Chicken cobb salad with bacon bits
Luke Thomas says: "This is my take on the classic American salad. I’ve added some watercress for a bit of a peppery bite and you can use any blue cheese you fancy. It’s great as a starter, but it could easily serve two people for lunch or as a light late-night dinner – which is apparently how it came about in the first place when a chef threw together a load of old leftovers and smothered them in dressing!"

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes


2 eggs
2 vine-ripened tomatoes
2 skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
200g bacon pieces
1 iceberg lettuce, chopped into chunky 2.5cm pieces
1 avocado, peeled, stone removed, cut into small pieces
100g Roquefort cheese, crumbled 
A small bunch of watercress, picked into small pieces 

Red wine vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil 
A pinch of salt and pepper


Place the eggs in a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and then set the timer for 3½ minutes. Remove the eggs and cool in a bowl of cold water. Peel and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the tomatoes for 30 seconds. Cool under cold running water, then peel off and discard the skins. Chop the tomato flesh into small pieces.

Cut the chicken breasts almost through horizontally and open out like a book.

Heat the oil in a griddle pan. When very hot, cook the butterflied chicken on one side for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken over and scatter around the bacon pieces. Cook for another 3 minutes on the other side, until the chicken is cooked through and the bacon has started to colour. Remove from the pan and cut each chicken breast into 6 pieces.

While the chicken and bacon are cooking, mix together the ingredients for the dressing.

In a large serving bowl, mix together the lettuce, tomato and avocado pieces, the crumbled Roquefort cheese and the cooked bacon pieces. Pour over the dressing and mix to coat. Quarter the soft-boiled eggs. Serve the salad scattered with the chicken and watercress and topped with the egg.
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