well all ingredients making sure that lettuce is evenly coated.
Plate the salad in portion and top each portion with grilled chicken and some cherry tomatoes. Garnish with some more shredded parmesan.
I hope you will try my Caesar salad recipe with chicken and will enjoy it.
- In any case, if you really do not like the taste of anchovy you can leave them out. But believe me, they represent the secret of flavor.
- If you do not want to use raw yolks, you can easily replace them with 2 tablespoons of good mayonnaise.
- The chicken is optional in this salad and you can skip it without problems. By adding chickens, however, you get a hearty salad that you have as the main course.
- Replace chicken with turkey, or why not, with shrimps/prawns or other seafood.
- Use homemade croutons. Preheat the oven to 375 F°. Cut your beloved baguet in medium size cubes. Bake them for about 10 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve immediately!
Authentic Caesar salad with Chicken
For the dressing
- 2 tsp anchovy paste
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves previously minced
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
For the Caesar salad
- 1 iceberg lettuce romaine lettuce
- 2 boneless chicken thighs previously cooked
- 1 cup croutons
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan
- Start slowly whisking 2 tsp of anchovy paste( if you bought anchovy fillets then previously mash it in a paste), 2 yolks and ½ tsp salt. Then add 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp previously minced garlic and 2 tsp of dijon mustard and whisk a little again. On medium speed, start adding in a thin slow stream 1 cup of olive oil. Whisk the mixture until it looks thick and glossy. At the end whisk in ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese.
- Preheat a skillet/grill at medium-high temperature. Drizzle some drops of olive oil and cook the chicken until golden( better when marinated ahead of time). When the poultry is cooked, set aside and allow it to cool. Then slice the chicken meat into bite-size strips.
- Meanwhile, using your hand, tear off chunks of lettuce in a large salad bowl. Add the croutons and pour the dressing on top. Then gently toss to combine well all ingredients making sure that lettuce is evenly coated.
- Plate the salad in portion and top each portion with grilled chicken and some cherry tomatoes. Garnish with some more shredded parmesan.