fried chicken cobb salad
PREP TIME 20 mins, plus soaking, COOK TIME 20 mins
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup whole milk
8 smoked bacon slices
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp chipotle paste
1 3⁄4 pints (1 liter) peanut or sunflower oil, for frying
bunch of baby spinach or arugula leaves
10oz (300g) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
4 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
For the blue cheese dressing:
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1⁄2 cup sour cream
1⁄3 cup buttermilk
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Put the chicken in a pan along with the cayenne pepper and 1 tsp salt. Pour in the milk and leave the chicken to soak for 2 hours in the fridge.
2 In a frying pan, dry-fry the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack, then set aside.
3 In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour, breadcrumbs, chipotle paste, and 1 tbsp salt. Drain and discard the milk and turn the chicken in the bread mixture until well coated.
4 Pour the oil into a large, heavy-based saucepan or deep-fat fryer. Heat it to 375ºF (190ºC). Fry the chicken for 5–7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and cool on a wire rack. Set aside.
5 Spread the spinach evenly in a large, wide serving dish. Place the tomatoes in a row across the greens. Add the avocado, placing it next to the tomatoes, then add a row of the eggs. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and distribute evenly around the salad. Crumble the bacon and scatter it over the top of the dish.
6 For the dressing, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, blue cheese, and vinegar. Serve the salad, while the chicken is still warm, with the buttermilk dressing on the side. Any leftover dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, tightly sealed.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
It is widely accepted that the first Cobb salad was made at The Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood in the early 20th century, and was named in honor of the then owner, Bob Cobb. Exactly who created it, and when, is less clear, but there is no doubt that the eponymous salad, with its distinctive stripes of fresh, colorful ingredients, is a true Tinseltown classic.
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