Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Somewhat Cobb Salad

I got a pound of free marinated herb-dijon chicken breasts last week at the grocery store and decided it would make a good addition to a salad meal. I thought off a Cobb salad and found a recipe on Epicurious that I promptly revised and turned into a Somewhat Cobb Salad.

I baked the chicken breast (one full) in the oven and cut it in half. Half went into the salad, the other half was reserved for M and J who I knew probably wouldn't eat the lettuce. Sure enough, M and J avoided the leafy greens (which didn't worry me too much, particularly for M because I knew she ate only fruits and vegetables for lunch today and scoffed at the carbs and protein). Curtis and I thought the salad was great with the adaptations (mostly omissions) that I made. I will include the recipe for the whole salad, but feel free to leave things out if you don't have them or like them. The things I left out I am labeling as optional. The dressing recipe was great--a little oilier than I usually make dressings, but it had wonderful flavor. The dressing recipe makes twice as much as necessary for the salad (because I halved the salad recipe when making it). Store the leftover dressing in the fridge and use it whenever you need salad dressing.

Somewhat Layered Cobb Salad
for the dressing:
3 T red wine vinegar
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 t Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 t salt
1/2 t sugar
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil

for the salad:
1/2 lb boneless chicken breast, cooked (about 1 breast), and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2" cubes (optional)
1 head lettuce, washed and torn into bite sized pieces (I used red leaf lettuce, probably 4 c or so)
3 bacon slices, cooked until crisp, drained, and crumbled
1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (optional)
1/4 c feta cheese (recipe calls for Roquefort or other bleu cheese, I had none so I substituted feta)
1 bunch watercress, coarse stems discarded (optional)
1 hard boiled egg, diced
2 T fresh chives, finely chopped (optional)

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients except the oil in a bowl. Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified (until the oil molecules have been broken and incorporated into the other liquid).

Spread lettuce in bottom of a large salad bowl (I actually used our pasta bowl tonight) and top with an even layer of chicken. Sprinkle bacon over chicken, then continue layering with tomatoes, cheese (to taste), avocados, watercress, eggs, and chives. Serve the dressing on the side and add as desired (the recipe says to add to salad and mix--we prefer to each add our own because Curtis and I like different amounts of dressing).

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