One of America’s most beloved salads, the Caesar salad has changed quite a bit from its roots at a Tijuana restaurant, where it was used as a dip for romaine lettuce. The original dressing included a very softly boiled (coddled) egg, but this eggless chicken Caesar salad version gets its body and creaminess from Parmesan cheese.–Rick Rodgers
LC No Raw Egg! Note
Those of you who cook for the very young, the very old, the very sick, the very preggers, or the very finicky, you can let out a sigh of relief. This lovely homemade Caesar salad contains no egg in the dressing, which means you can make it for everyone you love—even those for whom raw egg is a no-no. That doesn’t mean you won’t hear any criticism, though. We’ve found that Caesar salad dressing is a very personal thing, and while we love the bejeebers out of this recipe, just to be fair, it’s not quite as lavishly thick, rich, and creamy as some dressings we’ve experienced. Consider yourself warned.
Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 55 M
- Serves 4
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated plus a 4-ounce (125-gram) wedge, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon anchovy fillets in oil, drained and minced (or substitute anchovy paste), plus more to taste
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (18 to 20 ounces), halved
- 2 to 3 romaine hearts
- Parmesan Toast, whole or chopped (optional)
- 1. In a blender, process the 3/4 cup oil, the grated Parmesan, the lemon juice, anchovies, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to make a smooth, thick, dressing. Taste the dressing. If a richer, creamier, more robust dressing is desired, add more Parmesan and/or anchovies.
- 2. Using a meat pounder, pound the chicken breasts until they are a uniform 1/2-inch (12 millimeters) thick. Sprinkle the chicken evenly on both sides with a total of 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- 3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken and cook until the underside is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and continue cooking until the other side is golden brown and the chicken feels firm when pressed on top in the center, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a carving board and let cool for 5 minutes. (If you wish, let the chicken cool completely. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.) Slice the chicken across the grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
- 4. Chop the romaine lengthwise into strips or tear it into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, toss the romaine with about half the dressing. If desired, add more dressing and toss again. Season with salt and pepper. (Any remaining dressing can be covered and refrigerated for up to several days.)
- 5. Divvy the salad among 4 bowls. Top each with equal amounts of the chicken slices and the whole or chopped Parmesan Toast. Using a swivel vegetable peeler, shave curls of cheese from the Parmesan wedge over the salad. Serve at once.
- Asiago or Grana Padano are good substitutes for the Parmesan, but don’t use Romano, which is too sharp.
- Swap out the chicken for cooked shrimp or grilled steak slices.
- Impart a touch of tartness by tossing in 1 cup (6 ounces) halved cherry tomatoes.
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