Chicken Caesar Piadine
Piadine, an Italian flatbread popular in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, are often served with meats and cheeses, but they also make the perfect base for a chicken Caesar salad. Simply pile the salad high on the flatbread, fold it like a taco and enjoy. Mix things up by substituting grilled shrimp or flank steak for the chicken. Do not consume raw eggs if you have health and safety concerns. A pasteurized egg product can be used as a replacement.
For the piadine:
- 3 1/3 cups (17 oz./530 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) whole-wheat flour
- 1 package (2 1/2 tsp.) quick-rise yeast
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) warm water (110°F/43°C), plus more as needed
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more as needed
For the chicken Caesar:
- 2 boneless, skin-on chicken breast halves, about 1 lb. (500 g) total
- 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) olive oil, plus more for brushing
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 small garlic cloves
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 6 Tbs. (1 1/2 oz./45 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, cored and chopped
To make the piadine, in a food processor, combine the flours, yeast, sugar and salt. Pulse to mix the ingredients. With the motor running, add the water and olive oil in a steady stream, and then pulse until the dough comes together in a rough mass, about 12 seconds. If the dough does not form into a ball, sprinkle with 1 to 2 tsp. more water and pulse again until a rough mass forms. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Process the dough again for 25 to 30 seconds, steadying the top of the food processor with one hand. The dough should be tacky to the touch but not sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and spongy, about 1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising, preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
Pat the chicken dry and put it on a small baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken until opaque throughout, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, discard the skin and cut or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
Raise the oven temperature to 450°F (230°C) and place a pizza stone on the middle rack. Once the oven has reached 450°F (230°C), let the stone continue to heat for 15 to 30 minutes longer, without opening the door.
Put the garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, egg yolk and Worcestershire sauce in a blender and process until smooth. With the motor running, add the 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) olive oil in a steady stream and blend until well combined. Stop the machine, add 3 Tbs. of the Parmesan and pulse to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.
When the dough has finished rising, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down and shape into a smooth cylinder. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky. Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. On a floured pizza peel, roll out each piece into a 6-inch (15-cm) round. Brush the piadine with olive oil, sprinkle with the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Carefully slide the piadine from the peel onto the hot stone in the oven and bake until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Using the peel, remove from the oven, then transfer to individual plates.
While the piadine are baking, assemble the salad: In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the Caesar dressing, the remaining 3 Tbs. Parmesan and the chicken. Top each of the piadine with the chicken salad, dividing it evenly, and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Pizza Night, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014)