Spring is coming and Daylight Savings Time (which I truly belive should be a national holiday!) is just a few weeks away, seventeen days to be exact! That means the glorious sun will shine later in the evening, allowing us to spend more time outside! More time gardening, mowing, sunning, and swimming! Yay! All of this means you don’t have time to cook a big meal for your family. This is where salads save the day. Light, healthy and easy to put together. This Classic Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad is just the ticket!
Warmer weather inspires simpler and lighter dinner fare. Salads fit that bill, but not a wimpy salad. A real salad, with lots of stuff that will fill you and your family up! Salads can be intimidating and time consuming with lots of chopping and slicing, but they can be quick to throw together if you do a little prep work in advance. These days you can purchase most of your salad ingredients pre chopped and ready to go. This convenience saves a lot of time, but is not necessary if you plan ahead. A little pre planning like boiling your eggs in advance is a huge time saver. About once a month I like to boil and peel at least a dozen eggs for the week and plan my menu around them. I use them for 2 or 3 meals that week, in egg salad or tuna salad for sandwiches, deviled eggs to go with hot dogs or hamburgers and sliced or chopped on a Chef or Cobb salad.
A Cobb Salad is the perfect example of an easy and hearty salad that everyone will love! There are many stories regarding the origins of the Cobb salad, but the consensus is that it was created at the Hollywood Brown Derby in the 1930’s and named after the owner Robert Howard Cobb. The salad is typically made with chopped salad greens, tomato, crisp bacon, boiled, grilled or roasted chicken, hard boiled eggs, avocado, chives, Roquefort cheese and red wine vinaigrette. It is a lot of ingredients but easy to remember if you think of EAT COBB: Egg, Avocado, Tomato, Chicken, Onion, Bacon, Blue cheese then add lettuce.
While my Classic Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad varies slightly from the original, it is loaded with avocado, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, gorgonzola cheese and crispy fried chicken tenders. I have left the onions out of this salad today because my grandsons don’t care for them but you can use red onion, green onions or chives if you like. They also love fried chicken tenders, what kid doesn’t, so they devour this salad in just a few minutes, but you can use whatever your family will eat. Often I use leftover chicken from a Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken or Beer Can Chicken I have made, but oven fried chicken or grilled chicken are perfect as well.
Plan to make this for your family when the weather warms up and beckons you outside! They will love it!
- Chopped crisp salad greens – 8 cups, approximately 2 cups per person – Iceberg or Romaine. I like to mix in some spinach and kale for the color and the bonus nutritional value doesn’t hurt either!
- 1 Avocado peeled and sliced or chopped
- 2 Roma tomatoes chopped
- 4 hard boiled eggs sliced or chopped
- 8 slices of crisp bacon – cooked and chopped
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese – you can substitute blue cheese or even feta or goat cheese if you like.
- 8 chicken tenders – or 4 cups chopped or shredded chicken approximately 1 cup per person
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sprinkle the washed and dried chicken tenders with salt and pepper to taste.
- Dredge each one in the flour, shake off the excess then dip in the milk.
- Dip in the flour one last time and shake off the excess.
- Fry on medium heat turning often, until golden brown and no longer pink in the middle
- Set aside to cool then slice or chop
- Layer chopped greens on a large platter on individual plates
- For a pretty presentation place the other ingredients in rows on top of the lettuce
- Serve with your favorite salad dressing
- Serves #4