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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Caesar Salad with Chicken and Arugula

I'm very happy with how this salad dressing turned out. You never know what you're going to get with a Caesar Salad dressing. I guess because everyone's taste is different. I modified this slightly by halving the recipe: using 1 tsp of mustard and about 1/2 tsp squeeze of anchovy paste and halved the rest of the dressing ingredients for a 2-person portion with a little leftover.

Other than making your dressing, there's nothing complicated going on here. You could easily use leftover chicken or leave it off completely for a regular Caesar Salad. I skipped the grilled croutons since I grilled the chicken on a cast-iron stove-top grill. I just made my regular baked garlic croutons. If you don't make your own croutons, talk to me about it. My boys squeal with joy when they hear I'm making them. There's no croutons on the salad in the picture. I forgot to put them until after I started eating. Here's the complete recipe:

Grilled Chicken & Arugula Caesar Salad with Grilled Croutons

by Susie Middleton
Serves four.

4 oz. baby arugula (about 5 cups loosely packed), washed and dried

2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
4 oil-packed anchovy fillets
2 large cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/4 tsp. black peppercorns
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh, finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1-1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 3 large), rinsed and patted dry
4 slices French baguette, cut 1 inch thick on an extreme diagonal (6 to 8 inches long)
Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (optional)

Heat a gas grill to medium high. Put the arugula in a large bowl, cover with a damp paper towel, and refrigerate.

*Note: you only use PART of the mustard for the dressing, the rest is for the chicken. And I reduced it to 1 tsp. for half a dressing recipe. I also just used about 1/2 tsp of anchovy paste. (Sorry if I keep going on about this, I just want to be clear.)

In a blender, combine the lemon juice and zest, anchovies, garlic, and peppercorns with 6 Tbs. of the oil, 1 Tbs. of the mustard, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Blend thoroughly until most of the peppercorns are well broken up and the dressing is emulsified. Add 2 Tbs. of the grated Parmigiano and blend to incorporate. Leave the dressing in the blender.

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the remaining 1 Tbs. mustard and 3/4 tsp. salt. Brush the bread with the remaining 2 Tbs. oil and season with salt. Grill the chicken, covered, until golden grill marks form, 5 to 6 min. (for even cooking, rotate the chicken 90 degrees halfway through cooking each side). Flip the breasts and continue to cook, covered, until golden grill marks form and the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 6 min. Let rest on a cutting board for 5 min.

Grill the bread until dark around the edges and golden brown in the center, 1 to 2 min. per side. Slice the chicken thinly on an angle. Cut each bread slice into 10 cubes. Pulse the dressing in the blender; add a little of it to the arugula, just to coat.

Divide the arugula among four plates and sprinkle with a little Parmigiano. Toss the chicken with the remaining dressing and arrange over the arugula. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano and arrange the croutons and tomatoes (if using) around the salad.

From Fine Cooking 65, pp. 86
July 1, 2004

1 comment:

Amy said...

Oh that sounds SO GOOD!

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Made by Lena