Jamie Oliver's 'Proper' Chicken Caesar Salad

Third go-round in a week with Chicken Caesar.
This time used non-romaine. Doesn't matter. This is incredible.

I'm not quite sure how the word 'proper' slipped into the title Jamie Oliver gave this salad, excepting that the word itself is a common Britishism. I'm going to step on the toes of his so-called proper salad by showing you a picture that clearly has arugula, radicchio and endive in addition to romaine. So there.

I'm quite excited to share this recipe and technique. Last week I got copy of Oliver's book Jamie at Home, and have actually made this caesar salad three times since. Granted, I had a lot of croutons and caesar dressing left over after making a double batch for the homecoming dinner. But it was so good we kept making it every other day.
There's a technique offered in this recipe that I've never run across. Toss rustic bread cubes in olive oil and rosemary, then place chicken legs atop the bread cubes. Actually, toss the chicken with the oil and rosemary first, then place them atop. As the chicken roasts for an hour, the drippings will infuse the croutons as they crisp up. 45 minutes into cooking, lay strips of pancetta or bacon over the chicken, and let that crisp up and also drip into the croutons. Have I said enough? You want to make this right now, don't you?

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Chicken Legs and Pancetta over Rosemary Croutons

I've read several recipes from Jamie At Home, and seen eipsode of the TV show, and they frequently make me want to stop what I'm doing and cook that dish. He's got quite a palate and a great imagination for simple but innovative technique - as proven above.

Jamie Oliver's Proper Chicken Caesar Salad

I'm not going to give the detailed recipe for this dish here. The cookbook is newly published, and I encourage you to buy it. On the other hand, you barely need a recipe - especially for the crouton, chicken, rosemary part of the dish. The dressing, well, the proportions would benefit from reading Jamie's book. There's a link below so you can order a copy from amazon.
  • About 8 chicken legs
  • Enough large cubes of rustic bread to cover the bottom of a roasting pan
  • Toss chicken and bread in olive oil and add fresh rosemary leaves. Bake for an hour at 400 degrees.
  • Shred chicken off the bone after it cools enough to handle.
  • Caesar dressing: anchovies, a small amount of garlic, a liberal amount of high quality parmesan cheese, a good couple squeezes of lemon juice, olive oil in triple the amount of lemon juice. Stir together and season with fresh black pepper.
  • A couple hearts of romaine lettuce (or other mix if you prefer).
  • Toss all ingredients together. I recommend very lightly dressing the salad to let the other flavors, tastes and textures shine.

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