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HomeFoodWhy Ali Slagle's Hen Caesar Salad is Genius

Why Ali Slagle’s Hen Caesar Salad is Genius

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The miracle of this marinade would have been sufficient. Stir collectively a couple of elements, pour off half for a feisty Caesar dressing and save the remainder to marinate your hen? Good.

However then, don’t let that marinade sit for hours to soak in. Don’t even wipe any off. Simply sizzle the hen and its protecting cloak in a nonstick skillet, until the oil breaks free from the marinade and the Parm and anchovy all frizzles and browns. This could solely be described as Whoaaa.

Whoa.

Picture by Bobbi Lin. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Meals Stylist: Anna Billingskog.

Ali Slagle discovered the ability of mayonnaise-based marinades from her New York Occasions colleague J. Kenji López-Alt: Mayo browns fantastically, carries flavors effectively, and protects seasonings from burning (you possibly can learn all about it right here). Subsequent, Ali put the trick to make use of in a well-liked Ginger-Lime Hen of her personal.

However when confronted with creating 150 dinner recipes for her debut cookbook I Dream of Dinner, every executed in 45 minutes and beneath 10 elements, Ali began dreaming about find out how to make that marinade do much more work.

“I all the time thought of it as wiggling free enamel,” Ali informed me. “I might, in my thoughts, wiggle every ingredient and suppose, ‘What would that dish be with out it? Will it nonetheless be good?’”

So the marinade pulled double-duty as dressing, and Ali continued questioning each bottle and leaf, to ensure all of them pulled their weight in effectivity and pleasure. Right here’s how the remainder wiggled out, and altered what I assumed a hen Caesar salad might be.

The dressing gamers:
Along with among the punchy classics like lemon, anchovy, and garlic that outline this salad’s taste as resolutely Caesar, Ali brings in some unexpectedly welcome characters.

As an alternative of Worcestershire sauce, which doesn’t all the time justify the area it rents within the fridge door, Ali turns to extra ubiquitous soy sauce for umami and well-rounded salt. She additionally provides Dijon mustard—“one other prickly ingredient,” she informed me—and lemon zest, a freebie with the juice, for much more brightness.

Whoaaa.

Picture by Bobbi Lin. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Meals Stylist: Anna Billingskog.

The lettuce(s):
Impressed by Samin Nosrat’s Caesar, Ali likes a mixture of candy, juicy lettuces like Romaine or Little Gems and bitter chicories like endive, escarole, or radicchio, to convey out extra dimension and make a dinner salad as compelling as a multicourse meal.

She additionally sprinkles the greens with lemon juice and salt earlier than dressing—yet one more layer of blandness prevention.

The large crouton:
Ali begins her croutons in a skillet as massive slices of fried toast, then cuts them bite-size. This frees us from the inevitable smaller crumbs that can begin to smolder earlier than the remainder, and offers us a brand new crouton paradigm: crispy edges, sure, but additionally heat, fluffy middles.

And all of this thoughtfulness, all of this taste, can take as little time as your favourite podcast. The marinade continues to be sufficient to make this recipe genius, however Ali has handed us many extra miracles to take to our kitchens, too.


Bought a Genius recipe to share—from a traditional cookbook, a web based supply, or anyplace, actually? Please ship it my approach (and inform me what’s so good about it) at [email protected]. Thanks to longtime Food52er and make-up magician Emily Hanhan for this one!

This submit accommodates merchandise independently chosen (and liked) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Affiliate, Food52 earns an affiliate fee on qualifying purchases of the merchandise we hyperlink to.

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