Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chicken Cobb Salad with Ranch Dressing

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My favorite salad would definitely have to be a Cobb Salad. I love the combination of the ingredients, especially when tossed with a homemade ranch dressing recipe. If you're looking for a heartier salad that's big enough as a meal, this Chicken Cobb Salad with Ranch Dressing just may fit the bill!...

I'm not sure what I like most about this salad... the creamy diced avocadoes, the tang of the crumbled blue cheese, the crunch of the crumbled bacon, the subtle sweetness of ripe tomatoes or the homemade ranch dressing. Regardless, together they are outstanding as a cobb salad. 

I've had difficulty finding a ranch dressing recipe that's spot on, but the recipe I found from Cook's Illustrated nails it on the head. I won't be buying ranch dressing from a bottle any more! The original recipe included bits of red bell pepper, however I omitted it and it was still perfect. This ranch dressing recipe can be altered to use as a thick dip by omitting the buttermilk and doubling the amount of sour cream.

 Chicken Cobb Salad with Ranch Dressing
dressing recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and chopped
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
3 green onions, sliced thin on bias for garnish

Place the shredded lettuce on the bottom of your serving platter.
Place each of the remaining ingredients in a row on top of the lettuce except for the green onions.
Sprinkle the green onions over the top of the salad for garnish
Drizzle the top of the salad with ranch dressing (recipe below), then toss to combine and serve immediately. 

Ranch Dressing:
1/2 small clove garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 small red bell pepper, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 medium scallion, white and green parts, minced
1 small shallot, minced (about 1/2 tablespoon)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch ground black pepper
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream

Combine the minced garlic and salt and work together to create a smooth paste.

Mix the garlic paste, scallion, shallot, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, and black pepper together in a medium bowl. Add the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream and whisk until smooth. (The dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.)

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