This week was the Foster Farms Washington Regional cooking contest finals. There were over 1,000 entries from Washington cooks and I am sure the job of narrowing it down to 5 was a tedious task!
After the tasty job of sampling the five Washington cooking contest finalists dishes, judges Cynthia Nims, Jamie Peha and I turned in our ballots.
Jamie, myself, and Cynthia just about ready to start our taste testing!
My Food Studios crew cooked up all the dishes
After all the sampling, I want to congratulate both Marci Adelsman of Kent and Monica King of Vancouver! They each won $1,000!
They will now compete at the Finals in person on September 17, 2010, at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in California’s Napa Valley. A $10,000 grand prize and one-year supply of fresh Foster Farms chicken will be awarded to the contest’s grand prize winner.
The two top dishes that are moving on to the finals are Adelsman’s Brown Rice Chicken Salad
and King’s Balsamic Mushroom Chicken with Honey Goat Cheese. The recipes featured fresh Foster Farms chicken and were inspired by local ingredients.
For more than 70 years, Foster Farms has been working closely with more than 40 local, family-owned farms throughout Washington and Oregon to provide chicken to Washington families.
I hope you enjoy the finalist’s recipes as much as I did!
Brown Rice Chicken Salad
Recipe by Marci Adelsman, Kent, WA
Kathy’s Note: The colorful and tasty salad needs a snazzy name. Don’t let the plain name fool you – the salad is chock full of flavor and color!
This recipe makes about 8 – 10 cups and would serve 6 or more .
1 1/4 pounds Foster Farms chicken tenders
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbls apple cider vinegar
2 Tbls honey
2 Tbls Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
In medium size skillet over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, add to pan and sauté 4 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. When chicken is cooled, dice into 3/4” cubes.
In large serving bowl, combine brown rice, celery, red onion, green onion, red bell pepper, almonds, Parmesan cheese, cranberries, basil and parsley. Stir well to combine. In small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar, honey and mustard. Stir well to blend. Add chicken to rice mixture. Slowly add dressing to cover, tossing to coat well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss again to combine.
Balsamic Mushroom Chicken with Honey Goat Cheese
Recipe by Monica King, Vancouver, WA
Kathy’s note: An easy but elegant recipe for entertaining. This would be lovely made with wild chanterelle mushrooms this fall when they are in season.
6 Foster Farms chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbls butter
1/2 cup goat cheese (4 oz package)
1 tsp honey
2 Tbls canola oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
In large skillet over medium-high heat, warm canola oil. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and sauté, stirring, until mushrooms have given up liquid, about 7 minutes. Remove mushrooms from skillet and place in medium bowl. Add thyme, stir and cover with foil to keep warm.
Prepare chicken by warming canola oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Place in pan and cook, turning, about 7 minutes per side, or until done throughout. Remove from pan and place on plate; cover with foil to keep warm.
Lower temperature on stove to medium-low. Add balsamic vinegar to the same skillet; deglaze pan, scraping up all browned bits. Reduce heat to low and cook until vinegar reduces, about 3 minutes. Stir in butter. Pour glaze through a strainer and into small bowl. Break up goat cheese into small crumbles, add honey and stir to combine.
To serve, place chicken breasts on platter and top with mushrooms. Drizzle balsamic glaze over chicken and add honey goat cheese crumbles on top of mushrooms.
Check out all the finalist recipes from Washington, Oregon and California at Foster Farms Cooking Contest.