Kale Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken Kale Caesar Salad | ericajulson.com

Eeeek, I’m so excited to share this recipe with you guys.

It’s one of my absolute favorites.

This kale chicken salad is my go-to dinner when life gets crazy. It’s quick, classic, and delicious.

Simply grab a rotisserie chicken, a bunch of kale, some cheese, bread, & basic dressing ingredients & you’re good to go.

I personally love to make my own croutons (recipe below).

But if you’re lucky enough to find fresh-made ones at your local grocery store, you could use those & cut down on prep time even more!

I’m not going to lie, the salad dressing is what makes this dish.

It’s a riff on a classic caesar, but doesn’t contain the usual anchovies. It’s a little more mild with a bit of extra tang from the red wine vinegar. It’s bold and creamy, and stands up well to the hearty kale.

This salad is delicious as-is, but also makes a fab side salad or party dish if you omit the chicken.

In fact, I recently brought a chicken-free version to a bridal shower & it was eaten up in 0.2 seconds 🙂

So be prepared, this salad has turned many kale-haters into kale lovers!

Easy Chicken Kale Caesar Salad | ericajulson.com

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 2 as a main, 4 as a side

Ingredients

For the croutons:

  • 1 sourdough boule, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

For the salad:

  • 1/2 of a cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 1 large bunch of dinosaur/lacinato/cavolo nero/Tuscan kale
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated romano cheese

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Start by making the croutons! Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the cubes of bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil & sprinkle with the salt & garlic powder. Use your hands to toss the bread cubes with the oil and seasonings until they are evenly coated.
  • When the oven is preheated, place the baking sheet with the bread cubes in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the croutons are crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven & let cool while you prep the rest of the salad.
  • Use your fingers to remove all the meat from 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken & shred it into bite-sized strips. Set aside. (When you've eaten all the meat from the chicken, you can freeze the carcass to make chicken stock later on!)
  • Next, prep the kale. Rinse the leaves well under running water, or submerge them in cold water and shake to dislodge any grit or bugs. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels, then tear the leafy greens into bite-sized pieces. Discard the ribs and stem.
  • Place the kale & chicken in a large salad bowl. Top with several large handfuls of croutons (save the rest for later), and the parmesan & and romano cheeses.
  • In a separate smaller bowl, make the dressing. Add the salt, garlic powder, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, sour cream, mayonnaise, and pepper & whisk together until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad & toss to combine. Enjoy now, or save until later. The kale holds up well to the dressing & makes great leftovers!

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Pan Sautéed Mushrooms

Pan Sauteed Mushrooms

Soooo…. I am on a hardcore mushroom kick.

Literally any time there is a menu item with mushrooms in it, I order it. Hands down. I just can’t get enough!

Clearly, the next logical step was to create an easy mushroom recipe I could whip up at home any time a craving hit.

A carton of sliced button mushrooms, browned shallots, a pat of rich salty butter, fresh parsley, and hit of white wine = a pan full of delectable earthy goodness.

So simple. But so good.

This recipe takes just a few minutes to whip up. Perfect for a weeknight.

The mushrooms pair perfectly with Classic Roasted Chicken or other simple sides like roasted broccolini, mashed potatoes, or simple side salad.

P.S. – Think you don’t like mushrooms?

You might want to think again.

The secret to perfectly golden (not rubbery) mushrooms is to RESIST MOVING THEM early on in the cooking process.

Let them sit for a few minutes in the pan, undisturbed, so they can form a beautiful golden crust.

That’s the key.

And if you accidentally stir too soon, don’t freak out. Just let them sit for awhile in their new positions until they brown on that side. It should take less time than before, since some of the water from the mushrooms will have evaporated already.

Pan Sauteed Mushrooms Overhead Shot

Mmmmmm. How good do those look??

Try the recipe yourself!

 

Pan Sautéed Mushrooms

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb sliced white button mushrooms
  • fresh ground salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter pasture raised preferred
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup minced curly parsley

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add the shallots to the pan & cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallots start to soften.
  • Add the butter & mushrooms to the pan. Stir to melt the butter & coat the mushrooms, and shake the pan lightly to distribute the mushrooms into an even layer.
  • Season the mushrooms with a few cracks of freshly ground salt & pepper. Let the mushrooms cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the liquid releases from the mushrooms and cooks off, and they start to get nice and golden brown.
  • Stir, and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the mushrooms are beautifully golden brown all over.
  • Add the white wine to the pan and stir to deglaze and bring up any yummy brown bits attached to the bottom. Add the fresh parsley, stir, and cook for a minute or so until the liquid has reduced to a sauce that just lightly glazes the mushrooms.
  • Taste & season with more salt and pepper as needed, then serve.

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Classic Roasted Chicken

Classic Roasted Chicken

Every home cook should have their arsenal of classics.

Simple no-fail recipes they can whip up on a whim.

This recipe is one of those classics.

A simple chicken, seasoned with nothing more than salt & pepper, roasted on high heat for an hour to create the most glorious crispy skin.

Mmmm mmmmm mmmmmm.

You know what I really love about this recipe? It takes almost no effort (just pop it in the oven and wait!), but it tastes like you slaved away for hours!

Once you master this simple technique, you’l never pick up a store-bought rotisserie chicken again.

Goodbye gloopy soggy chicken, hello tender juicy meat with salty crispy crunchy skin. 😀

Have fun fighting over your favorite parts of the chicken!

Serve with a simple baked potato and side salad and you’ve got yourself a meal.

Classic Roasted Chicken with Salt and Pepper

Classic Roasted Chicken

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pound fryer chicken
  • several tablespoons olive oil or butter don't use butter if dairy or lecithin free, use safflower oil for low amines and low salicylates
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove any giblets from the inside of your chicken and pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels.
  • Rub the entire surface of the chicken with olive oil or butter, and then sprinkle generously with kosher salt & pepper. Make sure you get the seasoning on all parts of the chicken, especially the thighs & wings!
  • Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan (this will get you the crispiest skin since the air can circulate around the whole chicken) or in a large baking dish. 
  • Roast in the oven for 1 hour, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit and the skin is golden and crisp. 
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes to let the juices redistribute throughout the meat before slicing and serving.

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