Layered Cobb Salad

Posted: Updated:

Dressing:
   3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
   1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
   2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
   1 small garlic clove, minced
   1/2 teaspoon salt
   1/2 teaspoon sugar
   1/4 teaspoon black pepper
   1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together all dressing ingredients except oil in a bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.

Salad:
   3 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (1 1/4 pounds)
   2 California avocados
   1 head romaine, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide slices (8 cups)
   6 bacon slices, cooked until crisp, drained, and finely chopped
   3 medium tomatoes (3/4 pound), seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
   2 to 3 oz Roquefort, crumbled (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
   2 bunches watercress, coarse stems discarded
   2 hard-boiled large eggs, halved and forced through a coarse sieve
   1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

Put chicken breasts in lightly buttered skillet. Cover tightly with foil and then with a lid.  Turn the heat on high and as soon as you hear a sizzle (about 1 minute), turn the heat as low as possible.  Cook for fifteen minutes, turn off the heat and allow the chicken to cool in the pan. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Halve, pit, and peel avocados, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Spread romaine over bottom of a 6- to 8-quart glass bowl and top with an even layer of chicken. Sprinkle bacon over chicken, then continue layering with tomatoes, cheese (to taste), avocados, watercress, eggs, and chives.

Just before serving, pour dressing over salad and toss.