Jerk Chicken Caeser Salad with Fresh Avocado, Cherry Tomatoes & Croutons

An amped up version of Your favorite Caesar Salad
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Jerk Chicken Salad Recipe with Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Avocado and Croutons Jerk Chicken Caesar Salad with Cherry Tomatoes Jerk Chicken Caesar Salad recipe

I love a good caesar salad.  The sad thing is nothing on a classic caesar salad is relatively healthy.  So I tried to fuss with the standard recipe a bit to make it a more on the healthy side.  And this amped up jerk chicken caesar salad with cherry tomatoes, fresh avocado and croutons hits the spot. 

I’ve come to find that I really prefer my chicken, or any proteins on my salads to be warm.  That’s where the grilling comes in; you know I love grilling on our Big Green Egg.  But since I was making this salad for lunch, I simply used my Le Creuset cast iron griddle on my stovetop.  

When cooking or grilling chicken it can be tricky; you can’t have it pink and you don’t want it dry either.  So my trick here is to use a grill press like this one under $30 that applies pressure on the meat to help it cook evenly throughout.  I use my grill press for burgers, sausage links, bacon, you name it…and it always proves to be a great thing to have.  

For my jerk chicken caesar salad I season the chicken quite liberally with a jerk dry rub.  Then I get the griddle, sprayed with organic high heat non stick, to as hot as it can get.  I place the chicken on the griddle and use my grill press to press down.  I grill each side for about 3 minutes or until the grill marks are pressed in and the outside is just a tad on the crisp side.  Then I turn the heat down to a medium low or low, and continue to cook the chicken through.

Lastly, I rely on a meat thermometer that tells me when the chicken is five degrees under being done—at 160 degrees—and I pull it out to let it rest.  Like all meats, the chicken will continue to cook after it’s removed from the heat, so I give it a five degree window.

The rest of my jerk chicken caesar salad is easy breezy to pull together.  In this recipe, I use both iceberg lettuce and a romaine blend; I know iceberg doesn’t bring a whole lot of nutritional value to the table, but I do like the texture and the cold crunch that comes with it.  I roughly chop both types of lettuce, and combined them together to form the base of the salad.  Next, I add lines of fresh avocado, jerk seasoned chicken cut into thin strips, halved cherry tomatoes and garlicky croutons.  

My philosophy, when it comes to croutons, is that if you’re going to waste the calories then go big and get a great crouton. I love picking up the garlic and olive oil ones from Whole Foods if I’m tight on time, like I did here today, but if I ever have a French bread baguette in the house, I rough chop it and drizzle olive oil, garlic and salt on it then pop it in the toaster oven till it turns a golden brown.  Homemade croutons are surprisingly SO easy to make, and they last a really long time once they’re cooked and sealed in an airtight container. Enjoy!  Truly, MKR

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Jerk Chicken Caeser Salad with Cherry Tomatoes & Fresh Avocado

Ingredients

  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • jerk chicken rub seasoning
  • 1 bag iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 bag romaine lettuce blend, roughly chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 avocados, roughly chopped
  • Croutons, optional
  • Grated parmesan, optional

Instructions

  1. Cut chicken breasts in small strips.
  2. Season chicken with jerk seasoning/rub.
  3. Spray grill pan liberally with a high-heat spray.
  4. Heat grilling pan on high heat; getting it super hot.
  5. Put chicken on grill pan and and apply the grill press on top, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Once a side is crispy, flip to the other side; grill each side twice.
  7. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Test the thickest part of the chicken with a meat thermometer; it should be around 160 degrees.
  8. Turn stovetop off, and let chicken rest. It will continue to cook for at 5 more degrees. No pink should be seen.
  9. Compile the rest of the ingredients in a salad bowl or on a platter.
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Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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