Come summer or winter, this chef’s salad is an absolute must-have recipe. Healthy and delicious, you’ll have lunch ready in less than an hour.
Traditionally, a chef salad contains hard-boiled eggs, a variety of meat, cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers. In today’s chef salad recipe, however, we have added and replaced a few ingredients of our own.
Chicken by the pound
The meat that will be used for this salad is skinless, deboned chicken breasts and bacon. In order to get the chicken breasts the same size, be sure to lightly pound it with a flat side of a meat mallet. In the case that you do not have a meat mallet, a pan will work just as well! The reason why the size of the chicken breasts matters is so that they cook at an even rate. If the meat isn’t pounded out, you may be left with some thinner pieces which will cook faster. The thinner pieces then run a risk of being overcooked and dry, while the thicker pieces might be undercooked. Another benefit from lightly pounding the chicken, apart from it being a great stress relief, is when meat is pounded, it will result in more tender meat once cooked.
It’s all in the dressing
For the salad dressing, we will be combining rich, creamy, and salty flavours:
- Cream cheese
- Dijon mustard
The combination of mustard and mayonnaise brings a sharp, tangy flavour to the salad, mixing in beautifully together with the cream cheese. The added anchovies bring it all together with that extra salty punch coming through. Most people have a negative reaction towards anchovies, but, trust us, it is an absolute winner in this chef salad. Anchovies are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and are good for your heart and brain.
If this recipe has struck some salad inspiration, be sure to check out our Sumac Grilled Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Smokey Feta Dressing recipe.
- 5 chicken breasts skinless and deboned
- 5 rashers of bacon Optional, use chicken bacon instead
- 1 baguette for the croutons white or whole-wheat will work
- 1 egg (whisked)
- 20 g raw flaked almonds
- 2 crispy lettuce iceberg or romaine lettuce hearts will do
- 50 g smooth cream cheese (reduced fat)
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- garlic powder
- smoked paprika
- grounded salt and black pepper
- olive oil
- 3 anchovies, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 boiled eggs, halved (optional)
- Using a wooden board, place boneless chicken breasts between two pieces in a resealable plastic bag
- Starting in the centre and working out to the edges, pound lightly with the flat side of a meat mallet until the chicken is even in thickness then slice the bacon slices and place them on half of the baking sheet that has been lightly greased
- Slice the baguette in half and then into quarters, toss it with egg, garlic powder, and salt spread them on the baking sheet with the bacon and bake
- They only take 10 minutes to bake (but if you have really fresh bread, they'll take longer to get golden brown) Place them under the grill for a minute, this will definitely help them to become crispy
- Just keep your eye on it, remove from the oven and set aside
- Season the chicken breasts with paprika and garlic powder then place a heavy-based skillet on medium to high heat, add a little olive oil, add the seasoned chicken breasts and cook the chicken on both sides for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked, set aside to rest
- When plating the salad, mix the cream cheese, dijon mustard, anchovies and mayonnaise
- Break up the washed lettuce, dry them with a paper towel then place the lettuce in your favourite salad bowl and mix well with the dressing
- Sprinkle the croutons and bacon on the salad, slice the chicken breasts, add this to the salad and sprinkle with the almonds
- Serve with boiled eggs, this is optional, serve immediately with more salad dressing