Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad
Adapted from Chef Bobby Flay

 

Yield: 8 servings

This updated version of California's famous salad makes one of Mesa Grill's most popular lunch dishes. Chicken breast rubbed with barbecue sauce and grilled is a terrific foundation for all the different flavors that combine in a Cobb salad, and chiles jump-start the creamy, tart dressing.

Balsamic-Mustard Vinaigrette

Yield: About 1 1/2 cups

  • 6 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the vinegar, mustard, onion, and sugar in a blender and purée. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. May be refrigerated for 1 day; serve at room temperature.

Smoked Chile-Buttermilk Dressing

Yield: About 1 1/4 cups

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle purée (see Note)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the sour cream, buttermilk, garlic, onion, lime juice, and chipotle purée in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a squeeze bottle. May be refrigerated for 1 day; serve at room temperature.

Salad

  • 4 chicken breasts, skin on and bone in, French cut (wings left on)
  • 1 1/4 cups Mesa Barbecue Sauce (can be bought in gourmet markets and recipe is in Boy meets Grill)
  • 2 large red onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Olive oil for brushing the onions
  • 8 cups mixed greens, washed and dried
  • 8 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 4 avocados, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces Cabrales blue cheese, crumbled
  • Smoked Chile-Buttermilk Dressing
  • Balsamic-Mustard Vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium high.

Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and brush with barbecue sauce. Grill, basting continuously with barbecue sauce, until golden brown and cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes.

Brush the onion slices with olive oil and grill until golden brown and slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. In a large bowl, lightly toss the greens with the Balsamic-Mustard Vinaigrette and place on a large platter. Cut the chicken breasts in half and cut each half on the bias into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange the chicken in the center of the platter, resting on the greens. Arrange the tomatoes, eggs, onion slices, and avocado slices around the chicken. Sprinkle with the crumbled Cabrales blue cheese and drizzle with the Smoked Chile-Buttermilk Dressing.

NOTE: Canned chipotle peppers in adobo are available at Latino or gourmet markets or from Kitchen Market, 218 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10011, 212-243 4433, which has a mail-order list. To make chipotle purée, process canned chipotles in a blender or food processor, along with a little of their liquid.


Wine suggestion

This is a salad that needs a big wine which will stand up to the richness of the blue cheese and the fatiness of the bacon. So, for one time in my life, I will recommend a California Chardonnay, which is too typically all of those things.

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