Cobb a la Coco

Updated: May 1, 2019



You can probably tell from my site that I’m a girl who loves a classic salad, and in my humble opinion, the Cobb is the king of the classics. This dish was invented at the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood during the late 1930’s, and since it’s inception the Cobb has become a staple on menus far and wide. It‘s signature combination of flavors is something that I crave regularly, and so I make a version of this storied salad in my cocina often. This salad recipe gets “coco-fied” in a handful of ways. Instead of iceberg, I use crisp butter lettuces and arugula (romaine and/or spinach would also be great choices). In lieu of a thick, mayo based dressing, I swap for a bright and light mustard vinaigrette. In place of overcooked crumbles of flavorless hardboiled egg, I add jammy, soft eggs halved down the middle. For a less contrived and easier presentation, I don’t bother lining ingredients up on top of a lettuce mound in neat and orderly rows. Everything gets tossed together delicately in stages, making for a gorgeous jumble of colors and textures inside the salad bowl. Also, I like to toss the chicken in when it’s still a little warm instead of ice cold- I’ve always been turned off by those giant chunks of icy chicken found in some Cobbs. The warm chicken slightly melts the cheese, guaranteeing a creamy salad (especially when paired with avocado and eggs) minus the creamy dressing. You can also arrange the components of this salad on a large platter separately with the dressing on the side for guests to serve themselves (like I did in the pic above). This composed arrangement is great for entertaining- no mushy lettuce! I can’t wait for y’all to try this revamped classic- long live the Cobb!

prep time: 30 min. cook time: 5 min. serves: 4


INGREDIENTS

1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a uniform 1/2” thickness with a mallet or rolling pin

good olive oil

2 cups torn butter lettuce leaves

2 cups baby arugula

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

8 slices of bacon

4 thick scallions, light green and white part only, thinly sliced

4 oz Stilton cheese, crumbled

4 large eggs

1 large ripe avocado, sliced

kosher salt and black pepper


MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

1 small shallot, minced

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp grainy or dijon mustard

4 tbsp good olive oil

kosher salt and black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the vinaigrette: combine the shallot, vinegar, juice, and mustard in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk in the olive oil slowly to emulsify the ingredients. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste. Cook the eggs: bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and a splash of cider vinegar to the water (the vinegar helps whites to coagulate in case an egg cracks, and the salt softens the shell a tad). Carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water and boil uncovered 8 minutes. Transfer the eggs to an ice bath to halt cooking. When they are cool enough to handle, peel them, slice them in half and set them aside. Cook the bacon: lay the bacon in a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook until brown and crispy on both sides. Transfer it to a paper towel lined plate to drain. When cool enough to handle, tear the bacon into large bite-sized chunks and set aside. Pour out all but 1 tbsp of the drippings and return the skillet to the stove. Cook the chicken breasts: heat the same pan used to cook the bacon over medium and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper and sear in the hot pan about 4-5 minutes per side, until the internal temperature registers 165. Remove to a cutting board and allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing into strips. Place the the lettuces, tomatoes, scallions, bacon and sliced chicken into a large salad bowl and season everything with a little salt and pepper. Toss with 3/4 of the vinaigrette. Next, add the sliced avocado, stilton, and more dressing if the salad needs it and gently toss a few more times again. Place the eggs artfully around the perimeter of the salad. Serve as a hearty lunch or light dinner!

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