I. HATE. Leftovers.
With the burning passion of one thousand flaming suns.
Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Some things get better the day after, like beef stew, or chili, you know, something where the flavours get even more time to marinate and mingle.
Everything else though? Not the same. I usually end up feeding leftovers to Mr. Nomato in his lunches and end up making a sandwich instead. Do I feel guilty about not liking leftovers? Yes. Should I suck it up and eat them? Yes. But that doesn’t mean I am happy about it.
That’s where this salad comes in. It is the perfect leftover chicken salad. On nights after I roast a chicken, or have leftover lemon garlic chicken, this is my go-to. I call it Cobb’ish’ because… well, I’ve made a few changes. Namely the obvious lack of tomatoes (begone!), and my go-to homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Cobb salad purists would be shocked! They can go climb a tree.
The best part is, I can cook everything I need and chop it all up, toss ’em all in some air-tight containers and just put it all together when I need it. That is my salad strategy.
First, we need bacon. Of course. I find the crispier the better, so that even when I make a salad three days after I’ve cooked the bacon, it’s still crispy. Stick it in the pan and cook it, flipping occasionally to make sure it all cooks evenly.
Mmmmm crispy bacon….
Next, the boiled eggs. You can store hard-boiled egg in its shell in the fridge for about a week, so I make them all in one batch. Put all your eggs in a pot and fill the water so it’s at least an inch above them. Bring those babies to a boil and then take ’em off the heat. Pour out the water, add cold water and let sit for a few minutes so you don’t burn your fingers!
And what salad would be complete without an avocado? They’re the best. For serious, I’m on a very dangerous avocado kick. These will add an amazing creaminess (is that word?) to your salad. Plus all those healthy fats…
Now our other toppings: chicken, chopped celery, green onion and cucumbers to replace the tomatoes.
For chicken, I’m using leftovers from my Easy Lemon Garlic Chicken Marinade, but you could also used leftover roast chicken.
I’m also going against the Cobb Salad grain by using baby spinach instead of lettuce, which I do for the vast majority of my salads. Spinach is packed full of vitamin A, and it’s just so much more nutritious than lettuce (and more delicious), it’s hard for me to justify buying lettuce when I can get more vitamins with spinach instead!
Sprinkle that bacon!
That looks, as we say down home, ‘right some good’.
For a dressing, I never buy salad dressing from the store. It’s too risky – always has some sort of unknown ‘spice’ or ‘flavour’ in it, so instead I like to use an olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. No, I do not pour it on everything…. no….
To make it even more Cobb Salad-y, you can sprinkle blue cheese as well. I wanted to save some of the calories, so I didn’t add any to this, but please feel free to give ‘er a go.
- 1 cup baby spinach or lettuce
- 1 hard-boiled egg , sliced or crumbled
- 2 slices bacon , cooked until crispy
- ½ cup each sliced celery and cucumber
- ¼ cup green onions or chives
- 1 avocado
- 1 chicken breast (I recommend using leftovers from Roasted Chicken or Easy Lemon Garlic, this is a great way to use any extras!)
- Preferred Vinaigrette:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- dash of oregano , salt, and pepper
- OPTIONAL: ¼ cup blue cheese
Cook bacon in a skillet until crispy, flipping to make sure both sides are even cooked, then remove and drain
Place eggs in a pot, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil on the stove, and then covering them and removing them from the heat. Drain the hot water and replace with cold water from the tap, letting them cool for a few minutes. You can then use immediately or they will keep in their shells in the fridge for about a week.
Slice up the chicken, avocado, cucumber, celery and green onions, keeping the pieces small and easily bite-sized.
Place spinach on a plate, and then arrange all of your toppings on top. You can make it as decorative or as messy as you want!
Top with your homemade balsamic vinaigrette!
Everything can be made and chopped ahead of time and stored in air-tight containers, then used as needed.