Chicken Caesar Salad

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South Yorkshire Food

Ingredients

  • 4 whole free-range chicken legand thigh  portions, skin on
  • 1 loaf of ciabatta bread, torn into thumb-size pieces
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 thin slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon
  • One quarter of a clove of garlic, peeled
  • 4 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained
  • 75g freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus a few shavings to serve
  • 1 heaped tbsp crème fraîche
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 or 3  romaine lettuces, outer leaves discarded

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
  2. Place your chicken legs in a snug-fitting roasting tray with the pieces of torn-up bread. Sprinkle with the chopped rosemary, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to make sure everything is well coated, then lift the chicken legs up to the top, so they sit above the bread.
  3. Pop the tray into your preheated oven.
  4. After 45 minutes the chicken should be cooked. Take the tray out of the oven, drape the pancetta or bacon over the chicken and croûtons, and put back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes for everything to crisp up. Your chicken legs are ready when you can pinch the meat off the bone easily.
  5. When cooked, remove the tray from the oven and put it to one side for the chicken to cool down slightly.
  6. Pound the garlic and anchovy fillets in a pestle and mortar  until you have a pulp.
  7. Scrape into a bowl and whisk in the Parmesan, crème fraîche, lemon juice and three times as much extra-virgin olive oil as lemon juice. Season your dressing to taste.
  8. Pull the chicken meat off the leg bones - you can use two forks to do this, and tear it up roughly with the croûtons and the bacon.
  9. Wash,  dry and separate your lettuce leaves, tear them up and toss with the chicken, croûtons, bacon and creamy, cheesy dressing. Scatter with some Parmesan shavings.

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