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Chicken Caesar salad in a white bowl.
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Chicken Caesar Salad

This is absolutely the best chicken Caesar salad! It's made with delicious lemon herb chicken, crispy bacon, crunchy lettuce, homemade croutons, jammy eggs, and flavorful homemade Caesar dressing. Croutons, chicken, and bacon are baked conveniently in the oven, so the salad is really easy to make. It may take some time to prepare, but it's well worth it! It's also quite filling so it's perfect to serve for lunch or even dinner.
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 large servings
Calories 832kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the chicken:

  • 1 lb (450g) chicken breast 2 large
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic pressed through a garlic press
  • salt and pepper

for the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup sour cream 55g
  • 1/2 cup mayo 110g
  • 3 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 22g
  • 1/2 tablespoon milk optional
  • salt and pepper

for the croutons:

  • 1/2 (16oz/450g) loaf French bread these are 5 cups cubed bread (3/4-inch or 2 cm cubes) which is about 230g
  • 1/3 cup (65g) olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 15g
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or Herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper

for the salad:

  • 3 Romaine lettuce hearts or 1 large head
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan sliced into thin slices
  • 5 slices bacon 80g
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  • Marinate the chicken: in a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and zest, herbs, pressed garlic, salt, and pepper. Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally so that you have 4 thinner fillets (if your chicken breasts are very small, leave them whole). Place a thick plastic bag over the chicken and pound its thickest part with a meat mallet so that the chicken fillets are more or less of even thickness. Add the fillets to the marinade and toss to coat. Leave to marinate while you're preparing other ingredients (for the best results you should marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes but if you don't have time, you can bake it right away).
  • Prepare the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut the bread into 3/4-inch (2cm) cubes (I’m not removing the crust, but you can). In a large bowl, stir together olive oil, grated cheese, garlic powder, herbs, salt, and pepper. Add the cubed bread and toss until evenly coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional) and spread the bread on it. Make sure the bread cubes are spaced out a bit. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden on all sides.
  • Prepare the dressing: Add all the ingredients into food processor and pulse until smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the chicken and bacon: Place bacon slices side-by-side on a baking sheet lined with a new piece of parchment paper. The slices shouldn’t overlap. On the other side of the sheet pan, place the chicken fillets. Your baking sheet should be big enough so that there is some space between the chicken and bacon. If the baking juices from the chicken reach the bacon, it will take slightly longer to cook but it will still turn out crispy. Smaller chicken fillets (=thinner) will need 13-14 minutes, larger pieces (=thicker) about 20 minutes. Check the temperature in the center of the thickest part of each chicken fillet, it should be 165°F (74°C). You need to keep an eye on the chicken and bacon to make sure to not overcook the chicken and to not burn the bacon. Bacon needs about 12-15 minutes for thin-cut bacon, 15-18 minutes for medium-cut bacon, and 18-22 minutes for thicker bacon or until it’s reached your desired level of crispiness. The baking time may vary depending on the oven and the thickness of the bacon, keep an eye on it past the 12-minute mark. The bacon is done when it's browned and the fat is rendered. Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a chopping board and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes. Once the bacon is done, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess fat - the bacon will continue to crisp up while resting. It won't be perfectly crispy straight from the oven, just wait for a couple of minutes for it to get crispy.
  • When the chicken is rested cut it into slices. Crumble the bacon into smaller pieces.
  • Cook the eggs: bring water in a medium pot to a boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Gently lower the eggs on a spoon into the water. When the water comes to a boil again, cook the eggs for 6 minutes. Drain the water and pour very cold water into the pot. Crack the egg shells immediately in the water. Peel the eggs and cut in half.
  • Assemble: Wash the lettuce, dry it and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Toss it with the dressing in a very large bowl. Top it with sliced chicken, crumbled bacon, croutons, and eggs. Sprinkle with grated and shaved Parmesan.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • I like to bake chicken and bacon together for this salad but if this is too much for you, you can either:
    - bake just the chicken and pan-fry bacon on the stovetop
    - bake just the bacon and pan-fry chicken on the stovetop
    - prepare both of them on the stovetop.
  • For the Caesar dressing, you can also use a hand blender. If you don’t have a hand blender or food processor, simply finely chop the garlic and anchovies, grate the Parmesan (preferably on a Microplane), then stir thoroughly with the remaining ingredients.
  • Store all the ingredients separately and assemble just before serving.
  • Calories = 1 large salad (1/4 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!

Nutrition

Calories: 832kcal