When I told my husband we were having salad for dinner, he gave me a face and said, "I guess I'll have to have ANOTHER dinner." Put your pouting face away - after this dinner was done, he was fully stuffed and actually enjoyed it! He even said he usually doesn't like Caesar salad, but this was really good. I enjoyed it immensely as well. I have been on a real Caesar salad kick, and this fit the bill nicely!
Brining the chicken is key to flavorful, moist chicken. We used tenderloins and brined them for 15 minutes, then cooked about 3 minutes each side. The chicken was so good we've made it that way a few times just to have leftover chicken in the fridge.
Chicken Caesar Salad
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups 3/4-inch bread cubes from baguette
Broiled Chicken Breasts
3 tablespoons table salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 inches each), trimmed of excess fat
Ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus 2 more teaspoons
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium garlic clove, minced fine
4 anchovy filets (flat), minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium heats romaine lettuce, large outer leaves removed; washed, dried, and torn into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. For the croutons: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat over to 350 degrees. Mix garlic, salt, and oil in a small bowl; let stand 20 minutes to infuse flavors, then pour through fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Spread cubes in even layer on rimmed baking sheet; bake, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool croutons on baking sheet to room temperature. (Can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours.)
2. For the chicken: dissolve sugar and salt in 1 1/2 quarts cold water in gallon-sized zipper-lock bag or plastic container. Add chicken and seal bag, pressing out as much as as possible; refrigerate 30 minutes until fully seasoned. Remove chicken from brine, dry thoroughly with paper towels, and season with pepper.
3. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (should be about 6 inches away from heating element) and heat broiler. Spray broiler pan top lightly with nonstick cooking spray and position over pan bottom. Place chicken on pan; broil until spotty brown and firm to the touch, about 8 minutes, turning chicken halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.
4. For the dressing: Bring 2 inches water to boil in a saucepan over high heat. Lower eggs into water and cook 45 seconds; remove with slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, crack eggs open; reserve yolks in small bowl and discard whites. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, garlic, and anchovies to yolks; whisk until smooth. Whisking constantly, add oil in slow, steady stream. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. (Dressing can be refrigerated in airtight container up to 1 day; shake before using.)
5. To finish salad: In large bowl, toss lettuce, Parmesan, and about two-thirds of the dressing to coat; divide evenly among individual plates. Remove tenderloins from chicken breasts; place in bowl used to dress lettuce, along with remaining dressing. Cut chicken breasts crosswise into 1/2-inch slices, add to bowl, and toss to coat. Divide dressed chicken evenly among plates, arranging slices on lettuce. Sprinkle each plate with a portion of the croutons and serve immediately.