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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

For Christmas I received Jamie Olivers '15 Minute Meals' cookbook. I was somewhat dubious as to whether the meals would really only take 15 minutes, however the recipes looked tasty so I was keen to try them.

The first recipe I tried was the Caesar Salad. I made it one night after having spent the day at the beach with family. Earlier in the week my Husband and I had tagged all the meals we liked to look of and we had written out a shopping list of the ingredients we needed to buy. Whilst the initial cost was expensive, many of the ingredients are used in more than one recipe.

With all the ingredients for the salad on hand I set about making the salad. I followed his instructions in getting all the ingredients out and on the bench, including setting up all the tools i would need to make the meal.

The meal was so simple to make and really did only take me 15 minutes to make.The taste. OH MY GOD! AMMAAZZZIIINNNGGG. Yes. It certainly is worth the capitals and multiple letters.

What really made this salad was the crunchy polenta coated chicken and the to die for sauce. It is not really a normal caesar salad, or a normal dressing. The dressing is creamy, garlicy and has a great basil flavour. Thankfully there was way more dressing than was needed so I used the leftover dressing on my salads for lunch the rest of the week. Yum!

Also, the chicken was so simple to make that I have made the chicken on it's own as a chicken schnitzel a few times since. The polenta gives the chicken the crunchy coating like a fried schnitzel, but without all the oil.

  • For the chicken:
  • 2, 3.5-ounce skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of finely ground polenta
  • Olive oil
  • For the salad:
  • Ciabatta loaf of bread
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 red radicchio (Iused some chicory I had for another recipe)
  • 4 slices of pancetta
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large jarred red peppers
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • For the dressing:
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese plus extra to serve
  • 8 anchovies
  • 4 heaped tbsp of fat free natural yogurt
  • 1 splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of english mustard
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh basil

On a large sheet of wax or parchment paper, toss the chicken with paprika, polenta and a pinch of salt and pepper. Fold over the paper, then bash and flatten the chicken to roughly 1/2-inch thick with a rolling pin.
Put into the frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and brown until golden and cooked through, turning after about four minutes. Cut four thick slices of ciabatta, place on a griddle pan and remove when nicely charred on both sides.
Squash the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher into a blender. Squeeze in the lemon juice, crumble in the Parmesan and add the rest of the dressing ingredients. Blitz until smooth then season to taste.
Rub the toasts with a halved garlic clove and cut into strips. Quarter the radicchio and add to the griddle pan with the pancetta to char for a couple of minutes.
Roughly slice the lettuces and arrange over a large serving board or platter. Scatter over the ciabatta strips half the tomatoes and slice the peppers, then add to the board. Toss a splash of balsamic with the radicchio and arrange on top.
Slice the chicken, lay it around the salad, drizzle over the dressing, crumble over the crispy pancetta and snip over the watercress. Use a speed-peeler to shave over the extra Parmesan.
Serves four


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