August 29, 2010

Lighter Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken Caesar salad is usually pretty high in calories (sometimes as many as a double cheeseburger), so I was pleased to find this more healthful version in the America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 cookbook. I love a good classic Caesar, and this recipe does not disappoint!!! This dish delivered juicy, perfectly cooked chicken breast, homemade, garlicky croutons, and perfectly flavored Caesar dressing; all served over a bed of crisp romaine lettuce. Yum!

Lighter Chicken Caesar Salad
Adapted From: America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 cookbook


1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 Tablespoons light mayo
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry (--OR--substitute 1 Tablespoon of anchovy paste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

2 slices of white sandwich bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (--OR--substitute 100% whole wheat bread)
cooking spray
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
4 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup of water
3 romaine lettuce hearts (1 lb.), torn into bite sized pieces (about 12 cups)

1. For the dressing: Process the buttermilk, mayo, lemon juice, water, mustard, Worcestershire, garlic, anchovy paste, pepper, and salt in a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in the Parmesan cheese (except for 1 Tablespoon, set aside).

2. For the salad: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray on both sides. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix with your clean hands, to make sure the bread cubes are well coated with spices. Bake for 10-20 minutes, until crisp and turning once during cooking. Set aside to cool.

3. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken seasoned side down. Brown chicken in the skillet for 5-7 minutes. Turn over and add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and cover. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Remove cooked chicken from pan and rest for 5 minutes. Slice into strips.

4. Assemble salad as follows: Top a bed of romaine lettuce with cooked chicken, croutons, and salad dressing. Toss lightly to combine. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese on top for garnish. Serve and enjoy!

Nutritional Info:
Yield: Serves 4
Total Calories per serving: 410
Total Fat: 18g
Sat Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 110 mg

The Result:
This was a perfect version of Chicken Caesar salad. I substituted whole wheat bread and anchovy paste to accomodate what I had on hand. Also, I cut the recipe in half for our family size. This salad was totally delicious!!!

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