Buttermilk Fried Chicken Caesar Salad

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A classic Caesar salad, dressed with a punchy homemade dressing and topped with crispy fried chicken tenders & fudgy soft boiled eggs.

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buttermilk fried chicken caesar salad

A well made Caesar salad is hard to beat & serving it with the crispiest fried chicken, takes it to another level!

There’s all the components of a classic Caesar here; fresh & crunchy romaine lettuce, creamy Caesar dressing, crispy bacon lardons, homemade croutons & salty anchovies. There’s a bit of prep involved in making this salad, but it’s definitely worth it! Hearty & comforting, this fried chicken Caesar salad makes a great choice for lunch or dinner, whatever the weather!

For more main courses to try, check out our “mains” recipe collection! There’s something for everyone here, from classics like fish pie, lasagne & spaghetti bolognese, to something a bit different, like sriracha mac & cheese or twice baked rarebit potatoes.

Components Of A Buttermilk Fried Chicken Caesar Salad

  • Fried Chicken – Tender chicken fillets, brined in buttermilk then dredged & deep fried until super crispy!
  • Caesar Dressing – A classic Caesar dressing, made in a food processor for convenience. We’re making ours with mayo, garlic, parmesan, lemon, anchovies, dijon mustard & Worcestershire sauce.
  • Lettuce – Fresh & crunchy Romaine lettuce. Kept chunky for better texture.
  • Crispy Bacon – Smoked streaky bacon, cut into lardons & fried until crispy.
  • Croutons – Crunchy croutons, cooked in bacon fat for extra flavour.
  • Anchovies – Chopped up anchovy fillets add texture & unami flavour to this salad.
  • Soft Boiled Eggs – Fudgy, 7 minute eggs are a welcome addition to a classic Caesar salad.
  • Parmesan – A generous grating of parmesan cheese, finished our salads off nicely.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

What You’ll Need

  • Chicken Fillets – Also called chicken tenderloins, these come off the breast and are available in most supermarkets & butchers. If you can’t get any, cut two chicken breasts into 2-3cm wide strips.
  • Buttermilk – We’re using this to brine our chicken, making it more tender and flavourful. Unfortunately, there isn’t a substitute for this but buttermilk is readily available in most supermarkets.
  • Flour – We’re using plain flour/all purpose flour to dredge out buttermilk chicken in.
  • Cornflour – Also used in the flour dredge, cornflour makes our fried chicken even crispier!
  • Herbs & Spices – To flavour our chicken (brine & dredge), we’re using smoked paprika, dried oregano & garlic powder.

How To Make

  1. Buttermilk Brine – First, we make a brine with buttermilk, paprika, garlic granules, dried oregano, salt & pepper then add in the chicken. This is left in the fridge, to marinate for at least 4 hours.
  2. Flour Dredge – Next, we make a dredge by whisking together plain flour, cornflour, smoked paprika, oregano, salt & pepper. We then set this aside until we cook our chicken.
  3. Deep Frying – To cook the chicken, we remove the fillets from the buttermilk then toss in the flour dredge, to coat completely. Next, we fry the chicken in a deep fat fryer (set to  180°c/356°f), until golden brown, crispy & the internal temperature is at least 75°c/167°f (a digital food probe comes in handy here!). This will take roughly 5 minutes.
  4. Seasoning – Once cooked, we let the chicken drain on kitchen paper then season with sea salt.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Caesar salad be made in advance?

The Caesar dressing, bacon lardons, croutons & soft boiled eggs can all be made in advance & kept in the fridge for several days. Once mixed, the dressed salad should be served straight away.

How long should chicken fillets brine in buttermilk for?

The chicken fillets for our fried chicken should be kept in the buttermilk brine for at least 4 hours but no more than 24. Any longer than this & the chicken’s texture will be affected.

What lettuce is best for Caesar salad?

For a classic Caesar salad, romaine lettuce is best! I like to cut the lettuce chunky but feel free to keep the leaves whole if you like.

What bread is best for making croutons with?

You can use pretty much any bread to make croutons with. White sandwich bread, ciabatta & focaccia are all good choices.

Equipment Used

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More Main Courses To Try!

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken Caesar Salad

A classic Caesar salad, dressed with a punchy homemade dressing and topped with crispy fried chicken tenders & fudgy soft boiled eggs.
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 Portions
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Digital Food Probe
  • Deep Fat Fryer
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Plastic Container
  • Food Processor
  • Frying Pan
  • Microplane/Grater
  • Saucepan
  • Slotted Spoon

Ingredients

  • 400 g Chicken Fillets See Notes

Buttermilk Brine

  • 300 g Buttermilk
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Dried Oregano
  • ¼ tsp Table Salt
  • Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Flour Dredge

  • 140 g Plain Flour
  • 50 g Cornflour
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano

Caesar Dressing

  • 125 g Mayonnaise
  • 20 g Parmesan Grated
  • 2 Anchovy Fillets
  • 1 Garlic Clove Grated
  • ½ tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Caesar Salad

  • 6 Rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon Cut Into Lardons
  • 100 g Bread See Notes
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2 Romaine Lettuce
  • 6 Anchovy Fillets Torn/Chopped Into Small Pieces
  • Parmesan To grate on top

Instructions

Buttermilk Brine

  • Place the buttermilk, paprika, garlic powder, oregano & salt into a mixing bowl, season with freshly cracked black pepper then whisk to combine.
  • Add in the chicken fillets then mix well, to fully coat each piece.
  • Transfer the chicken to an airtight container then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24.

Flour Dredge

  • Add the flour, cornflour, paprika & oregano into a mixing bowl. Season with salt & pepper then whisk to combine. Set aside until needed.

Caesar Dressing

  • To a food processor, add the mayonnaise, parmesan, anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce & dijon mustard. Season with a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper then blitz until smooth.
  • Transfer the dressing to an airtight container & refrigerate until needed (up to 3 days).

Bacon Lardons

  • Add a tbsp of veg oil into a large frying pan then set over a medium heat.
  • Once hot, add in the bacon lardons then cook until crispy, stirring frequently.
  • Once the lardons are cooked, transfer them into a bowl without the fat & set aside. Reserve the fat for the croutons.

Croutons

  • Preheat an oven to 180°c/160°c fan (356°f/320°f).
  • Tear the bread into 1 cm pieces then transfer to a baking tin. Drizzle over a tbsp of bacon fat then season with sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Bake the croutons for 5-10 minutes, until crisp & golden, shaking the tray halfway through.
  • Once cooked, remove the croutons from the oven & leave to cool completely before using.

Boiled Eggs

  • Fill a medium saucepan with water, add in a tbsp of white wine vinegar*, cover with a lid then set over a high heat & bring to the boil.
    *Adding vinegar is optional but makes peeling the eggs easier.
  • Once the water is boiling, carefully add in the eggs then cook for 7 minutes, making sure that the water is boiling at all times.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs into a bowl of ice water, leave to cool completely then peel.

Caesar Salad

  • Preheat a deep fat fryer to 180°c/356°f.
  • In the meantime, cut the root off the lettuces, separate the leaves then wash in cold water. Leave to drain in a colander then roughly chop.
  • Next, take 3-4 chicken fillets out of the buttermilk then toss in the flour dredge, making sure that they are fully coated.
  • Carefully place the dredged chicken into the hot oil & cook until golden, crispy & cooked through. This will take around 5 minutes. If you take the internal temperature with a digital food probe, it should be above 75°c/167°f.
    Repeat the dredging & frying process with the remaining chicken fillets.
  • Once cooked, transfer the fried chicken to a plate lined with kitchen roll/paper then season with sea salt.
  • To assemble, place the chopped lettuce into a large mixing bowl along with the bacon, croutons, anchovy fillets & dressing. Stir to combine then transfer to bowls.
  • Top each salad with fried chicken then grate a generous amount of parmesan over each bowl.
  • To finish, cut each soft boiled egg in half, season the yolk with salt & pepper then add two halves to the side of each salad.

Notes

1. Chicken Fillets – You’ll need 400 grams of chicken fillets for this recipe. This equates to roughly 8/9 fillets. If you can’t get chicken fillets, cut 2 chicken breasts into 2-3 cm wide strips.
2. Bread For Croutons – You can use almost any type of bread for the croutons. White sandwich bread, ciabatta or focaccia are some good choices. 
3. Deep Fat Fryer – For the best results, a deep fat fryer should be used for cooking the chicken. If you haven’t got one, a pan of oil warmed up on the stove will work, just make sure to do this carefully!
4. Making In Advance – The salad dressing, lardons & soft boiled eggs can all be made in advance & kept in the fridge for several days before using. The croutons can also be made in advance & kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
Once dressed, the salad should be served straight away.

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