Richard Johnson: Caesar salad, one of the most popular dishes in the country. We're going to make our version with some grilled chicken. We've started out with some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. We put it in some marinade of Italian dressing in a plastic bag because that helps to coat it a little better, for about 30 minutes. We've got a nice hot grill. Sear these really well; you'll get some nice flavors and color. Now, because I've been handling some raw chicken, I'm going to make sure I wash my hands before I do anything else. Now while my chicken is cooking, I'm going to go ahead and prepare my lettuce and get my dressing ready.
Now to prepare my lettuce, I just want to cut the end off, and then I like to chop it up, just kind of roughly, leaving my pieces fairly large. I'm going to rinse this in some cold water, and while that's happening, I'm going to make my dressing.
I've got some fat-free mayonnaise, and I'm going to add that to my bowl along with a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil. The mayonnaise here is going to carry the flavor of the olive oil really well. We've got some red wine vinegar, some Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice. And because this is going to be a little thick, we're going to put a little bit of water in it as well, just to thin it down a little bit. We'll whip that up with our fork. We're going to use some fresh garlic. Fresh garlic is one of my favorite ingredients, and it's really easy to work with. Just smack it with the back of the knife and it peels really easily. And then we're going to use about half of this. If you want to use more garlic, go for it. I like a lot of garlic. I like to keep mine fairly coarse in this particular recipe because I like those little pockets of flavor — little explosions of fresh garlic. Finish off with a little black pepper.
So, our chicken is done, and the way I know that is because I used a thermometer to check it. And what I'm looking for — I want to make sure that it's over 165 degrees for at least 15 seconds in order for it to be safe. So we're going to want to let that rest for at least 5 minutes before we cut it, to keep it nice and moist. While we're letting that rest, let's go ahead and finish our salad.
We've got our dressing, got a nice clean romaine that we washed and drained really well. We're going to give that a couple of quick tosses. Instead of serving your dressing on the side, you really should toss it. It's going to coat the leaves more evenly. You're going to get a lot more flavor out of it and be a lot more happy. Add our croutons, give it a couple more tosses, and we're ready for cheese.
This is Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and it's one of my favorite ingredients to use. And half an ounce really doesn't look like too much. I grated this using a regular box grater on the finest grating, and you can see about how much it has here. We're going to do a little bit better than that. By using a finer grater and grating it the very last minute, we're going to get the most flavor out of our cheese possible, so we're going to be happy with a lot less. We'll slice a little of our chicken breasts, fan that over the top, a little sprinkle of cheese, and we have a chicken Caesar salad that we're really going to enjoy.