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Sesame Chicken Caesar Salad

Sesame Chicken Caesar Salad

Prep time: 25 minutes    Makes 2 entrée or 4 side servings

10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken (about 2 breasts)
1/2 cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
Sesame Caesar Dressing
1/4 cup bottled Caesar salad dressing, my favorite is Johnny’s Great Caesar
3/4 teaspoon dark or toasted sesame oil
8-9 cups (9 oz.) combination of romaine lettuce and baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup toasted almonds, whole or coarsely chopped
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

For even, quick cooking, slice chicken breasts horizontally to ½-inch thickness, or flatten with palm of hand or a meat mallet.  (Or, purchase chicken tenders).

Combine panko crumbs, sesame seeds and salt in a clean plastic bag. Add chicken to the bag; toss and press until crumbs evenly coat chicken.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook, turning once until well-browned and internal temperature is 170°F, about 5 minutes per side.  Slice into ½-inch strips.

Meanwhile, stir together salad dressing and sesame oil. In a large bowl, toss dressing with lettuce and spinach, almonds and Parmesan.  Serve salad topped with sliced chicken and additional Parmesan if desired.
An original recipe by Rosemary Mark

Ingredient notes:

I usually prefer homemade salad dressings, but Johnny’s Great Caesar!  [1]regular or Lite! pass my taste test with high marks, and the sesame oil blends without being too oily. Johnny’s is available at grocery stores or Costco.

Panko crumbs are larger and lighter than dry bread crumbs and add a crispier texture. Look for the new Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs [2] in the Asian foods or baking sections of grocery stores. Or locate through  http://www.kikkomanusa.com/product_locator/index.php [3]

Asian type sesame oils are usually called dark or toasted, and used as a flavoring condiment to add roasty-nutty notes. If the oil is very light colored it probably won’t have the distinctive flavor that highlights this recipe. Look for dark sesame oil in the Asian section of the supermarket.

Sesame oil and sesame seeds go rancid quickly if stored at room temperature. To keep fresh, store sesame oil in the refrigerator and seeds in the freezer.