Deconstructed Chicken Caesar Salad
Photo by Marge Perry
This go-to meal, ready in less than 20 minutes, has all the elements of a classic chicken Caesar salad—but instead of tossing them together, we celebrate each on its own. We believe this is the only Caesar dressing you'll ever need. We stir in a little grated Parmesan and use it as a dip, too.Roasting romaine hearts intensifies their flavor: you get a slight pleasantly bitter note and a not-so-slight sweetness from the caramelization process. (We love the charred edges!) Small crunchy toasts make a heartier stand-in for croutons, and we cook the chicken breasts, tossed with a touch of mustard and thyme, until they just hit 160°F to ensure they are moist and tender.
- 4 servings
- Caesar Dressing:
- 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
- 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained, mashed to a paste with a fork
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- For the salad:
- 2 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 demi-baguette (about 12 inches), cut across into 12 slices
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Position one oven rack 4 to 5 inches below the heat source (leave the other rack in the center of the oven) and preheat the broiler. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.
- Make the Caesar dressing: Combine the mayonnaise, anchovy paste, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil.
- Brush the cut sides of the romaine hearts with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Place them, cut side up, on the sheet pan. Broil the romaine hearts until they are slightly wilted and lightly browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Toss the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the mustard, and thyme. Place the breasts and the bread slices on the sheet pan and roast in the center of the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center of the chicken registers 160°F and the bread is toasted, 8 to 9 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let it rest 5 minutes before cutting it across into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place the chicken and toasts on the platter with the romaine; drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the Parmesan.
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