This is a fabulous classic salad to impress your friends and family on a lovely summer's day. You could, of course, buy a salad in a box from a supermarket then drizzle it with bottled sauce. Or you could eat like a Roman emperor and make this glorious Caesar salad yourself. I've used roasted chicken thigh meat in this recipe, because it's much juicier than breast.
4 chicken thighs, bone in
1 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 baby gem lettuces, leaves separated
2 red bell peppers, de-seeded, chargrilled, skins removed, then sliced
8-10 baby plum or Santini tomatoes
50g blue cheese, cubed
FOR THE DRESSING
150g parmesan, grated
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Place the chicken thighs on a roasting tin and drizzle a little olive oil over the skins, then season generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 30-35 mins, until the skin is crispy and golden and the juices run clear when the flesh is pierced with a skewer. Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.
2. Meanwhile, switch the oven to high grill mode and grill the peppers until the skins are blackened, approx. 5-8 mins. Transfer to plastic freezer bags and allow to cool. This method creates steam in the bag which makes it easier to remove the skins. Once you've removed the skins, slice to desired thickness.
3. Wash the lettuce leaves and pat dry with a kitchen paper. Slice the tomatoes lengthways and cube the cheese. Remove the chicken from the bone and chop into chunks, either with or without skin, depending on your preference. Arrange on plates, with the peppers.
4. Make the dressing by placing the parmesan and vinegar into a food processor and blend until very smooth. Then add the mayonnaise, mustard, anchovy fillets, salt, garlic and olive oil and blend again until smooth.
5. Drizzle over the salad and serve with homemade croutons or hunks of garlic bread.
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