“My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato
and someone to share it with.”
I couldn’t call this a “quick fix” dish … at least not when there is a camera involved. I’m a big fan of Jacket Potatoes … or as we call them Baked Potatoes.
Normally in the summer is very difficult to get hold of Idaho potatoes, it’s all about new Swedish Potatoes – but this year my supermarket had loads and big ones too, must be imported.
When I make my jacket potatoes I always wash them first, even if they are supposed to be washed. Then I piece the potato brutal with a fork all over and brush it with olive oil – and quickly wrap it in an absorbing paper to get all the excess oil off and generously ground rock salt. Bake it on 300C/575F for about 60 min.
Now to the croutons – must have done tonnes in my days …. I NEVER use fresh toast bread, not even for toast. Always use frozen. For toast, it becomes a lot crisper and for croutons so much easier to handle. I cut the bread as it’s still frozen and I never use the crust, it goes back to in the freezer for bird feedingin the winter. I’m very generous with butter and I always use mixed herbs in the butter, can be dried or fresh. I used here Findus frozen mix herb cubes.
I want the croutons to be very buttery and crisp and it goes very quickly, so soon they start to take the colour I take the frying pan off the heat and when they are crisp and golden … I let them rest on absorbing paper.
I’m not washing the frying pan – because I will add the chicken and diced bacon into the left over fat.
Parmesan is my favourite Italian cheese and when I buy it I pre-packed and 250 gr will last me for ever, so I buy it when it’s on offer and cut it down in pieces for single usage and freeze.
Same I do with bacon, but I buy a big pack of already diced bacon and then freeze into single usage bags.
Chicken Ceasar dressed Jacket Potatoes, serves 4
4 Idaho potatoes
250gr/9oz chicken filets, cut it bite piece
80gr/3oz diced bacon
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 slices of bread, cut in cubes
15ml/1tbsp mixed herbs, fresh or dried
60gr/2.1oz of butter
100ml (0.43 cup) mayonnaise
100ml (0.43 cup) crème fraiche
5ml (1tsp) fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
100ml (0.43 cup) course grated Parmesan cheese – and some shaved for garnish.
Fresh ground black pepper
- Mix all the ingredients together for the dressing – can be done in advance.
- When the potatoes is ready – add chicken and red onion to the dressing.
- Put a slice of butter in the potato and base with some crispy cut lettuce – add the chicken filling – top with bacon, croutons and shaved parmesan. Ready to serve.
I always use a butter in the potatoes before I add the filling and some cut lettuce, here I used romaine lettuces. Mostly for colour.
I would have liked to drink a nice chilled white rose wine with this dish, but I didn’t have any at home …. so it had a glass of elderflower lemonade for the company instead. A very summer dish, but the rain was pouring down. Not much sunshine in the plate.
Chicken Ceasar Salad was our most popular salad when I was in charge … sold tons of it and we made a fantastic one, but boiled egg or tomatoes in it, as I have noticed lately becoming more and more common. It’s also my personal favourite salad. So here I have combined two of my favourite dishes into a treat.
I eat everything off Jacket potatoes … skin and all. That is why I want to the skin so hard roasted.
I didn’t have anyone to share my potato with … but it was okay, maybe I will come closer to heaven another time.
Do you know that the creator of the worlds most famous salad was restaurateur Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the US? Cardini was living in San Diego but he was also working in Tijuana where he avoided the restrictions of Prohibition. Cardini made do with what he had, adding the dramatic flair of the table-side tossing “by the chef.”A number of Cardini’s staff have claimed they invented the dish.