Easy summer dinner: Grilled Caesar salad with chicken breast

Salad-5377

I have blogged here before that I did not like chicken breast.  I used to find the meat bland and dry.  Last year, I found a few recipes that work really well for chicken breast, and I have been converted ever since.

This particular chicken breast recipe was found on The Kitchn.  The recipe guarantees moist and tender boneless skinless chicken breasts.  Once the breast meat is cooked with this recipe, the possibilities are endless.  I’ve served the meat with salads, cubed it to throw in curries, added to stir fries, etc.  One of my favorite salads is a grilled Caesar salad, so I’m also going to share a recipe here for it.  I love the romaine lettuce grilled because it gives it an extra layer of flavor.  Of course, if you don’t grill the lettuce, that’s fine too (I’m looking at you, Itti!).  You can use the dressing on the uncooked lettuce.

The chicken breast and the Caesar salad can all be made ahead of time, and pulled out of the fridge to eat the next day.  It makes for a great summer dinner.

Chicken Breast

Ingredients

1 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon freshly chopped herbs (optional)
Olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter

Equipment

10-inch sauté pan with lid

Direction

1. Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness with the handle or flat of a knife.

2. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts.

3. Mix about a half teaspoon of salt in with the flour along with a little pepper. Chop the herbs finely, if using, and mix in as well.

4. Quickly dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, so that they are just lightly dusted with flour.

5. Heat the sauté pan over medium-high heat. When it is quite hot, add the olive oil and butter. Let them melt, and swirl the pan.

6. Turn the heat to medium. Add the chicken breasts. Cook for just about 1 minute to help them get a little golden on one side (you are not actually searing or browning them). Then flip each chicken breast over.

7. Turn the heat to low. Put the lid on the pan. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and walk away. Do not lift the lid; do not peek.

8. After 10 minutes have elapsed, turn off the heat. Reset the timer for 10 minutes and leave the chicken breasts in the pan. Again, do not lift the lid; do not peek.

9. After the 10 minutes are up, take the lid off, and tada! Soft, tender, juicy chicken breasts that aren’t dried out in the least. Doublecheck them to make sure there is no pink in the middle. Slice and eat.

 

Grilled Caesar Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 canned rolled anchovy fillets with capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 to 3 large head romaine lettuce, cut lengthwise into halves

Direction

Mince 3 garlic cloves in processor. Add mayonnaise, anchovies with capers, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard and process to blend. Transfer to medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Brush the dressing on the romaine lettuce halves.  Grill the lettuce on medium-high heat on the BBQ for 2 minutes, turning occasionally. Cut the grilled lettuce into bite size pieces.  Drizzle more dressing on the lettuce.  Sprinkle 1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on the salad.  Serve with chicken breast (see recipe above).

An exciting new way to cook broccoli on a very sad day

Let’s start with why it’s a very sad day.  It’s very sad because our glass cooktop is smashed into pieces.  Cliff was opening a cupboard above the cooktop, and a glass bottle of vinegar fell out, hitting the glass, and breaking it instantly.

Given how much we cook and live for food, this is a major tragedy.  How ever long it takes for a replacement to be shipped, we’re going to be without our cooktop for a number of days.  And, cha-ching!  These things are just pricy to replace.  Sigh…such is life.

So, onto the broccoli.

Broccoli is not my all time favorite vegetable, but I like it enough to buy it and cook it.  Generally we steam it and sprinkle with cheese, or stir fry it with beef.

But today I was reading an article on Apartment Therapy about things people put on the grill.  One reader suggested putting broccoli on the grill.  Huh!  Grilled broccoli!  I’ve never ever heard of that before.  Given that we have no other way of cooking the head of broccoli in our fridge without the cooktop, I threw the broccoli on the grill tonight, along with some asparagus and pork chops.

To grill the broccoli, you basically wash it first, cut it into 4 large pieces, drizzle with grapeseed oil and sprinkle with some salt.  It goes on the grill on low heat for about 12-15 minutes, turning a few times to cook evenly.  It’s that easy.

I liked it so much that I was tempted to eat it all before Cliff got home.  But I was nice enough to save him a little bit.  The grilled broccoli has a nice crunch and a great grilled flavor to it.  It was so good that it made me think about buying broccoli again this weekend.