This morning my boyfriend and I were watching “The Best Thing I Ever Made” on Food Network. Guy Fieri was making a Blackened Chicken Fettucini Alfredo, and claimed it as the best thing he ever made. My mouth started watering almost immediately, I knew blackened chicken was going to be on the menu for tonight! My boyfriend wanted to keep it a little bit lighter, so instead of fettucini we opted for my Grandma’s amazing caesar salad recipe (as if it has any less calories ;-)). This is a huge secret I’m giving away (don’t kill me Grandma!), as it’s the BEST caesar I’ve EVER had in my life…and most people who’ve had the privilege of having it tend to agree! So I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
The key to a delicious caesar salad is to buy the best quality ingredients that you can afford, especially when it comes to the olive oil, croutons, and parmesan cheese.
What You’ll Need:
For the Blackened Chicken (adapted from Guy Fieri’s recipe):
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the Caesar Salad (adapted from The New Basics Cookbook by Julie Rosso and Shiela Lukins):
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
4 to 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
3 to 4 cloves garlic (to taste)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 can flat anchovies
Excellent quality croutons
Excellent quality freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 to 2 heads of romane lettuce, rinsed and dried well then chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On the stove heat a heavy oven-proof skillet on medium high.
2. Whisk together all of the herbs and seasonings for the blackened chicken. Pour about half of the blackened seasoning into a bowl and dredge the chicken breasts, adding more seasoning as needed as to not cross contaminate if there is leftover seasoning after the dredging.
3. Place the chicken breasts in the hot skillet and cook 2-3 minutes on each side, then place the chicken in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
4. While the chicken is cooking we’ll get started on the caesar salad dressing. In a food processor, place the lemon zest, juice and garlic, and process until smooth. Then add the anchovies (don’t add the oil they comes in) and process until you can no longer see any bits of fish. With the food processor running, slowly add in the olive oil and process until the mixture is foamy. Add the black pepper and process. In a salad bowl toss the romaine, parmesan, croutons, and add as much dressing as needed to coat the romaine.
5. When the chicken is cooked, let rest for 5 minutes and then slice the chicken into strips on the bias and plate the chicken on top of the caesar salad.
You’ll most likely have some left over dressing. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month and makes an EXCELLENT marinade for fish and chicken, absolutely delicious!
Alright then, ya’ll GO EAT SOMETHING!