Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as starter or 2 as main course
This is no ordinary chicken Caesar salad, no no, it’s the British Larder way with home grown baby gem lettuce and all.
As you know by now I’m not quite normal and find it hard to do things the standard way, there has to be a twist somewhere along the line. Perhaps I’m putting too much pressure on myself to be slightly different or perhaps it just comes naturally.
Mr.P and I enjoy eating a good chicken Caesar salad as it is satisfying with variation of textures.
I made this particular dish into a portion big enough for a main coarse but if you wish you can make a smaller amount and serve as a starter.
It’s not always about the gimmicks and twists that make a great dish but it’s also about good quality ingredients that are to be enjoyed when in season. These baby gem lettuces are from my small kitchen garden. The chicken is from Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, I go specially to the Snape farmers market to buy these chickens as they are plump and delicious.
These Sutton Hoo Chickens are very big, the average weight is 2kg. This is enough to make stock from the bones and at least two meals for the two of us from the legs and breast or alternatively its sufficient for four people.
I roasted the legs, flaked the meat down and then made the small pots of chicken. It’s fun and adds that extra texture and enjoyment into eating the dish. The Caesar dressing and Parmesan cheese also found itself revamped into a mousse textured foam, I served that in a small glass jar on the plate.
Ingredients & Method
For the Parmesan Foam
- 300ml water
- 5 white peppercorns
- 10 whole coriander seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- 1tsp white wine vinegar
- 100g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- 100ml natural yoghurt
- 2 leaves of gelatine
For the potted chicken
- 2 chicken legs
- 2 banana shallots, finely diced
- 10g goose or duck fat + extra to cover the pots
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the parsley crumb
- 1 small bunch of parsley
- 2 slices of fresh white bread, crust removed
For the salad
- 2 large chicken breast
- 2 large free range hens eggs, soft boiled for 5 minutes and peeled
- 4 slices of fresh bread for toasting
- 4 radishes
- 2 baby gem lettuces
First prepare the Parmesan foam. Bring the water, peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaf, crushed garlic and vinegar to the boil in a small saucepan, simmer for 2 -3 minutes, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
Soak the gelatine in cold water, drain and squeeze to remove the excess water.
Pass the infused water through a fine sieve, keep the liquid and discard the solids.
Add the soaked gelatine to the liquid and melt over low heat, add the grated Parmesan. Blend until smooth, add the dijon mustard and yoghurt, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and transfer to a clean cream whipper and charge with two gas charges, refrigerate to set and chill about one hour.
In the mean time prepare the chicken, remove the two legs and breast. Preheat the oven to 200°C, season the chicken legs and place them on a roasting tray in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then flake the meat from the bone.
While the chicken is roasting. Place the chopped shallots, bay leaf, seasoning and half of the fat in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until transparent, cooked but not coloured about 5 -6 minutes.
Mix the cooked shallots, flaked chicken meat and the leaves of one of the thyme sprigs, divide the mixture between 4 small ramekins. Melt the remaining fat, leave it to soft set, still spreadable but not runny, spoon the semi-set fat on top of the potted chicken. Garnish each pot with the leaves from the remaining sprig of thyme. Refrigerate to set.
Heat a griddle pan over high heat and cook the seasoned chicken breast for 5 minutes on each side until dark bar marked and coloured golden brown, place the coloured chicken breast in a preheated oven at 180°C for 12 minutes, leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Soft boil the eggs, cool, peel and cut each egg in half. Dip each half egg in the green crumb, spoon a small amount of the parsley crumb onto the plate and place the half soft boiled egg on top.
Toast the bread, wash the gem lettuce and slice the radishes. Arrange this on the plate along with the sliced cooked chicken breast, serve half a breast per person. Place a pot of potted chicken onto each plate.
Shake the cream whipper vigorously and squirt the foam into a small glass jar, place it on the plate and serve the chicken Caesar salad.
The green bread crumb freezes well and make a great instant garnish for dishes such as shepherds pies.