Grilled Chicken with Cobb Salad
4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (8 ounces each)
1 small sweet onion ~ thinly sliced
¾ cup buttermilk
2 cloves of garlic ~ chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
3 hearts of romaine lettuce ~ chopped
2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered vertically
12 strips best-quality smoky bacon, cooked until crisp, blotted on paper towels, and crumbled
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup Roquefort crumbled blue cheese
2 avocados, cut into ½-inch cubes (at the last minute so they don't discolor)
¼ cup finely minced chives
French Dressing (see recipe below)
For French Dressing:
Makes approximately 2 cups
½ cup red-wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon sugar
Juice of ½ lemon, freshly squeezed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the chicken:
Pound the chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap with a mallet until ½ inch thick. Transfer to a large bowl and add the onion, ¾ cup buttermilk, the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high. Lightly brush with vegetable oil. Drain the chicken and onion, discarding the garlic; pat the chicken dry. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken, turning once, until just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Grill the onion, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred, about 10 minutes; roughly chop.
To assemble the salad:
Place the chopped romaine in a large shallow salad bowl. Arrange cherry tomatoes, chicken, bacon, eggs, cheese and freshly diced avocados in mounds, attractively spaced, on top of the greens. You may want to divide each ingredient into two smaller mounds, but the final result should be visually pleasing.
Sprinkle chives over entire platter.
When ready to eat, present salad at the table, and toss with enough dressing to moisten and flavor. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
For the French Dressing:
Shake all ingredients except oil together in a large jar. Wait at least 15 minutes for sugar and salt to dissolve.
Add oil and shake again. Set aside for at least an hour before using to allow the flavors to marry. Extra dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for at least two weeks.