2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup hickory wood chips
1/3 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
4 cups baby spinach
4 cups romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup diced peeled avocado
2 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 hard-cooked large eggs, chilled and quartered lengthwise
1.5 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
How to Make It
To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients in a mini food processor; process until smooth.
To prepare salad, cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 6 minutes on each side or until done. Cool slightly; shred with 2 forks.
Pierce 10 holes on one side of the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch disposable aluminum foil pan. Place holes over element on cooktop; place wood chips over holes inside pan. Place a shallow ovenproof bowl on opposite end of pan. Add chicken and stock to bowl. Heat element under holes to medium-high; let stand 1 minute or until chips begin to smoke. Carefully cover pan with foil. Reduce heat to low; smoke chicken 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain.
Combine spinach, romaine, and basil in a large bowl; toss. Arrange 2 cups spinach mixture on each of 4 plates. Divide bacon, chicken, 1/3 cup avocado, tomatoes, eggs, and cheese evenly among plates. Drizzle about 3 tablespoons dressing over each salad.
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DH and I really enjoyed this salad. Very filling. I didn't bother with the smoking part. And I chopped the chicken vs. shredding it to save time. Also, we used the entire avocado. DD wouldn't go for the blue cheese but some shredded cheddar or jack is an easy sub.
My husband and I have been searching for different salads to eat during these hot summer months. He prepared the chicken on the stove top, not smoked. We both enjoyed it immensely. It was so full of flavor. I can see how the smoke chicken could get dominated by the blue cheese and bacon, but even though we didn't smoke our chicken, it was great. We will definitely add this to our salad recipes!!
I made this salad for dinner last night and my whole family devoured it. I thought smoking the chicken sounded too complicated for a weeknight meal, so I cooked the chicken, and the bacon (I bought thick sliced from the meat counter) outside on the grill and that provided that extra flavor. My husband and I enjoyed the blue cheese, but I put on feta for my kids who haven't developed an appreciation for blue, yet. I was skeptical about the dressing, but everyone liked it. It is very thick, so I thinned out with a little extra water. And, I grated some of the lemon zest into the dressing for added zing. It was a nice recipe to put in the first of our heirloom tomatoes from the garden. I'll definitely make it again.
This recipe gets a lot of points for the sheer fact that the "smoking" of the chicken worked out on the stove top; which both my husband and I thought was really cool. Unfortunately, the smoked chicken (though delicious by itself) was masked by all the other heavy hitting flavors in this dish (i.e. - avocado, bacon, blue cheese) once placed on the plates. It was a lot of effort for an "okay" dish, so it's honest to say we won't be making again. I will keep in mind the strategy / method for smoking the chicken indoors in 10 minutes for sure though and let it be the star of the dish next time instead of muddled in this salad. At the end of the effort, it was a good cobb salad, but a cobb salad that wasn't anything special...
A great salad recipe. I skipped all of the details with preparing the chicken breasts and just grilled a couple of breasts with our favorite spices. I used turkey bacon. I used goat cheese instead of bleu cheese. The avocado dressing is delightful. Fab dinner!
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