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GRILLED ROMAINE CHICKEN CAESAR WITH AVOCADO

GRILLED ROMAINE CHICKEN CAESAR WITH AVOCADO
GRILLED ROMAINE CHICKEN CAESAR WITH AVOCADO


GRILLED ROMAINE CHICKEN CAESAR WITH AVOCADO
This is a Caesar salad with a little twist but it should hit the spot for anyone looking for a classic. Super-delicious when it’s made with a fresh roast chicken, but you could always use pre-cooked chicken instead to speed things up.

1 chicken, about 1.5kg (3lb 5oz)
4 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp garlic salt
10 streaky bacon rashers (slices)
2 romaine lettuces, cut into 6 wedges through the root
200g (7oz) on-the-vine cherry tomatoes halved
4 slices of sourdough bread, 1.5cm (⅝ in) thick
1 large garlic clove
2 avocados
150g (5½oz) fresh anchovy fillets (if you can’t get fresh anchovies use marinated instead)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE CAESAR DRESSING
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
3 canned anchovies, roughly chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp water
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 egg yolks
150ml (5fl oz/scant ⅔ cup) light olive oil
30g Parmesan cheese, roughly grated (shredded)
sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/410°F/gas mark 6. Line a roasting tin with baking parchment, sit the chicken on it, drizzle over about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle over the garlic salt. Roast in the oven for 50–55 minutes.
Heat a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and add the bacon. Turn occasionally. Once it’s super-crispy, after about 10 minutes, transfer to some paper towels to absorb the fat. Once cool, blitz in a food processor to a fine crumb. Set aside for later.
Use a small food processor to make the dressing. Add the garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, water, Dijon and egg yolks, and blitz to a smooth paste. Then, with the engine running, slowly add the olive oil as if you were making a mayonnaise: a few drops at a time to start with, building up to a thin, steady stream. When it’s all incorporated, transfer to a bowl and mix in the Parmesan and season to taste. Go easy on the salt, as both the anchovies and the cheese will take care of that, but lots of black pepper is lovely.
Heat a griddle pan and when it’s hot, brush the cut sides of the lettuce wedges with another tablespoon of the olive oil and place them on the griddle. Leave to char for about 2 minutes before you turn them over and do the other side. When you have some good char lines, put the lettuce wedges on a chopping board and cut the root off so the leaves fall apart. Slide them into a large mixing bowl along with the cherry tomatoes.
Pop the slices of sourdough in a roasting tin and into the hot oven with the chicken for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently rub the garlic all over one side of the toast. Cut into chunks, return to the roasting tin and cover with the remaining two tablespoons of oil. Pop it back into the oven for another 6–7 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
The chicken will probably be ready at this point, so take it out of the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before shredding (with or without the skin – it’s up to you). Add to the mixing bowl with 4 tablespoons of the Caesar dressing and lightly mix it all together.

Heap the chicken onto your serving plate. Stone and slice the avocados and pile them on top, along with the anchovies and croutons. Sprinkle with the bacon crumb and devour. Creamy, salty, warm, crunchy goodness in every mouthful.

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