West Coast Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad is an American classic and, like many of the world’s great dishes, was created as a way to keep leftover foods from being wasted. The most repeated origin story about the salad is that is was created in 1937 at the Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood, California. The legend goes that when owner Robert Cobb had not eaten until near midnight, he grabbed whatever leftovers he found in the kitchen, along with some cooked bacon, and tossed it with their French dressing. The salad soon became the restaurant’s signature dish and a favorite of Hollywood’s movie stars.

Cobb Salad

A well done Cobb Salad makes for a wonderful lunch, especially paired with a nice white wine and crispy French bread. Everything can be done well in advance and either assembled into a visually stunning large salad or served decomposed with each ingredient in separate bowls so dinners can create their own salad.
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Course: Brunch, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine: American, American West Coast, North American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Container with lid
  • Medium saucepan with lid

Ingredients

  • 8 slices Thick bacon
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 12 oz Boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • ½ cup Dry white wine (same as serving)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Scallion, finely minced
  • 4 whole Peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs Parsley
  • tsp Dried thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • 16 Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Ripe avocados
  • 4 oz Blue cheese or roquefort, crumbled
  • 1 head Watercress, large stems removed
  • 2 head Romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head Boston bibb or butter lettuce, roughly chopped

Vinaigrette

  • 1 small Shallot, minced(or white part of 1 scallion)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • cup Red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • PrepareMake Vinaigrette by marinating shallot slices and vinegar in a container with lid for 5 minutes. Add remaining vinaigrette ingredients and shake vigorously to combine. Refrigerate.
    Poach Chicken – Lie boned chicken breasts along the bottom of a lightly buttered saucepan. Pour in ½ cup dry white wine and enough water to just cover the chicken. Add bay leaf, thyme, scallion, parsley, peppercorns, and ½ tsp salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover, and simmer on medium-low for 8-10 minutes until meat is springy to the touch. Remove from heat and cool chicken in its broth for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and refrigerate wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
    Boil Eggs – Cover eggs in a saucepan with water, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook 3 more minutes without lifting the cover. Move to a cool burner and let sit 10 minutes, still covered. Meanwhile, fill a bowl in the sink with ice water. Transfer eggs into the ice bath and leave for a few minutes. Peel eggs and refrigerate.
    Cook Bacon – Cook bacon slices of bacon for 8-10 minutes in a 375°F (190°C) oven Bacon should be crispy but not burned. Place bacon slices on paper towels..
  • Prepare Vegetables – Mix lettuce and watercress in a large salad bowl. If making salad later or another day, put into a plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate. Cut avocados in half, remove pits, and scoop out meat. Cut avocado halves into thin slices or dice. Cut each cherrystone tomato in half.
  • Assemble Cobb Salad – Slice or dice the chicken. Place lettuces in a large salad bowl and mix together with ⅓ of the vinaigrette. Salt and pepper to taste.
    Arrange chicken in a straight line down the middle with a line of tomatoes then blue cheese to the right; eggs then avocados to the left of the chicken. Place bacon in a pile in the middle or around the outside. Pour remaining dressing over everything and serve.

Notes

  • Everything may be done in advance, covered, and refrigerated until ready to assemble and serve. Small sandwich bags are perfect.
  • A deconstructed cobb salad is a great way to present more add-ons to allow guests to create their own salad. Addition toppings like olives, garlic croutons, walnuts, and even corn or another kind of cheese.

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