My Chicken Tops Your Caesar

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Now that it's officially grilling season, here's a meal that makes the most of a night at the barbecue. Grill a batch of chicken breasts, then save the extras to make this grilled chicken Caesar salad.

Start out by marinating 8 to 10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 3 to 3 1/2 pounds, in 1/2 cup of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a little salt and pepper, and 2 cloves of garlic, minced. Let them sit at room temperature about 30 minutes. Grill the chicken until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife, about 4 minutes on each side.

Enjoy half of them for one meal, then slice up the rest for this salad, which uses ultra-crisp hearts of romaine.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 20 minutes

1 egg

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 oil-packed anchovy filets, patted dry and minced

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish

3 hearts of romaine lettuce, well-chilled

1 1/2 cups homemade or purchased large croutons

4 lemon-grilled chicken breasts, thinly sliced

Freshly ground pepper

Cook the egg in boiling water for 2 minutes. Immediately rinse it with cold water until the egg is cool enough to handle. Set aside.

To make the dressing, whisk together the garlic, anchovies, salt and lemon juice in a small bowl. Peel the egg and add it to the bowl, whisking the dressing until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking vigorously to thicken. Whisk in the cheese. Taste and adjust the flavor. Set aside.

Separate the romaine leaves. To assemble the salad, pour half of the dressing in the bottom of an oversized bowl. Add the croutons and toss in the dressing until thoroughly coated. Add the lettuce and remaining dressing. Toss just until coated. Divide the salad among 6 plates. Arrange the sliced chicken over the top. Garnish with additional cheese and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

6 servings. Each serving: 414 calories; 681 mg sodium; 122 mg cholesterol; 27 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 7 grams carbohydrates; 35 grams protein; 0.92 gram fiber.

Note: Although many recipes call for uncooked eggs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found them to be a potential carrier of food-borne illness and recommends that infants, the elderly and immuno-compromised people avoid raw eggs.

Morgan is co-author of "Cooking for the Week: Leisurely Weekend Cooking for Easy Weekday Meals," (Chronicle Books, $18.95).

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