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Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with Garlic Croutons

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Yields 6 large dinner salads.

  • To learn more, read:
    Nicoise, Cobb, Caesar
  • by Susie Middleton from Fine Cooking
    Issue 94

  • Vegetable oil for the grill
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of any excess fat (1 lb.)
  • 1 recipe Creamy Caesar Dressing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Eight 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices dense peasant bread
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, cut in half and peeled
  • 3 hearts of romaine, trimmed, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces, washed, and dried (about 13-1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (use the larger holes on a box grater)
  • 2 large endives, trimmed, halved lengthwise, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise (3 cups)
  • One-half medium head frisee, trimmed, torn into bite-size pieces, washed, and dried (2 lightly packed cups)
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, washed, dried, and torn into smaller pieces if large
Grill the chicken:

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire. When hot, clean the grate with a stiff wire brush and then wipe it down with a folded paper towel dipped in oil. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 Tbs. of the dressing, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Grill, covered, turning once, until nicely browned and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Let cool and slice thinly just before serving.

Make the croutons:

Reduce the grill to medium-low heat (or let the fire die down). Generously brush the bread slices on both sides with the oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Grill the bread, covered, until golden brown on both sides, 1 to 3 minutes per side. Rub the bread on both sides with the cut sides of the garlic. Let the bread cool for a few minutes and then cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Assemble the salads:

Set 6 large dinner plates on the counter. Arrange a sliced chicken thigh in the center of each plate and position some of the slices near the edge of the plate so theyfll be visible after the salad is mounded on top. Spoon about a teaspoon of the Caesar dressing over each of the sliced thighs.

Put the romaine in a large mixing bowl and toss with about 6 Tbs. of the dressing. Add 6 Tbs. parmigiano and a big pinch each of salt and pepper to the bowl and toss again. Arrange the romaine over the chicken on each plate. Sprinkle about half of the croutons over the plates.

Toss the endive in the mixing bowl with 2 to 3 Tbs. dressing. Add 2 Tbs. parmigiano and a pinch each of salt and pepper and toss again. Arrange the endive in the center of the romaine on each plate.

Toss the frisée in the mixing bowl with about 2 Tbs. of the dressing. Add 2 Tbs. parmigiano and a pinch each of salt and pepper and toss again. Pile the frisee in the center of the salads. Sprinkle the remaining cheese, croutons, and the parsley over the salads. Serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : with dressing; Calories (kcal): 590; Fat (g): 38; Fat Calories (kcal): 340; Saturated Fat (g): 7; Protein (g): 29; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 24; Carbohydrates (g): 37; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6; Sodium (mg): 1400; Cholesterol (mg): 105; Fiber (g): 10;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Awesome recipe. Easily $9.95 in a restaurant.

VERY Good! My husband begged me to make it again!

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