“Spectacular” Thai-Inspired Dish Wins Grand Prize of $100,000 in the National Chicken Cooking Contest

A “spectacular” dish combining boneless chicken breasts with jasmine rice, shredded coconut and a crunchy Thai-style slaw took first place and the grand prize of $100,000 in the 47th National Chicken Cooking Contest here Friday.
Michelle Anderson, a training analyst from Eagle, Idaho, created the dish—”Thai-Inspired Stuffed Chicken Breast and Slaw” — and prepared it for a panel of food writers and editors in a competition involving a contestant from every state in the Union and the District of Columbia.

“The dish looked spectacular and tasted delicious,” said Nancy Dell&squo;Aria, food editor of Woman&squo;s Day magazine and chairman of the panel of media judges. “It had several different textures and a delightful crunch. We knew it was a contender from the first bite.”

The contest is sponsored by the National Chicken Council and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, with the Alabama Poultry & Egg Association serving as local host. Elise Durbin, secretary-treasurer of the Marshall Durbin Companies of Birmingham, is chairman of the Contest.

Ms. Anderson learned to cook as a teenager as the short-order cook at a family-owned restaurant and as the cook at a dude ranch during the summer. She has a broad range of culinary interests.

“I especially enjoy Thai cuisine and wanted to create a recipe inspired by the flavors found in Thai cooking,” Ms. Anderson said. Her dish also incorporates Thai chili sauce, coconut milk, and peanuts.

Taking second place and a prize of $10,000 was Sally Sibthorpe of Shelby Township, Michigan, a technical writer for General Motors, with her “Warm Chicken Black Bean Salad with Mango Dressing,” which Ms. Dell&squo;Aria said was a “delicious dish that will appeal to the whole family.” Third place and $5,000 went to Susan Scarborough of Fernandina Beach, Florida, an artist who works in oil paint and made “Pecan Chicken Sticks with Collard Couscous.”

Fourth place and $2,000 was awarded to Susan Cortesi of Northbrook, Illinois, a human resources and training manager, for her “Chicken Paillards with Asian Salad.” Winning fifth place and $1,000 was Jennifer White of Columbus, Ohio, who works as a barista at a coffee shop and created “Zesty Ginger Beer BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.”

All of the recipes are posted to the web site www.chickencookingcontest.com.

The National Chicken Cooking Contest is the oldest continuously operated cooking competition in the nation, dating back to 1949.

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