April 14, 2024

Tasty lunch! Nana’s Kitchen photo.

Nana’s Kitchen: Chicken Caesar Salad Pie

Greetings, home cooks, welcome to Nana’s Kitchen,

Flipping through one of my cookbooks I came across a recipe using Caesar salad dressing. This intrigued me. I have never seen the dressing used except in a salad. Which by the way, prepared in restaurant at table side from the authentic recipe is a real treat. 

The original recipe is a salad of romaine lettuce and croutons with a dressing composed of lemon juice(or lime), olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper. In its original form the salad was and is prepared and served at table side.

Do you know where the Caesar Salad originated? As the story goes an immigrant from Italy, Cesare(Caesar) Cardini, had a restaurant in San Diego, but due to Prohibition he made the decision to move his business to Tijuana, Mexico.

On July 4, 1924 Cardini’s restaurant was doing a brisk business on the American Independance Day. So busy they ran out of ingredients. On a whim Cardini improvised a dish using romaine lettuce, raw egg yolk, Parmesan cheese, and other leftovers to create a fresh salad. The salad was a sensation. Soon word spread to Hollywood and elsewhere, gaining attention to the dish. 

In 1948 the Cardini family moved back to California to Los Angeles. They then obtained a patent for ‘Caesar Cardini’s Dressing’.

In 1953 the salad was crowned “ the greatest recipe originated in the Americas in 50 years” by the International Society of Epicures in Paris.

Despite this story there is some controversy as to who actually invented the creation. Some think Alex, Caesar’s brother was the creator. A business partner, Paul Maggiora, claimed he was the first to prepare the salad. Another employee, Livio Santini claimed the salad was a dish his mother used to make. Interesting history.

Chicken Caesar Salad Pie

Ingredients:
1 unbaked pie crust, store bought or homemade
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup Caesar dressing
2 tablespoon cooked bacon, chopped or crumbled
2 tablespoon shredded cheese
2 cup lettuce, chopped

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll or press pie crust into a 12-inch round on an ungreased cookie sheet. 
Arrange chicken over dough to within 1 1/2 inches of edge.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing over chicken.
Sprinkle with the bacon.
Fold 1 1/2- inch edge of crust over chicken. Making folds as necessary.
Sprinkle cheese on top. 
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is golden brown. 
Cool ten minutes.
Place on serving plate, slice, serve.
Serve with lettuce, the extra dressing, and cheese for individual preference.
Enjoy!

Hints:
This makes a very nice lunch. Filling. 
You could use leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken from the deli to prepare this dish. 
Save some bacon from breakfast to use.
Use whatever brand of Caesar salad dressing you prefer.
Store bought pie crust makes this easy although you could make your own.
The crust was easily hand pressed to attain the desired size.
This does not reheat well in the microwave. 
Serves 2 or 3 people with a nice portion.
I used sharp cheddar cheese and it worked well.

Have a blessed Sunday.