Corn & Cobb Salad with Spicy Chicken

Cobb salad on a large white plate
9/12/18

I wasn’t going to write about this recipe.

I wasn’t sure anyone needed a Cobb salad recipe. You know what it is: lettuce, chicken, bacon, avocado, blue cheese, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes.

And you know what it tastes like: good, duh, remember that part about the bacon?

3 bowls: one with corn kernels, one with chopped cherry tomatoes, one with lettuce

But I held on to the draft for some reason, mulling over it every time I opened WordPress.

Cobb salad is ubiquitous on restaurant menus and has guest starred in more than one lunch scene in Sex and the City.

It’s a classic, timeless salad, but I have never made it at home. Nor have I ever eaten it at someone else’s home, or seen it on dinner party Pinterest boards.

Why not?

Two bowls of Cobb salad with a fork in one.

Maybe it’s the long list of ingredients, or the fact that it’s a salad and not something we would think to “cook” for dinner. But a Cobb salad is just as dinner-worthy as any sheet pan supper.

It involves a complexity of flavor, texture, and color that’s usually reserved for tiny plates at fancy restaurants. Even though it’s already great when ordered at your local diner, it’s even better when you make it at home.

And it’s better with corn. You may argue that a salad with so many ingredients does not need one more, but corn just so happens to pair beautifully with every single ingredient on that list. Corn and tomatoes? Obviously. Corn and avocado? I’ve seen guacamole like that. Corn and bacon? That’s the chowder combo of your dreams.

Yes, corn belongs in a Cobb salad.

Cobb salad in a bowl with a fork.

Just a warning, this is not a quick dinner.

It’s a bit of a project that yields big results, big flavors, and all kinds of leftovers. It will probably take you an hour. Prep the bacon, chicken, corn, eggs, and/or dressing in advance if you’d like an easier project.

You can lay all of the toppings in neat rows on a bed of lettuce like a traditional Cobb salad, or you can put everything in separate containers with plastic spoons and let your family run wild.

Cobb salad (with corn) deserves a place in your family’s home dinner rotation- it’s colorful, nostalgic, and never not good.

It really is something to write about.

Corn & Cobb Salad with Spicy Chicken

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Dinner; Lunch; Salad American
By Samantha Serves: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

A classic chicken cobb salad recipe with bacon, avocado, blue cheese, tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs, made even better with grilled corn.

Ingredients

  • For the Spicy Chicken:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 2 lbs total
  • For the Corn & Cobb Salad:
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 8 cups leafy greens (green leaf lettuce, romaine, butter or bibb lettuce)
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta or blue cheese
  • Salad dressing of choice

Instructions

1

Heat the grill for two-zone heat: one side high heat and the other side medium. Place a grill-safe skillet (such as cast iron) on the hotter side of the grill to preheat.

2

Make the spice rub for the chicken: combine the chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, 2 tsp salt, and about 20 cranks of freshly cracked black pepper in a large bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk to combine. Toss the chicken with the spice rub, massaging the spices into the chicken with your hands— it's the only way to evenly season the bird.

3

Place the chicken on the medium heat zone of the grill and cook for 12-15 minutes, flipping every 3 minutes or so, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155-160°F. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes, then slice against the grain into 1/2 inch pieces. Or, chop into 1/2 inch cubes.

4

Meanwhile, add the bacon to the pre-heated skillet on the grill and cook 8-10 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes, until the bacon is cooked and crispy. Using a potholder, take the skillet off the grill and transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Once cooled slightly, tear into bite-sized pieces.

5

Grill the corn until the kernels turn bright yellow and golden-brown or charred in spots, about 10 minutes total, turning every 3-4 minutes. Once cooled slightly, cut the kernels off the cob and transfer to a medium bowl.

6

For one serving, arrange a cup or two of greens in a plate or bowl, followed by one egg, a handful of tomatoes, a spoonful of avocado, a scattering of cheese, a few pieces of chicken, bacon, and a scoop of grilled corn. Season everything with a bit more salt and a lot more black pepper, then drizzle on your dressing of choice.

Notes

I like to serve this with a simple red wine vinaigrette. Here's how you make it: In a mason jar or air-tight container, add 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 small garlic clove, grated, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Close the container and shake it up until everything is well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan
    September 12, 2018 at 9:04 am

    5 stars
    Love, love, love this!! Yummy!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    September 28, 2018 at 10:38 am

    5 stars
    This post inspired me to set up a salad bar at my last dinner party and it was a huge hit! Side note: my guests loved the corn 🙂

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