Chicken Caesar Salad, Deconstructed

Who hasn’t ordered the chicken Caesar salad at The Olive Garden? Or pretty  much any other restaurant, regardless of cuisine, over the years? Typically, it consists of romaine lettuce dripping with creamy “Caesar” dressing, with cold chicken on top, along with more Parmesan cheese and stale croutons.

This is my new spin on chicken Caesar salad, inspired by a recent Bon Appetit recipe. But instead of piling everything high on a smudged plate, the diner gets a unique salad-eating experience with a deconstructed restaurant staple.

The panko-Parmesan-crusted chicken is lovely along with the seared romaine flecked with garlic and minced anchovies. I love the whole seared-lettuce thing. Really changes the flavors.

I highly recommend adding this dish to your summer menu – a wonderful entree for dining al fresco, if you can.

Deconstructed Chicken Caesar Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 7-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
  • 2 large hearts of romaine, halved lengthwise
  • 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained, minced
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Preheat oven to 450°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Season chicken with salt and pepper; place on prepared sheet. Combine cheese, panko, 2 Tbsp. oil, parsley, and 1 garlic clove in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Pat panko mixture onto breasts. Roast chicken until crumbs begin to turn golden, about 10 minutes.
Drizzle romaine with 1 Tbsp. oil and sprinkle with remaining 1 chopped garlic clove and anchovies. Season with salt and pepper. Remove sheet from oven; place romaine around chicken.
Roast until chicken is cooked through and lettuce is browned at edges, about 5 minutes (mine was even less).

Divide among plates. Garnish with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Doesn’t that look yummy? Also good as sack-lunch leftovers – just reheat the chicken and serve with the cold romaine and squeeze a lemon wedge over.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

3 responses to “Chicken Caesar Salad, Deconstructed

  1. A great idea – I have to join the de-constructed bandwagon at some point, I’m still yet to de-construct anything…

  2. A cool or maybe one should say a hot new twist on an old time favorite. I stirfry romaine lettuce in a Chinese dish and it really makes in sweet and yummy. I am sure roasting it would make it sweet as well.

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