Classic Chicken Cobb Salad
You may be wondering - How did the Cobb Salad get its name? Well we were curious about that too so we did a little digging. Turns out this salad has a Hollywood history that goes al the way back to 1937. Like all great inventions, this one came from necessity. While there are varying accounts of the details, legend says that Bob Cobb, the owner of a restaurant called The Brown Derby, needed to whip up a quick late-night bite for himself and some friends. He pulled these very Californian ingredients together and wowed the crowd with his spontaneous salad creation. Sid Grauman (of the famed Grauman's Chinese Theater) was with him and suggested he put it on the menu. It was a huge hit wth customers, and the rest, as they say is history.
4 large eggs
4 oz Grass Roots forested pork bacon (approximately 4 slices) - or try our jowl bacon if you want to up the ante)
1 lb Grass Roots pastured skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry (If you prefer dark meat, you can use our boneless chicken thighs. Or you could also use slices from a whole chicken, spatchcocked (aka butterflied) chicken (cooks faster than whole)
1 tbsp butter, unsalted
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp raw honey (optional)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste
8 cups torn romaine or mixed lettuce
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ripe avocado, quartered
1. Prepare the boiled eggs.
Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan and gently lower eggs into the water. Let it cook for 7-8 minutes. Immediately transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and let sit until eggs are cooled at room temperature. When ready, peel eggs and set aside.
2. Make the crispy bacon bits.
Meanwhile, roughly chop bacon slices and add to a hot cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté with a wooden spoon occasionally until brown and crispy (8-10 minutes). Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Allow the skillet to cool slightly just so it’s not smoking.
Using the same skillet, reduce the heat to low-medium. Spoon out 2 tbsp of bacon grease and pour into a large salad bowl to reserve for the dressing. Keep remaining bacon grease (or enough to just coat the bottom of the skillet) in the pan.
3. Cook the chicken.
Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add butter to the bacon fat and let it melt and bubble up a bit. Add chicken to the pan and let cook on one side for at least 5 minutes without moving it so it will have a crisp exterior. Flip using tongs. Continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the center registers at 165° degrees. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin pieces.
5. Prepare the dressing.
Vigorously whisk the bacon grease in the large salad bowl with vinegar, Dijon mustard, raw honey, and then add the olive oil while continuously whisking until thick and emulsified. You could also pulse these ingredients in a small food processor. Add the lettuce to a large salad bowl with the dressing and toss until the greens are well coated.
6. Assemble and plate the salad.
Plate the greens first. Then add the other components - sliced boiled eggs, sliced chicken, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and crispy bacon pieces. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
recipe by Grass Roots partner Alison Marras