kale chicken caesar salad

January 17, 2014 | 2 comments

kale chicken caesar salad

It’s never fair when someone holds out on you, which is what I’ve done. Apologies are in order, and with my ever present need to make you happy again, I am now giving you my beloved kale chicken caesar salad. It was almost a year ago I instragramed a photo of this salad, though I had been devouring it for months prior. I labeled it as my salad of 2013, because it was my favorite, and for many reasons other than its superior deliciousness.

kale tree
kale me gorgeous
the salad part

In 2013 I didn’t start off the year with any goals. I knew we had big things planned, like selling our house and moving into a new one, I had hoped a second baby would be in the works, and it was, and so I never got around to purposing to eat more vegetables, or try new things, or make things that I didn’t like into things that I love. You know, good parental role-model stuff. But in the beginnings of that year I had accomplished all those things without even trying, and honestly it was my mother-in-law who gave me the big push.

dressing componets
garlicky anchovy lemon base
mashing with furry
everything but the oil

During our weekly after-church-Sunday-family-lunch my MIL made spaghetti, but it was special spaghetti. It was one of the best spaghettis I had had, and she hadn’t done anything differently except for this green herb she added that actually didn’t taste like anything, but made the dish so pretty I think it actually influenced my tastebuds into thinking it did. That herb, cough, cough, was kale. Yes. She did it for Henry’s sake. To get some extra green vegetables into his diet, though I swear she did it to “help me” and my Peanut Butter World addiction. Either way my mind was blown. This concept of “hiding good food” in food you love actually works. And I know there is a lot of controversy over this approach (i.e. children should be taught to love to eat vegetables rather than taught to eat the not-so-good-for-you foods) and though I mostly agree, I know there is no changing for this old dog. Because I am the head chef in my kitchen, we almost never have the vegetables I loath (read: that would be all of the vegetables.) And so this new party trick was my go-to last year.

thinning it out
caesar cape
ready for the broiler
caesar chicken strips

I bought at least 1 bundle of kale each week that I hid seamlessly throughout dinners and I praised myself for eating so healthily. But after a few weeks I realized kale, if left uncooked, is just like every other salad green. Yes, sure, it’s more sturdy and “woody” but for me this was great because as my mother likes to say, I like salad with my dressing. And kale is able to withstand the level of drenchage I like on my salads without getting soggy. Plus the ruffly, crinkly edges made salads so pretty and I am far more apt to eat something pretty than something healthy.

dressing my kale

The chicken part of it came along a few weeks later when I decided that this would be a perfect main dish if I threw some chicken into it. I kind of threw my mind into a tailspin trying to figure out the best way to accomplish this while still maintaining it’s quick assembly and less dish usage, also big on the priority list, making sure it didn’t taste bland like sawdust. I decided to pound my chicken breasts pretty thin and drape them in a layer of dressing with a hint of cheese and broil it for a few quick minutes. Cooking it quickly in this way helped it maintain its moistness while the dressing helped give the garlicky, caesary flavor more impact. It’s become somewhat of a staple here in our house, and hopefully yours too. I mean, look at those leaves! They are so pretty! And they can go in your mouth! Bon Appetit!

kale chicken caesar salad
fresh, crunchy bite

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad
Serves 2 as main

Salad:
1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed and leaves cut into bite size pieces (I use purple kale, it my favorite and the prettiest, but any kale will work)
1 – 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup dry garlic bread sticks pulverized in food processor until broken down into tiny pieces
Freshly grated Parmesan for serving

Dressing:
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (the balsamic makes it more rich)
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup gently packed freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For Dressing: Using the back of a fork gently mash the minced anchovies together until it becomes paste like. Mash in the minced garlic until everything is combined and place in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add worcestershire sauce, dijon, vinegar, lemon juice, parmesan, salt and pepper to bowl and process together for 2 minutes making sure everything is mixed together and smooth. With the motor on, slowly add the olive oil and process another 2 minutes until it becomes a homogenous mixture. Taste and season with extra salt or pepper as needed. Makes roughly 1 cup of dressing. Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Bring to room temperature and mix before using.

For the Salad: Preheat broiler and place oven rack at the highest level. Lightly brush a tablespoon of olive oil on a baking sheet and set aside. Take chicken breast, pat dry, and place in ziplock bag or between two sheets of wax paper. Using a meat pounder, pound chicken until 1/4-inch thick. Remove chicken from paper and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place chicken on baking sheet. Remove 2 tablespoons of dressing and brush generously over the top and sides of the chicken breast. Sprinkle lightly with parmesan, about 2 tablespoons, and place chicken underneath broiler. Cook chicken 3 – 4 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 165-degrees, making sure the cheese gets blistery and brown. Remove chicken from broiler, cover with foil, and set aside to rest while preparing the rest of the salad.

In a small bowl combine bread crumbs and about 1/4 cup of dressing and mix together until a little looser than paste. Toss the wet bread crumbs in the kale until evenly distributed. Add more dressing to taste.

Cut chicken into thin strips and place on top salad. Sprinkle salad with extra parmesan and serve.

Conversions & Equivalents

Volume | Baking | Metric | Pan Size | Temperature | Oven | Other

1/2 teaspoon = 30 drops
1 teaspoon = 1/3 tablespoon OR 60 drops
3 teaspoon = 1 tablespoon or 1/2 fluid ounce
1/2 tablespoon = 1 1/2 teaspoons
1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons or 1/2 fluid ounce
2 tablespoons = 1/8 cup or 1 fluid ounce
3 tablespoons = 1 1/2 fluid ounces
4 tablespoons = 1 1/4 cup or 2 fluid ounces
5 1/3 tablespoons = 1/3 cup or 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup or 4 fluid ounces
10 2/3 tablespoons = 2/3 cup or 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup or 6 fluid ounces
16 tablespoons = 1 cup or 8 fluid ounces or 1/2 pint
1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons or 1 fluid ounce
1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons or 2 fluid ounces
1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
3/8 cup = 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons or 4 fluid ounces
2/3 cup = 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
5/8 cup = 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons
3/4 cup = 12 tablespoons or 6 fluid ounces
7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
1 cup = 16 tablespoons or 1/2 pint or 8 fluid ounces
2 cups = 1 pint or 16 fluid ounces
1 pint = 2 cups or 16 fluid ounces
1 quart = 2 pints or 4 cups or 32 fluid ounces
1 gallon = 4 quarts or 8 pints or 16 cups or 128 fluid ounces
FLOUR
1 cup all-purpose flour = 5 ounces or 142 grams
1 cup cake flour = 4 ounces or 113 grams
1 cup whole wheat flour = 5 1/2 ounces or 156 grams
SUGAR
1 cup granulated white sugar = 7 ounces or 198 grams
1 cup packed brown sugar = 7 ounces or 198 grams
1 cup confectioners sugar = 4 ounces or 113 grams
COCOA POWDER
1 cup cocoa powder = 3 ounces or 85 grams
BUTTER
4 tablespoons = 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup or 2 ounces
8 tablespoons = 1 stick or 1/2 cup or 4 ounces
16 tablespoons = 2 sticks or 1 cup or 8 ounces
32 tablespoons = 4 sticks or 2 cups or 1 pound
1/4 teaspoon = 1.23 milliliters
1/2 teaspoon = 2.46 milliliters
3/4 teaspoon = 3.7 milliliters
1 teaspoon = 4.93 milliliters
1 1/4 teaspoon = 6.16 milliliters
1 1/2 teaspoon = 7.39 milliliters
1 3/4 teaspoon = 8.63 milliliters
2 teaspoon = 9.86 milliliters
1 tablespoon = 14.79 milliliters
2 tablespoons = 29.57 milliliters
1/4 cup = 59.15 milliliters
1/2 cup = 118.3 milliliters
1 cup = 236.59 milliliters
2 cups or 1 pint = 473.18 milliliters
3 cups = 709.77 milliliters
4 cups or 1 quart = 946.36 milliliters
1/4 teaspoon = 1.23 milliliters
4 quarts or 1 gallon = 3.785 liters
PAN SIZE VOLUME CAN SUBSTITUTE WITH
1 8-inch round cake pan 4 cups

1 8x4-inch loaf pan

1 9-inch round cake pan

1 9-inch pie plate

2 8-inch round cake pans 8 cups

2 8x4-inch loaf pans

1 9-inch tube pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

1 11x7-inch baking dish

1 10-inch springform pan

1 9-inch round cake pan 6 cups

1 8-inch round cake pan

1 8x4-inch loaf pan

1 11x7-inch baking dish

2 9-inch round cake pans 12 cups

2 8x4-inch loaf pans

1 9-inch tube pan

2 8-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 11x7-inch baking dish

1 10-inch springform pan

1 10-inch round cake pan 11 cups

2 8-inch round cake pan

1 9-inch tube pan

1 10-inch springform pan

2 10-inch round cake pans 22 cups

5 8-inch round cake pans

3 or 4 9-inch round cake pans

2 10-inch spring form pan

9-inch tube pan 12 cups

2 8-inch round cake pans

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

10-inch tube pans 16 cups

3 9-inch round cake pans

2 10-inch pie plates

4 8-inch pie plates

2 9x5-inch loaf pans

2 8-inch square baking dishes

2 9-inch square baking dishes

10-inch bundt pan 12 cups

1 9x13-inch baking dish

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 9-inch tube pan

2 11x7-inch baking dishes

1 10-inch springform pan

11x7x2-inch baking dish 6 cups

1 8-inch square baking dish

1 9-inch square baking dish

1 9-inch round cake pan

9x13x2-inch baking dish 15 cups

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

3 8-inch round cake pans

1 10x15-inch jellyroll pan

10x15x1-inch jellyroll pan 15 cups

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

2 8-inch round cake pan

1 9x13-inch baking dish

9x5-inch loaf pan 8 cups

1 10-inch pie plate pan

1 8-inch square baking dish

1 9-inch square baking dish

8x4-inch loaf pan 6 cups

1 8-inch round cake pan

1 11x7-inch baking dish

9-inch springform pan 10 cups

1 10-inch round cake pan

1 10-inch spring form pan

2 8-inch round cake pans

2 9-inch round cake pans

10-inch springform pan 12 cups

2 8x4-inch loaf pan

1 9-inch tube pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 11x7-inch baking dishes

2 8-inch round cake pans

8-inch square baking dish 8 cups

1 9x5-inch loaf pan

2 8-inch pie plates

9-inch square baking dish 8 cups

1 11x7-inch baking dish

1 9x5-inch loaf pan

2 8-inch pie plate

Water Freezes 32°F 0°C
  40°F 4.4°C
  50°F 10°C
  60°F 15.6°C
  70°F 21.1°C
  80°F 26.7°C
  90°F 32.2°C
  100°F 37.8°C
  110°F 43.3°C
  120°F 48.9°C
  130°F 54.4°C
  140°F 60°C
  150°F 65.6°C
  160°F 71.1°C
  170°F 76.7°C
  180°F 82.2°C
  190°F 87.8°C
  200°F 93.3°C
Water Boils 212°F 100°C
  250°F 121°C
  300°F 149°C
  350°F 177°C
  400°F 205°C
  450°F 233°C
  500°F 260°C
275°F = 140°C or Gas Mark 1
300°F = 150°C or Gas Mark 2
325°F = 165°C or Gas Mark 3
350°F = 180°C or Gas Mark 4
375°F = 190°C or Gas Mark 5
400°F = 200°C or Gas Mark 6
425°F = 220°C or Gas Mark 7
450°F = 230°C or Gas Mark 9
475°F = 240°C or Gas Mark 10

And for conversions that are not listed I found a great conversion calculator here!

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  1. Norma @ Allspice and Nutmeg  Saturday January 18, 2014

    Looks delicious! Love chicken Ceasar, learning to like kale. :)

 

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