Monday, April 30, 2012

Bayona Chicken Caesar Salad

This recipe is a variation on a caesar salad recipe from Susan Spicer that we made sometime back.  Last time we made the salad as a side dish, but I wanted to turn it into an entree salad with the addition of some chicken.  Chicken caesar salad was the first salad I learned to enjoy so I wanted to pay homage to it here.  When we made the salad last time I posted about how it would make a fantastic entree salad with the addition of some chicken or shrimp.  It just took me a little while to get around to making it.  But good things come to those who wait, right?  And I have to say, this salad was every bit as good as I thought it would be.  I'm not sure that you need to go to the effort of cooking your own chicken - a store-bought rotisserie chicken would be just as delicious here (and would save you some time), but since we cooked our own chicken I included those instructions in the recipe.  If you are doing shrimp I probably would cook them rather yourself than using the pre-cooked shrimp from the grocery store, but you could totally do that too if you were feeling particularly lazy.  Then again, if you are going to go to the trouble of making the dressing and everything from scratch, you should take the time to cook the shrimp.  Cooking shrimp just takes a few minutes whereas roasting a whole chicken (or even just roasting bone-in chicken breasts) takes forever. 

Recipe after the jump!

Bayona Chicken Caesar Salad
Adapted from Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans
By Susan Spicer
For chicken:
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp evoo
1/2 lb chicken cutlets
For dressing:
1 raw or coddled egg yolk, optional
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 tbsp minced shallots
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 cup evoo
1/4 cup evoo
For salad:
1 heart romaine lettuce, leaves chopped into bite-size pieces
1 bunch baby arugula, washed
1/2 cup homemade croutons (we used croutons that we bought at the farmers' market - they were homemade by the vendor so that should count, right?)
shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, as desired
1/2 recipe dressing (about 3/4 cup)

Combine Dijon mustard, lemon zest, garlic, s&p and evoo.  Add chicken and toss to coat.  Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Whisk together everything but the olive oils and s&p in a medium bowl.  Slowly whisk in the oils, until the dressing is emulsified and creamy.  If it gets too thick while you're adding the oils, whisk in a tsp of water, then continue adding the oil.  Season to taste with s&p.  Alternatively, you can puree the dressing ingredients in a blender.  Set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp evoo in a large skillet (or grill pan) over moderately-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade. Cook until opaque throughout and golden brown on the exterior, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and allow to cool.  Slice thinly.

Toss together the romaine, arugula, croutons, chicken, cheese, and dressing.  Top with more cheese, if desired.

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