My favorite hearty chicken salad, loaded with garlic chicken, tomatoes, bacon, and feta. So good, you won’t mind eating your greens!
How is everyone doing after the holidays? Feeling a little heavier, a little slower? Did you have to loosen your belt buckle a notch or two? No? Just me. Okay. That’s fine. December was a glorious, sweet-filled extravaganza, but we’re in January now. It’s time for salads.
Luckily, I have some great ones for you. Monday, I shared how to cook perfect chicken breasts for salads and sandwiches for just this purpose and for the rest of the month of January, we’ll have a new salad recipe every week, each one healthier and more delicious than the last.
We’re starting off with the heaviest of the four, something to ease us into eating our greens. This is my version of a cobb salad, loaded with garlic-marinated chicken and tomatoes, sprinkled with feta and bacon, and served over a bed of crunchy romaine.
I’m not a blue cheese girl, so that’s why feta is subbing in here instead, but feel free to go classic or use whatever cheese you want. Either way, it’s full of flavor, meaty and tangy. It tastes like you are eating something bad for you, but at under 450 calories, it’s very waist-line friendly!
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), pounded thin
- 4 bacon slices
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup (4oz) feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard (dijon or yellow is fine)
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Add the chicken and give it a shake. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes.
- Cook and crumble the bacon or cut into 1/2 inch pieces. My preferred method for cooking bacon is 12-15 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees F. on a foil-covered baking pan.
- Make the vinaigrette by combining dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shaking until well mixed.
- Take chicken directly from marinade to a hot skillet or grill. Cook until done, 5-8 minutes per side and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into strips.
- Put a quarter of the lettuce on each plate and top with the remaining ingredients.
This dressing makes enough for six 2-tablespoon servings.
Nutritional Information (Salad only, no dressing)
Nutritional Information (Dressing, per 2-tablespoon serving)
Dressing Adapted From: Saveur
Small-yield Instructions: This recipe halves cleanly.
Make-ahead Instructions: The dressing will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator, but must come to room temperature and be shaken before serving (the olive oil will solidify in the fridge). Bacon and chicken can be cooked a couple days in advance. Romaine can be cut a couple of days in advance but will lose some of its crispness. Tomatoes should be cut and salad assembled day of.
Freezer Instructions: Extra chicken and bacon can be frozen together in an air-tight container for up to 4 months. Allow to defrost in the refrigerator. Dairy and vegetables with high water content like lettuce and tomatoes shouldn’t be frozen for salad.
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