Chicken Caesar Paillard Salad
A quick and delicious grilled chicken paillard Caesar salad with a fresh dressing and outrageously tasty chicken skin crisps!
For the chicken paillard- Start by removing the knuckles from the chicken. Then remove the skin and set aside until ready to use. Butterfly the skinned breast by cutting into the thick side of the chicken. Cut right up to the other side but not through to the other side. It should resemble an open book. Fold a piece of cling film over on itself 3-4 times to make it thicker. Do this with two pieces of cling film.
Place one of the pieces of cling film onto the chopping board, then the butterflied chicken breast on top and finally the other piece of cling film. Using a rolling pin or the base of a small pan, start to gently hammer the chicken breast out. Don’t bang too hard or you will tear the chicken. Smaller, constant tapping will spread the chicken out nice and evenly. The ideal thickness would be about 2cm. Repeat the process with the other breast and set aside until ready to cook.
For the chicken skin crisps- Place the chicken skin onto greaseproof paper, sprinkle with a little salt and top with another piece of greaseproof paper and another baking tray or pot to keep the chicken skin flat while it cooks. Cook in a preheated oven at 160oc for 10-15 minutes. The chicken should be golden brown and not too floppy. Leave to cool on a cooling rack, as the skin cools it will become crispier.
For the focaccia crisps- Slice the bread as thin as possible. Lay on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt. Cook at 160oc for 5-7 minutes until golden brown.
For the Caesar dressing- In a jug blender, add the yolk, vinegar, mustard and lemon juice. Finely grate or chop the garlic and add to the rest of the ingredients. Turn the blender to a medium speed, start to slowly add the olive oil. The dressing will start to thicken slightly the more oil you add. If it starts to become too thick add a splash of cold water to prevent the dressing from splitting. Once all the oil is incorporated, add 50g of the finely grated parmesan and blend. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
These quantities make lots of caesar dressing - how we like it - so if you want a smaller volume, you can half the ingredients. Your dressing will keep in the fridge for 5 to 7 days.
Remove the outter leaves of the gem, quarter lengthwise and wash in a bowl of cold water, rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Oil and season the chicken breasts. Grill or pan fry, as the chicken is so thin it will take only about 4 minutes in total. 3 minutes on the first side followed by a quick minute to colour the reverse side.
In a large mixing bowl, add the gem quarters and a few generous spoons of the dressing. Carefully coat the gem with the dressing. Try not to bruise the leaves, using a large bowl helps. Place the cooked chicken breast on the plate and top with the dressed baby gem. Snap and rustically arrange the focaccia and chicken skin crisps over the lettuce. Add a few more anchovy fillets and finish with a good amount of freshly grated parmesan.