As my children and I are wrapping up our unit study on the United States, we're "visiting" the west coast. Cobb Salad is a California specialty that has become a mainstay salad all over the country.
An easy way to remember the ingredients in Cobb Salad is to use the acronym EAT COBB - Egg, Avocado, Tomato, Chicken, Onion, Bacon, Bleu cheese. My family enjoyed this hearty salad recipe, although it was preferred to substitute goat cheese for the bleu cheese.
For the chicken:
3 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
1 carrot, peeled and chopped roughly
1 celery stalk, chopped roughly
1 white onion, in large chunks
For the bacon and eggs:
6 slices of bacon, preferably nitrate-free
4 eggs, preferably from pastured hens
For the salad:
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/2 head red leaf lettuce
2 small endives, diced
2 ripe avocados, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 Tb diced green onions, green parts only
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese or goat cheese
For the dressing:
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 drop hot sauce
1/8 tsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp blackstrap molasses
1/8 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp finely-ground Celtic sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Cook the chicken:
Place the carrot, celery, and onion in a 4-qt pot. Add the chicken thighs, cover with filtered water, and add a generous pinch of salt.
Bring the pot of chicken to a low simmer. Cover the pot and allow the chicken to gently simmer for 40 minutes.
Use tongs to remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool until it can be handled easily. (The super-delicious broth leftover from cooking the chicken can be used for some other meal later on. It makes fantastic nutrient-dense white rice.)
Once the chicken is cool enough, remove and discard the chicken skin. (Or feed it to the dog!) Remove the chicken meat from the bones, being careful to avoid any cartilage or other chewy bits. The bones can be saved for making chicken bone broth.
Chop the chicken into small pieces.
The chicken can be prepared earlier in the day or even a day in advance of the meal. If so, just allow the chicken to sit out for a few minutes before adding it to the salad, so the chicken isn't refrigerator-cold.
Cook the bacon:
Cook the bacon until it is nicely crisp. My favorite way to cook bacon is to bake it in the oven at in a 9X13 glass baking dish. It takes about 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees, and seems to cook best on the bottom rack.
When the bacon is done, place it on paper towels to remove the excess grease. Once the bacon is cool enough, it can be chopped or crumbled for the salad.
The bacon can be cooked earlier in the day or even a day in advance of the meal.
Boil the eggs:
Boil the eggs to your liking. My preferred way to make boiled eggs is as follows: Put the eggs in a small pot and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover the pot. Set a timer for 15-18 minutes (depending on the size of the eggs). When the timer goes off, pour out the hot water and then add cold water and ice to cool the eggs down quickly (so they don't continue to cook).
Once the boiled eggs have cooled enough to handle, peel them. Chop the eggs into wedges or slices.
The eggs can be boiled and peeled earlier in the day or even a day in advance of the meal.
Prepare the dressing:
Combine the red wine vinegar with all other ingredients except for the olive oil.
Add about 1 tsp of the olive oil and whisk/shake vigorously again. Adding a small amount of oil first helps the dressing become better mixed so it won't separate back into oil and vinegar as quickly.
Add the rest of the olive oil and whisk or shake to combine.
Prepare the salad:
Rip the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and chop the endive. Wash and dry the lettuces and endive. A salad spinner works excellently for this. I use this method to easily wash and dry all of my salad greens.
Chop up the avocado, slice the tomatoes, and dice the scallions.
Bring it all together:
Place a generous amount of lettuce on each plate.
Create stripes over top of the lettuce, adding the avocado, bacon, eggs, bleu cheese (or goat cheese), chicken, and tomatoes. Sprinkle the green onions over it all.
Shake up the dressing and drizzle to taste.
Serve and enjoy!
This post is part of Weekend Potluck!
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