Poultry Salad

Cobb Salad

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the recipe for May on my calendar is a Cobb Salad. Sometimes I don’t realize how much I love Cobb salads because I tend to order them when nothing else looks appealing on a menu, but I always end up greatly enjoying them. I was pretty skeptical of the recipe on my calendar because it just says to buy a bottle of buttermilk Ranch dressing, and I am pretty sure that I have never had a Cobb salad with Ranch dressing before. I decided to look up a separate recipe for the dressing and then just ended up going by the complete recipe for Cobb salad from Smitten Kitchen. It was a good choice because this salad is yummy!

I didn’t realize how much work goes into making one of these things. There are just a lot of ingredients to keep track of, and some things have to be cooked ahead of time. I found that the easiest way to do this was to get everything prepped ahead of time and then just assemble the salad when you are ready to eat. The only thing that I left to the last minute was chopping up the avocado because I didn’t want it to turn brown too quickly. Everything else will keep in containers in the fridge until you are ready to eat!
Cobb Salad
Dressing:
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp. dry Mustard
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Puree the ingredients to make a smooth dressing and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the dressing in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Salad:
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded
1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped (the original recipe also uses 1/2 bunch watercress, but I skipped it because I hate watercress)
2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
6 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsps. chives, chopped

You can prep the ingredients anyway you want to, but I thought I would let you know how I went about it. I started with the bacon because I always cook bacon in the oven. Put the six strips of bacon on a foil-covered tray in a cool oven. Set the oven to 400 degrees F. and cook bacon for about 17 minutes or until crispy.
While the bacon is in the oven, heat up a skillet over medium-high heat and add a capful of olive oil. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper on both sides and cook in the skillet until done. Let it cool before you cut it into cubes.

You don’t have to peel the tomatoes if you don’t want to, but it is simple to do so. Cut an X into the bottom of each tomato. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add tomatoes to the boiling water for about 10 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately place the tomatoes into an ice bath to cool. The skins will peel right off after that.

This is embarrassing, but I really dislike eggs so I have never bothered to learn how to cook them. I am serious; I don’t know how to cook eggs in anyway, and I realize that it is one of the most basic things that everyone knows how to do. I had to look up how to cook a hard boiled egg, and this is the method I ended up going with. It worked out really well. Place the eggs in a pot of enough water to just cover them (2 or 3 inches). Put the pot on a burner set to high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the water starts boiling, remove the pot from the heat. Reduce the heat to low and replace the pot, allowing the eggs to simmer for 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat again. Cover and let sit for 12 minutes. Run some cold water over the eggs to cool them down and peel them before cubing them.
To make the salad, you are supposed to assemble everything on a really large platter. I don’t have a large platter so I just made a big bowl of lettuce and then assembled everything into individual bowls. You can set this up however you like. Just combine all of the lettuce and lay out on a platter or bowl or whatever you choose, and arrange the blue cheese, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, chicken, and avocado on top of the greens in neat rows. To serve, drizzle salad with dressing, season with salt and pepper, and top with chives. Alternatively, toss everything together in a bowl (which is what I did after setting up a nice salad for the photos).

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