I make this epic Cobb salad for myself when I'm feeling a little extra, hungry but not quite able to pick out exactly what I want to eat among the various food groups. It's of great comfort to me, then, knowing that I don't have to pick; I can have the chicken, the eggs, and the bacon. Better yet, each will be perfectly cooked and balanced and deliberately composed in relation to the rest. Cobb salad is exactly what I want to eat when I want to eat absolutely everything. —Eric Kim
Starting from a cold, oven-safe pan over medium heat, cook the bacon, 8 to 10 minutes, or until crispy on both sides. Remove and set aside.
Season the chicken thigh with salt and pepper on both sides, then sear, skin-side down, in the bacon fat, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn chicken over, transfer pan to the oven, and roast for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly, then carve into bite-size pieces.
Lay the radicchio in one even layer on the largest plate you’ve got. Sprinkle over the malt vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. (Sometimes I do a pinch of sugar to offset the bitterness.)
Assemble the salad: In six color-blocked compartments over the radicchio, arrange the bacon, chicken, blue cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and egg so the plate is bulging with FOOD. Season the tomatoes, avocado, and egg with salt and pepper, then garnish the entire plate with chives.
Eric Kim is a senior editor at Food52, where his solo dining column, Table for One, runs Friday mornings. Formerly the managing editor at Food Network and a PhD candidate in literature at Columbia University, he writes about food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho.