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Ground chicken burgers accented with cilantro and garlic and served with ginger-flavored mayonnaise won the grand prize and $25,000 for a cooking enthusiast from the Hawaiian island of Maui in the 45th National Chicken Cooking Contest here Friday.
Judges praised the dish by Kristine Snyder of Kihei, Hawaii, — Pacific Rim Chicken Burgers with Ginger Mayonnaise — as a “new twist on an old favorite” for using ground chicken in the burger format. The dish is believed to be the first featuring ground chicken to win the grand prize in the NCCC, a major cooking competition sponsored by the National Chicken Council and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association with Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., (DPI) serving as host.
“I love the Asian influences in our island’s foods, so I experimented by adding some of my favorite ingredients — ginger, cilantro, and garlic — to come up with a refreshing taste in chicken burgers,” Mrs. Snyder said. She is a full-time harpist, playing at weddings and other events and in orchestras, and is an enthusiastic amateur cook.
Mrs. Snyder says she learned to cook from her mother and later formed a cooking club with friends to try new recipes and unusual dishes. In addition to cooking, her hobbies include surfing, skiing in the French Alps, and windsurfing.
Second place and $5,000 went to Jamie Miller of Maple Grove, Minnesota, who prepared Moroccan Chicken and Squash Tangine. Ms. Miller is a wine consultant and cooking enthusiast who was a contestant in the 43rd NCCC in 1999.
Linda Miranda, a banker from Wakefield, Rhode Island, won third place and $3,000 with her Jerk Chicken Thighs on Sweet Potato Pancakes. “Third time’s a charm,” said Mrs. Miranda, who was Rhode Island’s contestant in 1999 and 2001.
Fourth place and $2,000 went to Jean Williams, a retired newspaper food writer from Salt Lake City, Utah, who cooked Citrus Chicken Thighs with Avocado Butter. Fifth place and $1,000 went to Virginia Anthony of Jacksonville, Florida, for her Guava-Sauced Chicken over Beans and Rice.
The NCCC features contestants from each state and the District of Columbia cooking their dishes simultaneously at 51 mini-kitchens under a three-hour time limit. The judges are food writers and editors from newspapers and magazines. Coverage of the contest is available at www.eatchicken.com.
All the winners except Mrs. Miller also won a bonus of $1,000 each for using dark meat predominantly in their recipes.
GE, which provided ranges for the contest, will present Mrs. Snyder with a major new product to be released later this year: a GE Profile oven with innovative “trivection” heating technology. GE will present each of the other winners with an Advantium oven with Speedcook technology.