Chicken Caesar Salad; safe eggs

Grilled chicken and a yogurt dressing keep the calories down on this salad.

The Parmesan and the anchovies keep the classic ‘Caesar’ flavor high.

Chicken Caesar Salad

Total time: 25 minutes

 Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • lettuce – for 2 main salads  Romaine (Cos) 
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbs Parmesan, freshly grated, for sprinkling
  • extra anchovy filets for garnish   optional
  • Caesar Dressing:
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs tarragon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 anchovy filets, mashed or 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 125gr) Greek or plain yogurt
  • 2 tbs salad olive oil
  • 1 tbs snipped fresh chives
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbs Parmesan, freshly grated

Chicken Caesar Salad

 Instructions:

  • Mix chili powder, Worcestershire and garlic.
  • Rub over chicken.
  • Cook chicken on barbecue grill or sauté in a nonstick skillet, 7 – 8 minutes per side, or until done.
  • Remove and slice.
  • Slice avocado.
  • Put lettuce in large salad bowl tearing if necessary.
  • Caesar Dressing:
  • Put mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and yogurt in small bowl and whisk well to combine.
  • Slowly add olive oil whisking constantly.
  • Stir in garlic, Parmesan and anchovy paste, if using.  Dressing should be thick.
  • Add chives and set aside.
  • To Finish:
  • Toss lettuce with some of the dressing.
  • Arrange chicken and avocado on top.
  • Drizzle a bit of dressing over all, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve, remaining dressing (and anchovies) on the side.

Print Recipe

This salad is mine.

Mon mari is in charge of the traditional Caesar Salad.

He’s been making it since the beginning of time…. and he always uses the traditional raw egg.

Many people are now concerned about raw eggs and the threat of salmonella.

I was once told that more people die in Spain in the summertime from salmonella than from car accidents.

If you have ever driven in Spain you would you would appreciate the horror of that statement.

The basis is as follows:

  • Many dishes in Spain, especially in summer, are served with mayonnaise on the side.
  • The mayonnaise is always made in-house.
  • The mayonnaise is normally in a large bowl, on the table; successive diners helping themselves.
  • The mayonnaise is made fresh for lunch and again for dinner.
  • It’s hot in Spain in summer.
  • If you eat by American standards, say dinner at 7pm, you are having a late lunch by Spanish standards…. In other words, you are finishing off the mayo made for a Spanish lunch that has been sitting on the table for 5 hours.

I recently read on a blog that mayonnaise is not as risky as we have been led to believe.

So which is it?  Fatal killer or misunderstood condiment?

Both, it turns out.

Commercial mayonnaise is made with pasteurized eggs with lots and lots of bacteria-killing acids like lemon juice and vinegar.  It actually makes your salads safer than they would be without the mayo.

Home-made mayonnaise should be handled with more care as the acid levels aren’t as high and the eggs are normally not pasteurized.

That brings us to the eggs.

Are they really just salmonella-laden time bombs waiting to go off at first taste?

I thought this would be a simple question to answer.

What I discovered is that there are rather a lot of sources giving different opinions but all proclaiming to be right.

Opposite statements are rarely both true.

Opposite opinions even less often.

The following is what I think is true about eggs:

Many parts of the world do not refrigerate eggs. The eggs are not washed prior to sale. There is a protective coating naturally on eggs to keep out harmful bacteria and to help preserve the egg.  If this coating is not washed off refrigeration is not required.

In the US eggs are washed prior to sale and they should be refrigerated.

The following is what I think about the rest of the hype:

Salmonella can be present both on the surface of the shell and internally.

True…. But:

As to the bacteria on the shell: If there is chicken shit on your egg – wash it  before you crack it.

If you buy your eggs from organic farmers and / or farmers that humanely keep their chickens there is a significantly reduced risk of the eggs containing salmonella internally as there is less chance that the chickens will be infected.

 No one should eat raw or under-cooked eggs.

The same part of the world that doesn’t refrigerate their eggs also eats them raw.  It’s been like that for years and no one seems particularly worried about it.

I certainly understand why people in certain higher-risk groups would want to avoid raw eggs.

But according to one US site the risk of a contaminated egg is 1 in 20,000.

The conclusion?

I’m happy with my eggs.

If you’re worried about yours, try to buy them at the farmer’s market – and ask the farmer if they wash the eggs before sale and how he or she keeps their chickens.

Humane is best: nice for the chickens; good for the eggs.

Mon mari’s Caesar Salad recipes are here – one with a raw egg, one without:

Along with the original of this post on eggs.

I thought it worth repeating…..

9 thoughts on “Chicken Caesar Salad; safe eggs”

  1. Inspect your egg for pinholes etc. If everything is OK place the egg in simmering (not boiling) water for one min this will take care of any Salmonella.

  2. It’s very true about not washing them. Chickens lay eggs once, sometimes twice per day. Yet a chicken’s eggs will all hatch around the same time and her brood can contain up to 10 chicks. Each day, she lays another egg that is added to the nest, but the eggs all stay ‘fresh’ and hatch around the same time in part, because of the blush that keeps the eggs ‘fresh’ and in part, because she doesn’t ‘brood’ for the time she’s laying until she’s done. Because the eggs stay cooler, they don’t develop as quickly. I don’t know all the science behind it, this is mostly the explanation from the farmer we used to buy from. So, eggs, whether fertilized or not, all keep in the same basic way.

    And did you know, if you put your eggs in a pot of water and they float, they’re old and you probably shouldn’t use them?

  3. I think this paranoia about germs is almost an American trait, and really rather silly. All the things you have said are true, and there is some common sense to be applied. If the shell is cracked or otherwise compromised, don’t eat that egg, as the chance of infection is greater. If your eggs have been washed (as most are, for aesthetic reasons, keep them refrigerated. If you use raw egg in a recipe, keep it refrigerated until you are ready to eat. NIghtsmusic shared some good, common sense ideas, too.

  4. Karen, good idea… better then just brushing the feathers off LOL

    nightsmusic, I didn’t know all that – makes perfect sense. Our friend just brought ‘hatching eggs’ back from the UK and they traveled for 5 days before they’ll be incubated. Didn’t know that would work either. Our eggs are all dated – not washed, but dated LOL

    Zoomie, I don’t use cracked eggs and people are much less worried about germs here.Sometimes a little too much so…. We’re adapting.

    Tanna, very practical. I remember how appalled I was the first time I went shopping and saw the eggs on the shell next to the cereal.

  5. Thanks for all the information about egg safety. My husband lived in India for a number of years and he said that eggs were never refrigerated. He ate eggs often and the only time that he felt slightly unwell was one Christmas when his brother was visiting and they decided to have a party and make tons and tons of eggnog and egg salad (with homemade mayonnaise). There was nothing wrong with the eggs. It was just that they ate and ate and drank and drank. Just thinking about overdosing on those makes me never want to have eggnog and egg salad ever again. Enough said….

    I’m not completely positive about my facts (the laws might have changed) but I’m pretty sure that here in Ontario, any eggs being sold away from the actual farm must be washed and inspected before being sold to the public. I just bought some from our local farmers’ market and the vendor took them out of a cooler. She didn’t say anything about the eggs being unwashed. (Recently, a friend who lives on a farm gave us half a dozen eggs and made a big point of saying that they had not been washed.)

    I am refrigerating the eggs I just bought at the farmers’ market….

    We know that home-made mayonnaise tastes better but we’re lazy and use commercial mayonnaise. It’s cheaper.

  6. Several of my customers (who provide the chicks that eventually lay the majority of eggs in France) have told me that France eradicated salmonella in their eggs years ago. I’m not 100% sure if this is true or not, but it does make me feel a little less guilty about eating raw cookie dough. 😉

  7. Elizabeth, I’m with you on the mayo – although I will make if for special dishes….

    k_sam, that’s good to know, although I’m clueless as to how they could have done it LOL (Saw your bracelet on FB – sweet)

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