Enter Foster Farm's Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest in order to be a winner
by: submitted photo Sesame Chicken with Chili Dip was entered by Timmy Baker last year in Foster Farm’s Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest.

Our friends at Foster Farms are a little nervous. The deadline for entries in their second annual Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest is May 31, and they haven't seen as many entries from Oregon as they expected.

I assured them we just like to wait until the last minute. So now - with five days left - it's time to pull out the pots and pans and whip up a winner.

Is it worth your while? With a grand prize of $10,000 plus 104 vouchers valued at $10 each that are redeemable for packages of Foster Farms fresh chicken, I think so.

This is how the contest works:

You submit an original recipe using locally grown Foster Farms fresh (raw) chicken. It can be a whole chicken, thighs, breasts, legs or other parts or even ground chicken. They encourage you to use fresh, local and natural ingredients from your state wherever possible. For us that would include a wide range of foods: Just walk through the farmers' market for ideas.

Your recipe must make 4 to 8 servings of chicken and take 1½ hours or less to prepare from start to finish.

Grilling recipes are not allowed and you must be 18 years or older to be eligible.

Judging is based on taste, use of fresh, local and natural ingredients, appearance and appeal, simplicity and originality.

The contest is open to residents of California, Oregon and Washington. A total of 15 semifinalists, five from each state, will be selected and invited to compete in the regional event hosted in their state. Semifinalists must be present at the regional contest in order to be eligible to win.

From the regional level, six finalists (two from each state) will be invited to the final contest in Northern California in September 2011. Finalists must be present at the final contest in order to be eligible to win. But that should be easy, as Foster Farms provides transportation to and from the event as well as a night's lodging.

Semifinalists will receive $100 and the regional finalists will receive $1,000 and a trip to Napa Valley to compete in the final event.

The grand prize winner will be asked to represent Foster Farms in promotional opportunities.

What do you have to lose? Nothing more than revealing the secret ingredient that makes Aunt JoAnn's fried chicken so darn delicious! And you can relax about that, because even if the public knows all the ingredients she uses, they still won't make it just like she does. The family secret will still be safe.

Oregonians have a wealth of ingredients available with which to cook. Consider using mushrooms, hazelnuts, berries, apples, peaches, plums, pears, beers, wines, cheeses - you are limited only by your imagination!

Oregon's semifinalist recipes from 2010 were Sesame Chicken with Chili Dip, submitted by Eugene resident Timmy Baker, and Basil Fontina Fondue with Chicken Tenders, submitted by Russell Kool of Hillsboro. I've included their recipes from the Foster Farms' website, .

Notice that even though the list of ingredients is long, the method of preparation is short. I believe we can consider that a big hint: Keep it simple, sweetheart!

That family favorite recipe could be worth $10,000. You'll never know if you don't enter!

Bon Appetit! Experiment and create something wonderful!

Sesame Chicken with

Chili Dip

Serves 4

4 Foster Farms chicken breast halves, boneless skinless, cut into 1' chunks

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup dark sesame oil

3 tablespoons chopped garlic

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons white sesame seeds

2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

3 teaspoons cornstarch

¾ cup flour

3 tablespoons peanut oil

Dipping sauce:

1 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chili paste with garlic

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

¾ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sugar

1/8 to ½ teaspoon hot sauce

In large bowl, combine rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, chopped garlic and soy sauce. Place chicken in bowl and stir well to coat. Refrigerate for a half hour.

Preheat oven to 400º F.

In medium bowl, combine black and white sesame seeds, cornstarch and flour. Dip marinated chicken into sesame seed mixture, turning to coat well. Pour peanut oil over large baking sheet, using pastry brush to distribute evenly. Place chicken on pan and into oven. Cook 15 minutes, turning once.

While chicken is cooking, prepare dipping sauce by combining in medium bowl rice wine vinegar, chili paste with garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, mayonnaise, sugar and hot sauce. Stir well to combine.

Basil Fontina Fondue Chicken Tenders


2 pounds Foster Farms chicken tenders

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup flour

¼ cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Fontina cheese sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup white wine

¼ cup chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup Fontina cheese, grated

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon white pepper

¼ cup basil leaves, chopped


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ bulb garlic, peeled and sliced

1 bag (10 ounce) spinach leaves

1 can (15 ounce) corn, drained or 1 ¼ cup fresh corn, if available

½ teaspoon salt

Place eggs in medium bowl. In large plastic sealable bag, place flour, cornmeal, curry powder, thyme, parsley and salt. Dip chicken first in eggs and then place in plastic bag. Seal bag and turn to coat well.

To make cheese sauce, melt butter in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Add white wine and chicken stock; whisk well over medium high heat for 3 minutes. Add cream and cook, whisking, for an additional 7 minutes. Add Fontina cheese, nutmeg and white pepper and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in basil leaves. Lower heat to keep warm.

In large sauté pan, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Place coated chicken tenders in pan and cook about 3 minutes per side, until browned. Remove chicken to plate. Add remaining olive oil to pan and warm over medium heat. Add garlic to pan and sauté 1 minute, until light golden brown. Add spinach, corn and salt; cover and cook until spinach is slightly wilted.

To serve, spoon cheese sauce on plates or platter. Top with spinach corn mixture and then chicken tenders.

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-635-8811 ext, 101 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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