I’ve had some fabulous news recently – mum and dad are coming to visit in a few weeks for my birthday (January 4th), woohoo! Kam and I spent Christmas in Sydney with last year, but unfortunately it wasn’t an option again this year to make the trip. I had started at looking at flights for the start of January instead, but mum has beat me to the punch and they’ll now be visiting for a full week from New Years Day onwards. Looks like we’ll be having a late Christmas dinner at my place this year!
Recently I shared the story of mum’s predictable restaurant habits – namely that if there is a Caesar salad on the menu, she’s going to order it! With mum visiting so soon then it feels like a good time to put my Caesar salad prowess to the test – after all, I have a tough critic to impress.
To whip up this salad from start-to-finish we’re going to let the oven do most of the work for us, baking a few of the base ingredients before tossing them all together with that Easy Blender Caesar Dressing I shared with you earlier. There’s a lot of steps and looks very intensive, but I promise you it all comes together easily once the oven does it’s job.
This Chicken Caesar Salad has the lot – lettuce, crispy bacon, crunchy croutons, firm soft-boiled eggs and a rich, homemade, creamy dressing. I’ll be pulling this recipe out to make the first night of my parent’s visit, wish me luck that it passes her discerning taste test! While this salad is tangy-perfection as is, I also enjoy swapping out the lettuce for baby kale, or using a tin of chickpeas instead of the croutons for an even healthier spin. For my mum gorgeous however, she’s going to want it just like this 😉
- Ingredients for baking
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper
- 4 slices day-old sourdough bread, torn or cut into bite size pieces (choose gluten/wheat free if necessary)
- 5 slices shortcut bacon
- 1 organic, biodynamic or freerange chicken breast
- 4 organic, biodynamic or freerange eggs
- 4 cups roughly torn cos or butter lettuce
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup Caesar salad dressing
- shaved parmesan, to serve
- Baked Ingredients Preperation:
- Preheat oven to 200C and line two large baking sheets with baking paper. Also place a large piece of aluminium foil in a rimmed baking tray and put aside. Ensure all three trays will fit in your oven at the same time.
- Combine olive oil, minced garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. whisk to combine. Add cubed sourdough bread to bowl and toss gently to coat with olive oil mixture. Pour onto large baking tray and spread out into one even layer, place in the oven.
- Lay bacon in an even layer on another large baking sheet, without overlapping and place in oven.
- Finally place chicken breast on aluminium lined baking tray and season with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Pull sides of foil up and over chicken, encasing it. Add to oven and bake for all ingredients for 25 minutes, or until croutons are golden and firm and chicken is cooked.
- Remove croutons and chicken breast from oven and allow to cool. Slice or shred chicken and put aside.
- Turn over bacon and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until crispy and shrunken in size. Remove from oven when cooking time has elapsed and thinly slice.
- Prepare Eggs:
While bacon is finishing cooking prepare boiled eggs. Place room temperature eggs in a saucepan and cover with water - at least 2cm water above eggs. Heat water to a rolling boil and then boil continuously for 4½ minutes for firm, soft-boiled eggs. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and crack gently before plunging into a bowl of ice water. Alternative add to a sieve and run under cool water for a few minutes. Once cooled, crack gently all over and carefully remove shells. Slice into quarters and put aside.
- Putting It All Together:
In a large bowl, combine lettuce, red onion, cooked chicken, sliced bacon and Caesar dressing. Toss gently. Divide between 4 bowls of plates and top with quartered eggs and shaved parmesan cheese.