Summer Chipotle Chicken Cobb Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

 
Summer Chipolte Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Have you started the countdown to when pumpkin spice and everything nice is acceptable? Or are you hanging on to every last bit of summer while you can? I was in TJ Maxx the other day and they already had Halloween decorations for sale… So I guess technically anything goes these days in our consumer world. Since when do the holidays not have any boundaries? Everything starts months in advanced. I don’t know about you, but I strongly dislike it. I am adamant about no Christmas music, decorations or eggnog before December 1st. I feel that each holiday has its month and that is good enough. Perhaps I am a scrooge. Or perhaps not. But anyway, let’s get on to this salad.

Summer Chipolte Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
Summer Chipolte Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

As much as I am ready for all things Fall related, I am still hanging on to the summer bounty. I mean really, my poor, measly tomatoes haven’t even ripened yet. But I don’t want to talk about the status of my garden. It’s sad and embarrassing. Moving on. This salad brings all the summer lovin’ together in one, big ol’ salad. We’re talking fresh corn, sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, crunchy lettuce, moist chicken, and BACON! Sorry, I can’t help but use caps when I talk about bacon. I generally exclaim bacon in a much louder voice than necessary when I talk about it in person. Oh, and we can’t forget about the tangy cilantro vinaigrette with all the fresh herbs. Hell to the yeah. This is like the ultimate summer salad that you want to eat over and over again until all the fresh corn is gone from the farmers market or supermarket. Because why not? This is beyond fabulous. Okay, I think you get the point now. Go make this, share it with your friends for those end of summer get togethers, or make it for yourself for the week. You’ll be looking forward to lunch every single day.

 
Summer Chipolte Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Summer Chipotle Chicken Cobb Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Yield: 5-7 servings

For the chipotle chicken marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders

For the cilantro vinaigrette

  • 2 cups packed fresh cilantro

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more if necessary

  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

For the salad

  • 5-6 cups spinach

  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled or chopped

  • 3/4 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered

  • 2-3 ears corn on the cob, shucked and kernels removed

  • 2 ripe avocados, cut in half, pitted, chopped

Directions

To make the chicken marinade, place all the ingredients, except the chicken, in a large bowl. Whisk until combined. Toss in the chicken, until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Place all the ingredients in a food processor, blender or use an immersion blender. Process until completely smooth. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Once the chicken has marinated, preheat the grill, or a grill pan. Place the chicken on the grill and grill until completely cooked through, flipping half way through cooking, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then slice into bite sized pieces.

Once the chicken is done, prepare the salad. In a large bowl, or individual serving bowls, arrange the spinach, then top with the bacon, corn, strawberries, avocado* and chicken. Toss with the cilantro vinaigrette and serve immediately.

*If you want to make this for your lunch all week, do not assemble until ready to eat, storing ingredients separately. Also, don’t slice the avocado until ready to eat.

Source: Adapted from Pinch of Yum