Earlier this summer, I made what I thought was just a dinner salad that turned out to be my new favorite dinner salad of all time and it was literally all I could talk about for the next few weeks. Incessantly. Insufferably. I didn’t even wait to ask if you’re into buffalo wings (of course you are), cobb salads (you could be, I can just tell) or looking for a dinner idea. It’s just not who I am.
Perhaps even less surprising was realizing I have very strong opinions about how to adapt the idea of buffalo wings to things that are not buffalo wings, which means I’m about to break down my favorite parts of all this:
* The lightness: I find buffalo wings to be as unheavy as fried chicken wings dipped in a buttery hot sauce and then dipped again in a blue cheese ranch dressing can be. It’s because they’re not breaded; the crisp is from the skin itself. For the purposes of this salad, you could definitely use a crispy breaded chicken cutlet if you’d like, however, I was completely happy with grilled chicken thighs.
* The dressing two-fer: Buffalo sauce is a buttery hot sauce mixture that’s piercing and thin. The creamy dressing is ranch-like and thicker. For me, the interplay of these two textures and flavors is everything, so this salad had to have two “dressings,” vs. just mixing them together.
* The blue cheese-less blue cheese: I adore blue cheese dressing but my weird take on it is that I prefer the blue cheese outside the dressing. If not, I end up having a eating-the-whole-pint-of-ice-cream-just-to-dig-for-the-cookie-dough-nuggets experience with it, which I insist is a universal one. Sprinkling blue cheese over allows every bite to have some without smothering everything in any more dressing than I crave.
* Everything else: Carrots and celery are essential when it comes to buffalo wings, in my opinion, not just plate garnishes. From there, I added more chunky vegetables — cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, diced red onion — that work well with these flavors and just enough leafy greens to fill it out.
* Salad bar-style: I serve everything unassembled, because it allows everyone at the table to make their salad with the ingredient balance of their dreams, including those that don’t want chicken, or blue cheese (more for me!), or even buffalo sauce. Plus, the leftovers keep fantastically — dressings in their own jars, lettuce in a bag, vegetables in a container — since they’re unmixed.
Do I … overthink these things a little or do I obsess exactly enough? I hope you’ll try it and find out.
6 months ago: Pasta with Longer-Cooked Broccoli
1 year ago: Buttered Noodles for Frances
2 years ago: Deviled Eggs
3 years ago: Pasta with Pesto Genovese
4 years ago: Frozen Watermelon Mojitos
5 years ago: Corn Fritters and Bourbon Peach Smash
6 years ago: Hummus Heaped with Tomatoes and Cucumbers
7 years ago: Corn, Bacon and Parmesan Pasta
8 years ago: Tomato and Fried Provolone Sandwich
9 years ago: Easiest Fridge Dill Pickles and Grilled Peach Splits
1- years ago: One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes and Hot Fudge Sundae Cake
11 years ago: Bacon Corn Hash
12 years ago: Whole Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones
13 years ago: Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint, Thai-Style Chicken Legs, Peach Blueberry Cobbler, and Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons
14 years ago: Light Brioche Burger Buns, Blueberry Boy Bait, and Lemony Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza
15 years ago: Chocolate Sorbet
16 years ago: Double Chocolate Layer Cake
Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- Juice of half a lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Many grinds of black pepper
- 1/4 cup minced fresh chives, divided
- 6 tablespoons hot sauce, ideally Franks
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 6 to 6 1/2 cups diced fresh vegetables, such as celery, carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes
- 1 cup diced red onion (from 1 small)
- 4 to 6 ounces diced blue cheese, such as a Danish blue
- 4 to 5 ounces romaine or baby gem lettuce, sliced or torn
- 1 pound boneless chicken thighs, grilled and sliced, ideally still warm
Salad and assembly
- Make creamy dressing: Whisk everything to combine and add half (2 tablespoons) of the minced chives. Taste and adjust ingredients such as salt and pepper as needed.
- You could definitely omit the chicken here and still have an amazing salad. Diced firm tofu would be great, too, or you could grill it in strips.
- Use any vegetables you like here, but if you’re curious, I used 1.5 cups celery (from 2 large ribs), 1.5 cups carrots (from 3 slim carrots, about 6 ounces total), 1 cup yellow pepper (from 1 large), 1.5 cups cucumber (from 1.5 Persian/small cucumbers, about 5 ounces), and 1 cup diced tomatoes (from larger cherry tomatoes).
Make buffalo sauce: Whisk butter and hot sauce to combine and set aside.
To serve: Arrange vegetables, onion, and blue cheese on a large platter. Place lettuce in a large bowl. I like to keep the chicken separate just in case someone doesn’t eat it.
To assemble: Place some lettuce on plate, followed by chicken. Add all of the vegetables, onion, and cheese you like then drizzle with creamy dressing, followed by buffalo sauce. Garnish with remaining chives.