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Cobb Salad with Creamy Bleu Cheese Dressing

This stellar Cobb Salad with Creamy Bleu Cheese Dressing recipe will rival anything you’ve ever had in a restaurant. A good Cobb salad is tough to beat. That should probably not come as a surprise, considering the combination of decadent ingredients a Cobb salad represents. Delicious bacon, tangy bleu cheese, creamy avocado, zingy tomato, and lucious hard-boiled eggs are like a who’s who of celebrity salad ingredients. Toss in some delicious chicken and a creamy blue cheese dressing and you’ve got a meal masquerading as a salad. That’s why I serve this as a meal unto itself. Sometimes for lunch, but often for dinner — it’s that filling and satisfying.

Like any great dish, this one takes a little work. There’s nothing particularly difficult about the preparation, but it does require a bit of proverbial elbow grease. I love poached chicken for my Cobb salad. While I’ve certainly been known to make this salad with leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken, if I’m cooking chicken from scratch, it has to be poached. I love the way the poaching liquid gives the meat a delicate, but seasoned flavor that helps it work as a great supporting ingredient without trying to steal the show.

Bacon on foil lined pan.

Bacon does a lot of work in this salad. It really should be crispy, because that crunchy texture is vital to play against all the other lucious, creamy ingredients. The bacon also plays an important flavor role, giving little salty umami punches to the dish that serve to really set off the flavors of the tomato, avocado, and bleu cheese. I like to roast my bacon partly because I like how well it crisps in the oven and partly because it’s so easy — I can generally just toss it in the oven and forget about it until the timer goes off.

Cobb Salad with Creamy Bleu Cheese Dressing

4 from 4 votes
Recipe by Carmen Course: Lunch, Dinner
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

Ingredients – Salad

  • 2 Romain lettuce hearts

  • 2 Chicken breasts; boneless, skinless

  • 1/2 lb Bacon

  • 2 Tomatoes, plum or Roma preferred

  • 4 Eggs, large

  • 2 Avocados

  • 3 oz Bleu cheese, crumbled

  • 3 Garlic cloves

  • 1 Bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon Oregano, dry

  • 2 teaspoons Salt

  • 8-12 Peppercorns

  • Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

  • INGREDIENTS – Creamy Bleu Cheese Dressing – Make at least 4-24 hours ahead
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise

  • 3/4 cup Buttermilk

  • 3 oz Bleu cheese, crumbled

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dry mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions – Salad

  • Preheat oven to 425° F (220° C). Line baking sheet with foil or parchment.
  • Eggs, chicken, and bacon should cook simultaneously. Be sure to set individual timers for each ingredient as they cook.
  • Hard boil eggs: Place eggs in saucepan. Cover with cold water, 1 inch over top of eggs. Heat on high flame. As water heats, prepare bowl of ice water big enough to hold plenty of ice and all 4 eggs. Once boil is achieved, immediately turn off burner and cover eggs. Cook eggs exactly 9 minutes. Remove eggs to ice water and allow to chill at least 5 minutes in water to stop cooking.
  • Poach chicken breasts: As eggs cook, place chicken breasts in saute pan or skillet. Cover with water, about 1/4 inch over top of chicken breasts. Add 3 garlic cloves, dry organo, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 2 teaspoons salt to water. Heat over medium low to medium heat until water just gently simmers. Cover pan and reduce heat to low to medium low, watching pan does not boil over. Cook 10-12 minutes, or until chicken is done and reaches internal temperature of 165° F (73° C). Remove cooked chicken from poaching liquid to cutting board. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.
  • Roast bacon: Meanwhile, as chicken poaches, place bacon slices flat on lined baking sheet. Place in preheated oven and cook 14-18 minutes or until desired level of crispy. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes before crumbling.
  • Rinse hearts of romaine lettuce in fresh water until clean and cut off stalk. Discard any discolored pieces. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Use salad spinner, if available, to completely dry lettuce. If no salad spinner, dry as best you can with kitchen towel.
  • Chop tomatoes into small wedges or finer dice, according to your preference and season tomato with salt & pepper to taste. Dice avocados.
  • Cut chicken into strips or large dice, as per your preference. Crumble cooked bacon.
  • Peel and slice or dice hard boiled eggs.
  • To plate salad: Arrange romaine lettuce in single layer over 4 dinner plates. Divide chicken, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, eggs, and 3 oz bleu cheese crumbles over romaine lettuce beds. Top with desired amount of bleu cheese dressing.
  • DIRECTIONS – Creamy Bleu Cheese Dressing – Make at least 4-24 hours ahead
  • Dressing should be made at least 4 hours before serving salad, allowing ingredients time to meld.
  • In medium sized mixing bowl, add buttermilk, Worcestershire, red wine vinegar, dry mustard, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Add 3 oz bleu cheese. Using fork or back of mixing spoon, mash bleu cheese into buttermilk mixture. Stir well.
  • Add mayonnaise and stir to incorporate.

Notes

  • If you have leftover or pre-cooked chicken, it may be substituted for the poached chicken.
  • Turkey bacon may be used as substitute for pork bacon. Cook according to package directions, rather than recipe directions.
  • Any ripe tomatoes may be used as substitute for plum or roma tomatoes, including cherry or grape tomatoes.
  • Pre-prepared romaine lettuce (such as salad bags) may be used.
  • Any lettuce of your choice may be used as substitute for hearts of romaine lettuce. Taste will change.
  • If dressing is too thick, thin with 1/4 – 1/2 cup extra buttermilk until desired consistency.
  • Any variety of bleu cheese will work for salad or dressing. Use your favorite.
  • Dressing tastes best when made several hours before serving.
Bleu cheese crumbled.

I feel I can’t close out a recipe for Cobb salad without sharing a few words about bleu cheese. Let me begin by saying I’ve never met a bleu cheese I didn’t like from Roquefort to Stilton to Gorgonzola to Point Reyes (and everything in between) I’m always happy to see it on my plate. There is great variation in bleu cheese flavors and obviously that means the flavor profile of this salad will change according to which sort you use. The good news is, I think I’ve tried almost every bleu cheese known to mankind in this salad and I’ve loved them all. From the most expensive to the cheapest, they all make great salads. Most often, I just use an Amish bleu variety I find at the supermarket.

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