It is perfect salad weather where I live – the heat does not make it fun to cook in the evenings and heat up the house even more with the stove or oven. This salad hit the spot for dinner! The combination of the bacon, chicken, eggs, avocado, tomatoes and tangy blue cheese was phenomenal (if you don’t like blue cheese, substitute your favorite cheese chunks). I loved it and could eat this style of salad every night of my life. I served it with a crusty roll and it was perfect. The recipe comes from Cook’s Country (a subsidiary of Cook’s Illustrated), which in my book means it was a pretty sure success to make this and I was right! Light and delicious, yet perfectly fulfilling.
The recipe calls for making a homemade blue cheese dressing. I followed the recipe and did that but found the blue cheese dressing was just too strong for my tastes. I didn’t have time to tweak the dressing recipe, so my disclaimer is that we ate this salad with our favorite salad dressing and it was delicious. If you want to attempt the blue cheese dressing, just keep in mind it might be very overpowering to your tastes…but my guess is many like that flavor!
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese (you only need 1/2 cup cheese if you are going to forego the blue cheese dressing and only use blue cheese for the salad)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- 8 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 12 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 romaine hearts, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 ripe avocados, pitted, skinned and chopped
- 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
- Process 1/2 cup cheese, oil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until well combined. (This step is only if you want to use the blue cheese dressing – omit this step if you are going to use your favorite salad dressing.)
- Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Cook chicken in bacon fat until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to plate and let cool 5 minutes.
- Combine lettuce, tomatoes, remaining cheese, cooled chicken, and dressing in large bowl. Top salad with crisp bacon, avocados, and eggs. Serve.
Recipe Source: from Cook’s Country