The genius of this salad starts with a double dressing slash marinade (which you don’t need to marinate, or even wipe off before cooking), but it doesn’t stop there. It’s fitting that Ali Slagle mentioned this in her new cookbook, “I Dream of Dinner,” Not Just Another Caesar Salad, because it redefined what I want in the classic — and gave me a crunchy crouton trick that means I can make it. make will never skip it again.
As Ali writes in “I Dream of Dinner,” “It’s hard to resist a good Caesar salad, so get on with it.”
A few more tips: Ali says this recipe is also excellent on the grill for both the chicken and croutons, with similar timing. Since the croutons are a mix of crispy sides and fluffy middles and don’t have a hard outside on all sides (a good thing), sprinkle them on top instead of tossing them through the dressing so they stay crispy longer.
Recipe very slightly adapted from “I’m dreaming of dinner (so you don’t have to): low effort, high reward recipes† (Clarkson Potter, Apr 2022).
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Hear more about this recipe from Ali himself in our podcast The genius recipe tapes† † Genius Recipes
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Not just any Caesar salad with chicken from Ali Slagle
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 anchovies
- 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- A few heads of crisp lettuce (such as Little Gem, romaine, or chicory)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional, for croutons)
- 2 thick slices of crusty bread (optional, for croutons)
- Finely chop the garlic cloves and anchovies and crush them into a coarse paste. Transfer to a medium bowl. Finely grate 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces) and add 1/2 cup to the bowl. Grate half of the lemon into the bowl. Stir in mayo, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard.
- Transfer half of the dressing to a shallow dish. Pat the chicken thighs dry, season with salt and pepper, add to the dish and turn.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium. Add chicken and cook until golden brown and juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board.
- Separate the lettuce leaves and place in a large bowl. Squeeze half of the lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) over the greens, sprinkle with salt, and toss to combine. Add remaining dressing and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and toss to combine. Cut the chicken into thin slices. Add to the salad and season with salt and pepper, lemon and Parmesan cheese.
- (Optional) For croutons after step 2, heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the crusty bread slices and toast until golden brown for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Place on a cutting board and season with salt. Cut into croutons and sprinkle over the salad.