Friday, March 25, 2011

Week Night Dinner- Chicken Caesar Salad

I have a few posts saved up and I need to start cranking them out! This is another week night dinner edition... brought to you on a Friday night where I did not cook dinner and instead had some takeout. But I mean well and that counts for something, yes?

This Chicken Caesar Salad was made one night last week for dinner. Homemade croutons, dressing and all. And it sure was good. I've never had such good tasting salad dressing at home before. And the best part was that is was almost too simple, I can't figure out why I've been buying the stuff from stores this whole time??  Seriously, the dressing will boggle your mind and change the way you buy salad dressing.

So, first things, first. The lettuce. I used two types, romaine and iceberg lettuce. I tore the leafs by hand and rinsed them well. I then dried them off, which is something I never used to do. However, thanks to a Kitchen Nightmares episode, I now know the importance of making sure you have dried off leaves of lettuce. That's how the dressing sticks! Whoops. And if you didn't know this fact either, well now you know.

Second, the chicken. The chicken was actually cooked the night prior. I used to have an awful time baking chicken breasts with just some basic seasonings and using it for salads, etc. It would never turn out right. It has actually been years since I properly baked chicken breasts.... haha. But whatever I did last week worked. And it was actually quite simple. Turn the oven up to 425 degrees. Liberally coat chicken breast in olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and some dried garlic. Bake for about 20 minutes and let cool. Store in fridge and when ready to use the next day, slice thinly.

Third, the croutons. Have you ever made homemade croutons before? It's so easy! Take some day old baguette bread, dice, toss in a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and dried garlic. Toss in an oven around 250 degrees and bake until toasted and dried out. Best croutons ever, I swear! And if you have any leftovers- they last about a week so you can dress up your salads as you desire.

Lastly, the dressing. Key part here in making it the best thing ever. My pre-requisite for making this a week night dinner was it needed to be easy and it needed to not have anchovies. I'm not against having them in my Caesar dressing, I'm just against using them in making my own dressing. And the dressing recipe I used was so good and professional tasting, you'll just have to take my word and make your own! Now. Really!

Check out the recipe over at Smitten Kitchen. You'll never buy salad dressing again. I swear.

P.S. Don't forget to sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese, toss all ingredients lightly and enjoy!

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