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Win Fail: Half a Chicken Caesar Salad.

My first post of the new year is a study in duality. Why? Because that’s what the new year is all about right? We desperately embrace new habits, convincing ourselves that this year will be different. In the mirror, we pinch our stomaches and remind ourselves that asses don’t tighten all by themselves. We turn one eye away from the xBox in an effort to power through a tome. We make that eighth trip to the office water cooler despite the fact it’ll be the eleventh to the bathroom. But every time we tell ourselves we’ll put down the crack pipe and schedule that Nia class -well, there’s a reason they say old habits die hard.

Me following through with any resolutions is about as successful as putting a pie where the battery should be under the hood.  My co-workers laugh at me because I’ve been slogging through a pathetic saga of having salad every day for lunch. It’s now a running joke. What are you doing for lunch today, Jen? Oh, let me guess. You brought SALAD? The mocking gained momentum when I made the mistake of tweeting about my broccoli head lunch. Ok, I’m trying to be healthy. But what you don’t know is that, I just followed healthy with four slices of pizza.  I suck at discipline and I’m not really sure what will power actually means. So here’s to 2011. May our half-assed attempts at bettering ourselves at least be somewhat enjoyable.

Half a Chicken Caesar Salad

For the Chicken

  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp of peppercorns
  • salt
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • paprika
  • olive oil
  • 1 whole chicken

garlic

This is actually a very easy recipe. You can easily eliminate the salad portion of this and substitute some mash potatoes which is what I’ll probably be doing the next time I make this.  Preheat the oven to 170C, and then grate all the cloves of garlic with a microplane.

microplane

Zest the lemon.

zest

Crush the peppercorns.

pepper

Remove the leaves from the stems of the rosemary and finely chop.

rosemary

Mix the garlic, zest, rosemary, pepper and salt together with a little olive oil.  This will be your seasoning paste for the chicken.

seasoning

Cutting the chicken in half is easiest with kitchen shears. I haven’t tried with a regular knife and I shudder to think at what would happen if I did. I also learned that shooting pictures with one hand while the other one “demos” is really hard.

First cut directly down the middle of the breast bone.

cut breast bone

Then cut down the left and right side of the backbone.

cut backbone

Your halved chicken should look something like this. Discard the backbone or save to make stock.

full split

Next losen the skin with your fingers and place a bit of the seasoning paste underneath. You can distribute the seasoning evenly by pressing on the outside of the skin.

under skin

Place the chicken halves on a wrack, drizzle with olive oil and season the outside of the skin with pepper, salt, and paprika.

seasoned chicken

Roast the chicken for 30-45 minutes or until the skin is golden brown.

For the Caesar salad

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 anchovies
  • 1 clove of grated garlic
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • a teeny bit of mustard
  • fresh black pepper
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • water
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Romaine lettuce

Finely chop the anchovies.

anchovie In a food processor, combine the yolks with the anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, and pepper.

raw dressingStart the processor and add a steady stream of olive oil. The mix will thicken. The more olive oil you add the thicker it will get. If you go too far and it ends up looking more like mayonnaise, add a bit of water to find the consistency you like. Season to taste with salt.

dressing Chop some romaine lettuce.

lettuceGrate some Parmesan cheese.

grated parm Toss the leaves once with the dressing to evenly coat. Then toss again with the grated Parmesan.

roast chicken Remove the chicken when the skin is crispy and golden brown. Serve on top of the salad.

3 Comments

  1. Ooh, now that is a great looking salad. It has meat in it so would actually fill you up. My usual strategy is to decide on having salad “to be healthy” and then loading it up with eggs, cheese, meat, anything to bulk it up and make it tasty. That way I feel worthy without any of the attendent pain that usually involves ;)

  2. Tess

    Your photos are lookin’ gorgeous! I so wish you could fix cars with pies. Maybe then I’d get my driver’s license…

  3. Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your website in internet explorer, may test this… IE still is the marketplace leader and a large part of people will leave out your magnificent writing due to this problem.

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