Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

I have been craving Chicken Caesar Salad lately.  I especially love it when Paul grills the chicken breasts, imparting a wonderful smoky flavor that just adds a delicious extra dimension to the salad.  Even after eating Caesar salad for dinner two nights in a row, I was still not sick of it.  So, for lunch I have been enjoying these wonderful Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps!

This lunch was healthy, delicious, and...most importantly...extremely easy to throw together!  See, Matthew had a friend over yesterday and the two of them certainly kept me on my toes.  I made the mistake of letting them play upstairs unsupervised.  When I went to check on them, they had transported the majority of the toys from the playroom into my walk-in closet, where they were quietly playing with the door closed and the light turned off.  Some things are just more fun in the dark.  A little bit later, I found them sitting Indian-style on the living room floor, with what was a huge box of diaper wipes between them.  They were pulling out the wipes one-by-one, pretending to blow their noses, and then throwing them in the air where they would gently land at various spots behind them on the floor.  When I found those two rascals, it almost looked as if they were sitting among small piles of snow.  Oh wonderfulness.

Anyway, for this recipe you can make your own Caesar dressing, but there are actually quite a few good ones available for purchase.  Plus, buying a bottle of the dressing is actually cheaper than making it yourself (canned anchovies are pricey!) and it will last several months in your fridge versus about a week for homemade.  Paul and I really enjoy the Ken's Lite Caesar vinaigrette, although their creamy variety is delicious as well!  The Newman's Own Caesar dressing is also fabulous albeit a little more expensive.  However, stay away from Kraft Caesar dressing.  It's nasty.

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

For the chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and butterflied
4 cups water
1/4 cup kosher salt

For the Wraps:
2 pesto-flavored tortilla wraps
1 head of romaine, separated from stalks and chopped into bite-sized pieces
Favorite homemade or store-bought Caesar dressing
Parmesan cheese, shredded or shaved from block (eyeball it)

Combine the water and salt in a large bowl and submerge the chicken pieces in the brine.  Allow the chicken to sit in the brine at room temperature while the oven preheats to 400 degrees.

When the oven has preheated, remove the chicken from the brine, pat dry with paper towels, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle the chicken generously with pepper.  Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes (start checking after 8...these are thin pieces of chicken!) or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees or a small knife cut through the thickest part reveals no pink!

Transfer the chicken pieces to a cutting board and slice into thin chunks.  At this point, the chicken can be refrigerated for a day or two until you're ready to eat or used to assemble the wraps for immediately consumption!

Toss the chicken pieces with a generous amount of the Caesar dressing in a large bowl.  Add the lettuce, some more dressing, and toss to combine.  Taste to make sure the dressing is generously coating everything.  Place a portion of the salad in the center of each wrap.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan and then fold in the sides of the wrap and roll it up!  Slice in half and enjoy!!

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