As someone who likes to eat whole, real foods, I feel less bad when ordering this salad as opposed my traditional fast food restaurant go-to: French fries… though I know in the back of my mind that the dish probably isn’t as good for me as I think it is.
So when I had a hankering for my favorite fast food salad the first week in January, I decided it was high time that I learned to make it for myself.
After all, nothing beats a homemade salad.
I had most of the ingredients I loved from the dish in the fridge already, so I decided to bake some chicken tenderloins with a panko breadcrumb crust, adding a crunch in their texture.
I chopped greens and various other vegetables and threw them into the bowl.
I added a sprinkling of cheese to the veggies.
I fried up a little bacon for good measure, too. Then I hardboiled some eggs.
I even topped it off with some sliced avocado. While it’s not a traditional Cobb Salad topping, it was just delightful. (Also, AVOCADO. So good.)
My mother, who was in town while this salad was being made, and I ate like queens that day… and I’ve been making a small rendition of this salad ever since because it’s the perfect lunchtime dish that simple to make, delicious and chock full of veggies.
Here’s how you can make your own:
- For the Chicken
- ¾ lb. chicken tenderloins
- 1 egg, beaten.
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- For the Salad
- 12 oz. romaine lettuce heads, chopped
- 7 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup sharp cheddar, shredded
- 4 hardboiled eggs, sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing
- To make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Break the egg into a bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the panko breadcrumbs into another bowl.
- Dip the chicken into the egg wash mixture, then transfer to the panko, moving around until coated in the breadcrumbs.
- Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat until all the chicken tenderloins are coated.
- Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and once cooled, slice up and set aside.
- To make the salad: In a skillet over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until cooked to your level of liking. Remove from the heat, pat dry and let cool, then crumble and set aside.
- Hardboil the eggs. Once cooked, remove the shells, slice and set aside.
- Chop the romaine into bite-sized pieces, and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Chop the green onions, and sprinkle on top of the romaine.
- Wash the cherry tomatoes (if you haven't already), then sprinkle on top of the salad.
- Sprinkle the hardboiled eggs, bacon and panko-crusted chicken on top of the ingredients.
- Slice an avocado and top the salad with this.
- Serve individually, and let each person drizzle the amount of salad dressing they want on top of their salad. (Or dress the salad and then serve immediately.)
Have you ever taken it upon yourself to make something you loved from a restaurant at home?
How did it turn out?