From east to west, finalists came to win the 27th Annual Chicken Cooking Contest
By Marie Ryckman, Enquirer Food Editor
They all crossed the Delaware and invaded Civic Center here with pots and pans, seasonings, condiments, fruits, eggs, four, flavor enhancer, salad oil and more than 100 chickens. They came to conquer — and five of them did.
The 27th Annual Chicken Cooking Contest finals, July 12 to 15, saw 50 state champions and one from the District of Columbia clucking around an equal number of ranges in the huge center, filling the hall with tantalizing aromas as they fried, baked or broiled their contest entries. Forty-four women and seven men all turned out gourmet dishes in which broiler-fryer chickens were king. [See more vintage chicken recipes here.]
And who won the top $10,000 prize? The 29-year-old industrial chemical salesman with Union Carbide, who poked around in his wife’s Junior League cookbook, and, when his wife was not at home, fixed the dish to his liking, substituting chicken for beef, and altering the ingredients a bit. His wife, a home economics teacher, later sent his improved recipe in as an entry to the contest, putting it in his name. She entered a recipe of her own, too, but it did not get into the state finals.
Thomas C. Parvis of Upper Montclair, New Jersey, says. “I don’t cook a lot. but I do some. We’re a team. you know. My wife helps me mow the lawn. and I help her with the cooking. Boy! Is this ever great!”
Rose Chang Alexander, a health inspector tor the San Francisco Public Health Department, took second prize and $4000 with her entry, Fried Ginger Chicken Thighs. “My dish,” she said. originated at a New Year’s party at the Chinese Embassy in Paris. I modified it for this contest.”
The third prize of $3000 went to Ella Marie Malloy of Vancouver, Washington, a secretary and wife of a longshoreman. Her entry was Pickled Pepper Chicken. Lauralee A. Fugazzi. a red-haired artist from Denver, Colorado, picked off the fourth prize and $2000 with her Spinach Souffle. Nancy Ann Thompson of Bangor, Maine, wife of a retired Air Force colonel who is now a hospital administrator, won fifth prize and $1000 with a beautiful dish called Chicken Maharani.
The awards were presented at a banquet Wednesday evening in the ballroom of the Hilton Hotel, following a lively concert by the famed Philadelphia Mummers. The National Chicken Cooking Contest is sponsored by The National Broiler Council and the makers of Accent and Mazola corn oil.
Note: “Flavor-enhancer,” called for in contest recipes, is the generic name for Accent. [Primarily contains Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), as well as salt and some spices.)
FIRST PRIZE: SUNSHINE CHICKEN RECIPE
6 broiler-fryer chicken thighs 6 broiler-fryer chicken drumsticks 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon basil 1 teaspoon flavor enhancer 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup catsup 1/4 cup honey 1/4 cup corn oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 recipe Poached Oranges
Sprinkle chicken with salt, basil, flavor enhancer and ground pepper. In a bowl, mix together sauce, catchup, honey, corn oil and garlic. Place chicken in single layer skin side up in shallow baking pan Baste with sauce. Bake in 350 degree oven, uncovered, basting frequently, about 1 hour or until fork can be inserted with ease. Garnish with Poached Oranges. Remaining basting sauce should be mixed with sauce from Poached Oranges (recipe below) and served in a separate bowl. Garnish with watercress. Makes 8 servings.
POACHED ORANGES RECIPE, FOR SUNSHINE CHICKEN
3/4 cup water 1-1/2 cups sugar 3 tablespoons slivered orange rind 6 navel oranges, peeled, removing white membrane, cut in wedges 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
In a saucepan, mix water, sugar and orange rind over medium heat. Cook until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Place orange wedges in syrup. Reduce heat and cook on low about 3 minutes, or until they are warm. Remove from heat; add liqueur and chill.
SECOND PRIZE: FRIED GINGER GINGER THIGHS RECIPE
12 broiler-fryer chicken thighs 6 tablespoons dry vermouth 6 tablespoons soy sauce 6 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon flavor enhancer 1/4 cup corn oil 6 slices ginger, 1/4-inch thick, 1-inch wide and 1-1/2 inches long 1 stalk scallion, cut 2 inches long and shredded
Mix together vermouth, soy sauce, sugar and flavor enhancer. Heat corn oil in large fry pan over medium heat. Add chicken, skin side down. Add ginger and brown chicken on all sides. Remove oil from fry pan leaving only 2 tablespoons. Pour seasoning mixture over chicken. Cover and cook about 7 minutes or until sauce is thickened and fork can be inserted in chicken with ease. Stir and mix well. Remove ginger. Sprinkle shredded scallion over chicken. Makes 6 servings.
THIRD PRIZE: PICKLED PEPPER CHICKEN RECIPE
1 broiler-fryer chicken, cut in parts 1 teaspoon flavor enhancer 1/3 cup flour 1/4 cup corn oil 1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce 1 jar (16 ounces) sweet cherry peppers, drained, liquid reserved 1/4 cup liquid from peppers 1/2 cup sherry
Sprinkle chicken with flavor enhancer. Coat with flavor. Heat corn oil in fry pan over medium heat. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Add chili sauce, liquid from peppers and sherry. Cover; simmer 45 minutes or until a fork can be inserted with ease. Remove chicken to serving dish. Distribute peppers attractively over and around chicken. Reheat sauce and pour over chicken. Makes 4 servings.
1 broiler-fryer chicken, cut in parts 1-1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 1/2 cup corn oil 1 package (6 ounces) mild Cheddar cheese, shredded 1/4 pound butter 2 tablespoons snipped chives 1-1/2 cups warmed buttermilk 1/4 cup hot water 2 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed 1 teaspoon flavor enhancer 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, pressed dry 4 eggs, slightly beaten 6 regular slices day-old bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Heat corn oil in fry pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook about 30 minutes or until fork can be inserted with ease. Cool, remove from bones, cut in cubes. (There should be 2 cups.) In double broiler top over boiling water, melt cheese and butter. Add chives, buttermilk, hot water, chicken bouillon cubes, flavor enhancer, garlic salt, remaining Vs teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, spinach and eggs. Stir to blend. Place bread cubes and chicken in medium size greased casserole. Pour on sauce mixture and mix lightly. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Bake in 350 degree oven, in pan of water, (uncovered) about 1-1/4 hours. (This is not a puffed-up souffle.) Makes 6 servings.
FIFTH PRIZE: CHICKEN MAHARANI RECIPE
4 whole broiler-fryer chicken breasts, halved, skinned, boned, flattened to 1/4 inch thickness 2 teaspoons flavor enhancer 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups) 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup corn oil 1 jar (10 ounces) chutney
Sprinkle chicken with flavor enhancer, salt and pepper. Beat cheeses in mixer until light. Refrigerate until firm. Smooth out chicken on board. Place portion of cheese mixture in center of each piece of chicken, leaving a 1/2-inch edge all around. Roll up each breast, tucking in ends; secure with food picks. Place in baking pan. Brush on all sides with corn oil. Bake in a 300 degree oven, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. Remove picks. Spoon chutney over chicken and continue cooking about 20 minutes or until fork can be inserted with ease and sauce is warm. Serve on rice. Garnish with parsley. Makes 8 servings.