Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

BBQ-cooked chicken, confit garlic and charred lettuce make this Caesar salad recipe a smoky, flavourful delight. You can cook everything in your oven or grill instead, but there’s nothing like the flavour of fire to enhance the umami anchovies and create the ultimate Caesar salad.


This recipe is part of Mike Tomkins’ Summer Salad series. Check out the series to get more inspiration for your summer meals.


Serves 4
  • 2 large sweet cos lettuce gems, halved
  • 2 large skin-on chicken breasts
  • 250g stale bread, cubed into croutons
  • 3-4 anchovies to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 6-7 springs fresh thyme
  • 150g butter
  • 4 rashers of streaky smoked bacon
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
For the dressing
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 200g grated parmesan
  • 350ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 4 anchovies (plus the oil from the jar or tin)
  • 2 lemons, halved and grilled
  • Set your oven or BBQ to 200 °C. Season your chicken generously with olive oil, salt and pepper. Coat your bulb of garlic with olive oil and salt, then wrap in tin foil. Add the chicken and the garlic to a large cast iron dish.
  • Insert your Thermapen Smoke or DOT probe into the thickest part of your chicken breast and set your temperature 68 °C (the chicken will rise to
    75 °C as it rests).
  • Once the chicken reaches around 50 °C (three quarters of the way through), remove the garlic and set aside. Add the butter and herbs to the dish, allow to melt, and then baste the chicken regularly until it reaches the desired temperature of 68 °C.
  • Remove the chicken and herbs from the dish and set to the side to rest. Leave your Thermapen Smoke or DOT in place to monitor the carryover cooking.
  • Lay your streaky bacon on your BBQ or in the oven. Cook it until it's nice and crispy before roughly chopping into small pieces.
  • Add your cubed bread to the chicken dish and toss in the oil/butter mix. Roast until crispy and crunchy.
  • While the chicken is resting, make the dressing. Squeeze a few cloves of garlic from their skins and squeeze or scoop two of the lemon halves out of their peels. Combine with the rest of the dressing ingredients and blitz until smooth.
  • Add any of the chicken’s resting juices to the dressing and blitz again. If your dressing is a little thick, you can add a splash of water to thin it down.
  • Finally, brush your cos lettuce with a little olive oil and char on the BBQ or on a screaming hot griddle pan — I'd always try to use a BBQ here as you want that lovely char.
  • Assemble with your charred salad first. Add your anchovies, then dressing, followed by your smoked bacon, chicken and finally your croutons before finishing with a healthy grating of parmesan. Finish with an extra wedge of grilled lemon.
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" Thermapen is one of those kitchen tools I can't live without – it's something I use every single day from making sauces, to bbq cooking, to private dining and events, it comes with me everywhere! A Thermapen will improve you as a chef and a cook by taking the guess work out of complex cooking."
Mike Tomkins
Masterchef 2021 Runner Up
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