By Allen Pierleoni
Do you have a favorite original recipe for a special chicken dish? Enter it in the second annual Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest and you could win $100, $1,000 or $10,000 and a year's supply of fowl.
"The recipe should be inspired by fresh, local ingredients," said Foster Farms spokesman Ira Brill. "Our contest is a celebration of the West Coast bounty of fresh produce and foods we are lucky to have at our fingertips."
The competition is open to "home, amateur and professional chefs" in California, Oregon and Washington. Entry deadline is May 31.
Foster Farms will host regional semifinals in San Diego, Portland and Seattle in August, with the final cookoff set for Sept. 30 at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, during National Chicken Month.
More details: Fifteen semifinalists - five from each state - will receive $100 and compete in regional competitions in Seattle, Portland and San Diego. Six regional winners - two from each state - will receive $1,000. Those six will attend the finals in St. Helena and compete for the grand prize.
Go to www.fosterfarms.com/cookingcontest for rules and entry forms. Or e-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org, or snail-mail them to Foster Farms Cooking Contest, P.O. Box 306, Livingston, CA 95334.
Call The Bee's Allen Pierleoni at (916) 321-1128.
Meanwhile, try the winning recipe from last year's contest, from Alexandria Boswell of La Jolla:
Spinach-stuffed chicken breasts
4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 bag (10 ounces) spinach leaves
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In large skillet over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add onions to skillet and sautÃ© until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add spinach to skillet, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook until spinach is wilted. Transfer onion and spinach to large bowl. Add dill, feta cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, salt and pepper to bowl; mix well to combine.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place eggs in a small bowl, and panko in a pie plate. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
Using a sharp knife, slit each chicken breast along the long side, cutting only about three-quarters of the way through. Divide spinach mixture into four sections and stuff each breast with a portion of the mixture. Dip breasts first in egg mixture and then in panko to coat. Place chicken on prepared pan and lightly coat chicken with olive oil cooking spray. Place in hot oven and cook 45 minutes or until chicken is done.