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Nate Cooks » Rocking out with Chicken Caesar Salad

Rocking out with Chicken Caesar Salad

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I’m a big fan of salad – it’s easy and it’s a great way to get vegetables in to the diet. Generally we have a similar salads all the time – arugula, blue cheese, fruit, maybe some red onion. It’s good, but if you’ve had it 37,000 times before it can kind of feel like a rut.

So this weekend I wanted to make a light lunch and salad seemed nice. Rather than make the same thing again, I thought I could use the leftover anchovy paste to make a Caesar salad with some chicken. It seemed like a pretty classic idea and still pretty low-key for a Saturday afternoon.

So Scott and I thought it would be very fun to use the grill for the first time to grill up some chicken breasts for the salad. We go down to the grocery store and feel very proud of ourselves. Scott goes out to turn on the grill. And then…

FIRE!

Seriously, Scott comes back inside and then I hear HOLY SHIT! I run out to the patio and gouts of flame are shooting out of the side of the grill. That might be kind of dramatic – it was just a grease fire after all, but it was pretty exciting.

Scott was able to get everything under control without having to resort to the fire extinguisher or calling 911. However, we decided it might be better to cook the chicken on the stove rather than on the grill.

Here’s what you’ll need for chicken Caesar salad:

  • 1 chicken breast, cut into slices ($4.25 for two breasts)
  • Kosher Salt ($1.99)
  • Pepper ($0.79)
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil ($3.99)
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce chopped into bite-sized pieces ($1.99)
  • Parmesan cheese ($3.25 for a 1/4 lb)
  • Croutons (either toasted bread or from the box) ($2.19)

For the dressing:

  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.75)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ($3.49)
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon ($0.33)
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste ($2.39 for a tube)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil ($9.99)

Total: 35.40 for 4 servings or 8.85 a serving.

Start by seasoning the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

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Make the dressing by adding the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and anchovy paste in a food processor that has a lid with a hole in it that you can pour liquid in (some will have a pinhole, others will have a spout).

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Puree everything together, then slowly drizzle the olive oil in while the food processor is running. You should end up with a slightly thick dressing. Yours will probably be in better focus than the picture below.

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Heat up a skillet over medium-high heat (or if you’re feeling bad-ass, a grill). Put the oil in the pan, then add the chicken pieces. Brown them on both sides – it should take a couple minutes per side. Check to see if they’re done by cutting one piece open – the juices should be clear and the flesh white.

Put the lettuce in a bowl, top with the chicken, croutons and grate some parmesan cheese on top. Drizzle some dressing on top and put the rest in a bowl for people to add to their salads if they want.

8 Comments

  • By Meghan Scarsella, May 12, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

    Yum! This sounds absolutely delicious!!! I also like how you do the food costing- it is indispensible in this economy and reminds me of my culinary school homework!

    [Reply]

  • By Spirited Miu Flavor, May 13, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

    Aww… I had a grease fire once. Blew up and reached the ceiling in kitchen. Relief, you didn’t have much harm…

    [Reply]

  • By Melissa Nechitilo, May 14, 2009 @ 12:59 pm

    This looks yummy! I love caesar salad but - alas - it is a “forbidden” food in pregnancy. The lack of raw eggs in your dressing makes this one a delicious possibility!

    [Reply]

  • By kissmyspatula, May 14, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

    i LOVE caesar salad - especially topped with grilled salmon. it’s deeeelish!

    [Reply]

  • By Eat Well, Eat Cheap, May 15, 2009 @ 1:50 pm

    Nate,
    I didn’t know how else to get ahold of you to ask this question. Thanks for the comment on our farinata. You mentioned that you’d had it in Argentina and that it was thick, like a pie. What was farinata called in Argentina, and how thick was the pie?

    [Reply]

    Nate Reply:

    Hmm… I’m not sure what it was called, but I will try to find out. It was about 1.5-2″ thick.

    [Reply]

  • By Eat Well, Eat Cheap, May 16, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

    Thanks for the info. We’ll try the thicker pie version. And, if you find the name for farinata in Argentina, let us know.

    [Reply]

  • By zoe, May 17, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

    Our fire alarm goes off all the time…no worries. Looks great!

    [Reply]

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