Special Caesar Salad – 21 Salads in 21 Days

Special Caesar SaladThis Special Caesar Salad is one of my favourites ever. I first tried it being 18, when I started working at hospitality in Spain, and I love it ever since. However, I wasn’t sure at all about making it for the 21 Salads in 21 Days Challenge. “Another Caesar Salad?!”, I thought. Internet doesn’t need another Caesar Salad recipe. You, my lickle friends, do not need it all. The net is full of recipes and versions of this salad and its famous dressing. Every week, a pretentious but boring food blogger publishes her own annoying take on this classic without being asked. 

And here I am, saturating the Internet and stealing your time with another Caesar Salad recipe. But I’m special -my mum always told me- and I want to feel unique and different, so I’m naming my version: Special Caesar Salad. And what does this salad have so “special” apart from its author? That I’m adding chicken breast in panko breadcrumbs, the touch of some amazing Polish smoked bacon and the flavour of a homemade Caesar dressing that didn’t kill us.   

How to make Boris’* Special Caesar Salad: 

Ingredients (serves 2):

Lettuce (Romaine, Baby Gem or any other, but not Iceberg!)
8 cherry tomatoes
Croutons (or bread sticks in pieces)
Parmesan cheese
Polish smoked bacon (smoked pancetta, lardons or pork belly in pieces)
Salt & black pepper to taste

Panko Chicken Breast

1 chicken breast
1 big egg
Milk
Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Some oregano
Sunflower oil
Salt & black pepper

Special Caesar Salad Dressing

1 big egg
1 egg yolk
Nice Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 anchovies in oil (finely chopped)
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon of English mustard
The juice of ½ lime
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
5 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese (or similar)
Salt & black pepper

Preparation:

Panko Chicken Breast

Special Caesar Salad 2Cut the chicken breast in medium size cubes and immerse them in milk with the smoked paprika, the oregano and some salt and black pepper. Leave the meat marinating for, at least, 1 hour. “Why would you marinate dead chicken in milk stolen from baby cows?”, you may ask. “To get a soft and juicy chicken breast, thanks to the action of the lactic acid present in milk”, I would answer. 

After this lovely time that you would have used to prep some other stuff or to clean and tidy that place you call “a kitchen”, prepare your breading station: chicken, egg, panko breadcrumbs, clean plate. 

Crack, beat the egg and get your hands dirty. Transfer the chicken breast from the milk to the egg, cover it and move it to the panko. Gently press the meat on the breadcrumbs, turning it to get it evenly covered. Transfer the breaded chicken to the clean plate and wait until the oil is hot enough. You know your oil is hot when you put a piece of bread and it gets golden brown in around 30 seconds. 

Fry your panko chicken until golden brown. Once it’s cooked, put in a plate with kitchen towel to remove the oil excess. You should be able to do that while you build the salad. 

Special Caesar Salad Dressing

We are going to do the real stuff here, not just mixing some anchovies and garlic with industrial mayonnaise. This is a kind of mayonnaise so everything has to be ultraclean and disinfected: your hands, the counter surface and the kitchen utensils you will use. Skip or do not pay enough attention to the cleaning process and you will see your dumb arse in hospital.

After being conscious of this warning, put the whole egg and the egg yolk in a recipient suitable for a hand blender. Add the lime juice, the Worcestershire sauce, some olive oil and blend with the hand blender on the bottom of your recipient, without moving it from there. Add some more oil and carry on blending without moving the blender until you see the mayonnaise starts to emulsify. 

As soon as you see your dressing is getting thicker, add the rest of the ingredients and now, my friend, you can move the blender up and down or around the sides of your recipient. 

If you want your Special Caesar Salad Dressing thicker, add some more olive oil while you blend. If it’s too thick for your licking, add a splash of water or lime juice. 

Taste and adjust the salt and pepper, if necessary. Keep it covered in the fridge until the moment of serving. 

Final steps

Cut your Polish smoked bacon in stripes and fry it. You won’t need to add any extra oil as it is fatty enough. Just be patient and leave the bacon to sweat the fat that will make it nicely golden brown and crispy. Cook until that state is reached. 

Wash and dry very well your lettuce leaves. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them in halves. 

Put the leaves in a big bowl and add 3-4 tablespoons of your Special Caesar Salad Dressing and mix. Make it as creamier or lighter as you prefer. Your taste buds are the limit! 

Plate the dressed lettuce leaves and add the rest of the ingredients: halved cherry tomatoes, bacon and croutons. Finish the salad with the Panko Chicken Breast and shaves of Parmesan cheese. 

Serve my Special Caesar Salad with some more dressing on the side and pray to not get sick because your dressing is as dodgy as you. 

Salud!

Follow me on Instagram for a daily update. If you liked this salad and would like to get other recipes for your lunch or dinners, this is the complete list with all the salads from this challenge.
*Maybe I should create and name a salad after me. What do you think?

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