Epic Chicken Caesar Salad with Anchovy Breadcrumbs
Dietary: Gluten-Free, Whole30, Dairy-Free (if modified)
For the Chicken:
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Anchovy Breadcrumbs:
- 6 anchovies packed in oil or the remaining anchovies from the tin after making the dressing
- 1 tablespoon of oil from the tin of anchovies
- ⅓ cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs I use Aleia Brand
For the Salad:
- 4 cups roughly chopped romaine or 1 head
- 7 ounces little gem lettuce leaves
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese omit for dairy-free
- Freshly ground black pepper
Make the Caesar Dressing:
Find the full step-by-step for my Caesar Dressing here. Set aside while you make the rest of the salad elements.
Cook the Chicken:
Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet, pound the chicken until it is a uniform ½-inch thickness. Pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, Make the Anchovy Breadcrumbs:
Reduce the heat in the skillet to medium-low. Add the anchovies and anchovy oil to the skillet and cook, using the back of a wooden spoon to mash up the anchovies until they turn into a paste-like consistency, about 2 minutes.
Once the anchovies are a paste, add the breadcrumbs and cook, tossing frequently, until the panko has just toasted and is golden, about 4 minutes, watching carefully so as to not burn. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To Assemble the Salad:
In a large bowl, combine the romaine and little gem lettuces. Add desired amount of Caesar dressing and gently toss until well coated. Divide the salad among four plates.
Slice the chicken and divide on top of each salad along with a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan (if using) and the crunchy anchovy breadcrumbs. Finish with a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper.