The classic Caesar salad is taken to the next level with kale, crispy chicken skin, streaky bacon and the tastiest-ever croutons.
The ultimate Caesar
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Cooking time: 50 minutes
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
100g day-old crusty white bread, crusts removed and torn into pieces
150g kale, tough stems discarded and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
8 rashers smoked streaky bacon
1⁄2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 anchovy fillets
1 egg yolk*
70ml light olive oil
2 tbsp finely grated parmigiano reggiano
1 head romaine lettuce shaved parmigiano reggiano, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 200 ̊C, gas mark 6. Put the chicken, lemon and garlic cloves in a small roasting dish so that everything fits snugly. Season and roast for 30 minutes.
2. Lift the chicken, lemon and garlic from the dish and throw in the bread, turning to soak up the cooking juices. Season and roast for 12 minutes, tossing halfway, until golden; set aside.
3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Peel the roasted garlic cloves and put them in a small food processor with the juice of the roasted lemon half, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies and egg yolk. Whizz together, then, with the motor still running, very slowly trickle in the oil until you have an emulsified sauce. Stir in the parmesan and season with black pepper. Massage the kale leaves with 2 tbsp dressing (this helps to soften them) and set aside.
4. Turn the grill to high (250 ̊C) and grill the bacon for 3-4 minutes on each side, until crisp; set aside. Remove the skin from the chicken and grill for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden. Shred the chicken flesh and discard the bones.
5. Now build the salad. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and pile onto plates with shards of bacon, strips of crispy chicken skin and the kale, shredded chicken and croutons. Shower liberally with parmesan shavings and drizzle over the remaining dressing before serving.