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Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad




I talk to my oldest daughter pretty much every day on the computer.  I am really grateful for our relationship and how close we are to each other.  The whole time I was growing up I wanted a daughter with blond hair and brown eyes. I was going to call her Honey, after a character in a book I had read.  I got the daughter with the blond hair and brown eyes, but I didn't call her Honey. I called her Eileen ,and she is one of the jewels in my mother's crown.  Invariably our conversations always include some food talk.  We are both Foodies. The other day she told me what she was having for lunch, a Chicken Caesar Salad, and that was it!!  I was craving one, and so the day after we spoke, I decided to create one for Todd and myself to enjoy for our own dinner!



Well, I really enjoyed it, not sure how much Todd did.  He ate it, and to be fair I included a baked potato with his.  As for me, I was in Caesar Salad Heaven!! 



I think Caesar Salad is one of my absolute favourite salads, next to the Cobb Salad and when you add some grilled chicken it becomes even more so! 



I rub the chicken before cooking with my own homemade Montreal Chicken Seasoning.  Its very easy to make and tastes delicious.

Yield: 1/2 cup

Montreal Chicken Seasoning

I can not find this over here and so I make my own.

ingredients:



4 TBS fine sea salt
1 TBS black pepper
1 TBS onion powder (not salt)
1/2 TBS garlic powder (not salt)
1/2 TBS crushed red chili flakes (or to taste)
1/2 TBS dried thyme
1/2 TBS dried rosemary
1/2 TBS coriander seed, bruised

instructions:

Mix all together in a small glass jar, combining well.  Seal and store in a cold dark place for up to six months.
Created using The Recipes Generator



I just rub the chicken generously with this mixture on both sides and then grill it in a lightly oiled grill pan.  Or you can do it on the outdoor grill, depending on the weather. (We've been having a LOT of rain lately!)



The dressing itself is a very simple and easy one to make.  Lemon juice, garlic, yogurt, Anchovy paste, Dijon, Worcestershire and Parmesan cheese . . .  simple ingredients.  You can also use a purchased dressing if you wish, but use a well flavoured and good quality one. I like Newman's Own myself, but it can be difficult to find over here. 



I use real bacon, normally popping the rashers of streaky bacon onto a baking sheet and baking them in the oven to perfection while I am cooking the chicken.  Its really simple and if you line your baking sheet with baking parchment, there's  no flipping and very little clean up involved. (Yes, I am that lazy!) 



I also make my own garlic croutons.  They are also very simple to make. Just buttered white bread. Use a rustic one if you can.  Cut into shapes (today it was hearts) and sprinkle with some Garlic Italian seasoning and bake in the oven as well.  Perfectly golden brown and delicious!  No chemicals.


I use a Cos lettuce, (Romaine) the hearts . . .  one is enough for the two of us.  It has a nice slightly bitter taste that goes well with everything else and I think it is fairly traditional in a Caesar Salad for just that reason. 



Its just a matter of cleaning the lettuce and then slicing it crosswise and dividing it amongst your plates.


Slicing the grilled chicken on the diagonal and laying it on top of the lettuce, kind of pretty-like  . . .


Scattering the bacon and croutons around  here and there . . .  helter skelter . . .


A drizzle of the dressing (pass the rest at the table), a smattering of coarsely grated Parmesan and some freshly ground black pepper and dinner is served!  You can't go wrong! 


Yield: 2

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

prep time: 15 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 35 mins
This is a fabulous deliciously light lunch or supper.

ingredients:


1 head of Romaine (Cos) lettuce, washed, dried and sliced crosswise
4 slices of cooked streaky bacon, cut into slices

For the grilled chicken:
2 single free range boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Montreal Chicken seasoning to taste

 For the croutons:
two firm slices of white bread
softened butter to spread
Garlic Italian Seasoning to taste

For the dressing:
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
245g low fat Greek Yogurt (1 cup)
90g finely grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
salt to taste and freshly ground black pepper

You will also need:
a couple TBS of coarsely grated Parmesan Cheese

instructions:

First
 make the dressing.  Whisk all of the ingredients together and then
cover and chill in the refrigerator until you need it.   This can be
done well ahead.  You may not need it all, but it keeps well in the
refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To make the
 croutons, preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Have a baking
tray ready  Butter the bread on both sides lightly.  Cut into decorative
 shapes with a small cutter (about 1 inch in size).  Place onto a baking
 tray in  single layer and sprinkle with the Garlic Italian seasoning to
 taste.  Toast in the oven until golden brown. 8 to 10 minutes. Remove
and set aside.

Season the chicken all over
with the Montreal Chicken Seasoning. (I make my own seasoning.)  Heat a
skillet over moderate heat, add a splash of oil.  Put the chicken in top
 side down.  Cook until golden brown on that side, about 7 minutes, flip
 over and cook for a further 6 to 7 minutes until cooked through and the
 juices run clear.  Remove and let sit for about five minutes before
slicing diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.
Divide the
 salad greens
between two large chilled plates.  Place an equal portion of
chicken in the centre of each.  Sprinkle on the bacon and croutons and
cheese, again dividing them equally. Drizzle with a tiny bit of dressing
 and grind some fresh black pepper on top to taste.  Pass the remaining
dressing at the table, so
that each person can use as much or as little as they want.  Delicious!
Created using The Recipes Generator



I love this salad so much I could probably eat it a couple of times a week.  Homemade is ultimately infinitely better than anything you can buy in the shops/restaurants.  And you know the lettuce is fresh! (Don't get me started on that topic!)  Enjoy and Bon Appetit! 



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Marie Rayner
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