Sweet and sticky balsamic chicken on caesar salad with a homemade garlic caesar dressing. A quick, easy and delicious meal that's on the table in 20 minutes!
Chicken caesar salad is such a classic and It's a dish that I have always found so refreshing for a light warm weather meal. It's just so cool and crisp and creamy. Today I wanted to take the basic chicken caesar up a notch and introduce you to the balsamic chicken caesar.
It's just like chicken caesar salad but so much better! As much as I love a classic chicken caesar, I've always thought that it could use a little more *oomph* in the flavour department - and that's where the balsamic chicken comes in. It's a bit sweet and a bit tart and it's the perfect complement to the creamy caesar dressing and the saltiness of the bacon and parmesan.
The best thing about it? The balsamic glaze only takes one ingredient: balsamic vinegar. As it cooks down in the pan it thickens and sweetens on its own.
This salad is SUPER simple to prepare, and the homemade dressing even has a bit of a shortcut - we don't start with eggs and oil in this recipe, but a mixture of mayo and Greek yogurt to not only make the dressing prep easier but a bit healthier too!
How to make it
To keep the cooking time down I slice the breasts right up the middle to form 2 thinner chicken pieces from each piece of chicken.
From there, heat a large skillet to medium high heat then add a bit of oil so the breasts don't stick.
Season the chicken pieces well with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, then sear them on each side for a couple of minutes until the exterior is slightly golden.
When both sides are seared, pour the balsamic vinegar into the skillet and let it come to a bubble.
When the vinegar is nice and bubbly, turn the heat down to simmer.
Let the chicken continue to cook as the vinegar simmers. As it simmers, it will start to get thicker and form a bit of a glaze. Occasionally turn the chicken pieces around in it to make sure that all sides are covered. The chicken should be cooked about 8-10 minutes after the vinegar is added. The internal temperature of the fully cooked chicken will be 165°F.
While the chicken cooks, add the mayo, Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper to a mini food processor and give it a quick blend before stirring in the parmesan cheese.
If you don't have a mini food processor (I LOVE mine, by the way, it's so perfect for whizzing up quick small batches of dressing), simply crush the garlic into a bowl with the rest of the dressing ingredients and give it all a good stir.
To serve the salad, add lettuce, cucumbers, onions, bacon and croutons to a plate, drizzle with dressing and top with balsamic chicken.
Tips and Tricks
- You don't have to halve the chicken breasts you can cook them as is, but the cooking time will be longer.
- The chicken breasts can also be swapped for boneless, skinless chicken thighs - the cooking time will remain around the same.
- If you don't have a mini food processor, crush the garlic into a large bowl, add the rest of the dressing ingredients and then mix well.
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Balsamic Chicken Caesar Salad
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- 2 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
- 1⁄2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 6 cups chopped romaine
- 1⁄2 cucumber
- 4 slices red onion
- ½ cup croutons
- 5 slices bacon (cooked)
- 1⁄4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 clove garlic
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese (plus more for topping the salad)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Slice the chicken breasts in half right down the length of it to make 4 thinner chicken breast peices then season both sides with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Heat a large skillet to medium high heat, then sear the chicken pieces on both sides for a couple of minutes until they have lightly browned on both sides.
- Pour the balsamic vinegar into the skillet and let it come to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low.
- Let the chicken simmer in the vinegar to finish cooking. As the balsamic vinegar simmers, it will get thick and saucy and sweet. Occasionally turn the chicken over to coat and glaze it iwth the balsamic reduction.
- As the chicken simmers, add the mayo, Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and sea salt and pepper to the mini food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- Stir the parmesan cheese into the dressing.
- Divide up the lettuce, bacon, cucumber and onion between 3 plates and add some croutons. Drizzle with dressing and top with sliced chicken.
- If you do not have a mini food processor, crush the garlic into