Holidays may be the time for tradition, but we decided it was time to shake things up! This year we cooked the infamous turducken. In case you aren’t familiar, this is a turkey, duck, and chicken all rolled into one. Sound too good to be true? Honestly, we thought so too!
Let us warn you, this isn’t a task you take on unless you are fully committed to the challenge. Patience is your friend during the time you prepare the infamous turducken.
1. Debone all meat – turkey, chicken, and duck. We did this the day before to save some time. Depending on your expertise, this can take about 45 to 90 minutes.
2. Make stuffing to place in-between each layer of meat. This is the list of ingredients we used, but feel free to put your own spin on this favorite. We also made a double batch for each turkey to ensure we had enough for each layer.
- Stuffing mix of your choice (we used corn bread)
- Chicken Broth (or Vegetable Broth)
- Fresh Parsley
- Fresh Sage
- Minced Garlic
Now for the turducken!
- Season each piece of meat with salt and pepper.
- Lay turkey out flat so it’s ready for the stuffing.
- Pat the first layer of stuffing on the turkey.
- Place chicken thighs on top half of turkey, and chicken breasts on the lower half.
- Pat a second layer of stuffing on top of the turkey-chicken combo.
- Place the duck in the middle of the stuffing layer.
- Add the last layer of stuffing.
- Begin to pull up sides of turkey to secure everything inside with twine or skewers.
- Season outside of turkey – we used paprika, salt, and pepper.
We doubled up and made two turduckens, one was cooked using our CVap® cook and hold while the other was prepared through staging in our CVap cook and hold and then fried in our Collectramatic® pressure fryer.
The turducken prepared in the cook and hold was cooked on high yield at 170 doneness and 4 level browning for 6 hours then held overnight for 8 hours at 150 doneness and 1 level browning.
The staged and fried turducken was staged at 165 and 0 browning over night for 14 hours and then finished in the Collectramatic fryer for 3 minutes.
Roasted turducken – 82% yield
Staged & fried turducken– 84% yield
Get more covers in less time with CVap® Staging – Sous Vide Re-Engineered.
What goes better with warm weather gatherings than chicken wings? There are so many ways to flavor and cook this delicious treat, but when frying them, it feels like it takes forever.
We know that our our CVap Cook & Hold Oven is the workhorse in the kitchen, so we decided to put it to use so we could reduce fry time.
We took raw, fresh, jumbo bone-in chicken wings and advance staged them in the CVap Cook & Hold at 165 + 0 (or 165°F vapor/166°F air in New CVap) until they reached an internal temperature of 160°F. When we dropped them in the Collectramatic® fryer (open fry at 350°F), they were ready to serve in four minutes flat. The chicken was crispy on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside, and it exceeded a finishing temp of 165°F.
The CVap® Staging really came through on these chicken wings! These are easy to prepare for catering, appetizer specials, or any time you just want a batch. You’ll be able to serve them up in minutes, with each batch hot, fresh, and delicious.
Don’t be chicken about using your Collectramatic® fryer to cook fish!
During the Lenten season, Fish Fry Fridays are a welcome and delicious reason to indulge in some fried fish! You already know Collectramatic fryers are unparalleled at frying chicken. But did you know they’re also great for cooking up perfect fried fish? Give this recipe a try, and you’ll see – the proof is in the pudding, or in this case – the beer batter.
Fish Fry Beer Batter
- 1 Cup Enriched Flour
- 12oz beer
- ¼ Cup Corn Starch
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tbs Salt
- 1 Tbs Pepper
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 oz water
Whisk together until well-blended and lump-free.
This batter is delicious with cod, or just about any white fish fillet that tickles your personal taste buds. Whiting, haddock, pollock…you name it, it all fries up great!
- Lightly coat fish fillet with flour.
- Dip fillet into beer batter and cover completely.
- Open fry at 350°F for 6 minutes, or until golden brown. If cooking in an open basket, fillets will usually float to top of basket when done.
- Let fish rest for 2 minutes before serving.
How you serve is up to you. Go Brit and serve with chips, or as I prefer, and serve it on some lovely bread. While many folks are content to slap their fish between a couple of slices of plain old white bread, I prefer to frame it on a nice ciabatta or focaccia, along with fresh lettuce, tomato, and a little homemade tarter sauce. It nourishes the body and is good for the soul!
Uncle Jack Fried Chicken is a Malaysian restaurant chain that uses our Collectramatic pressure fryers to cook fried chicken. Ordinarily they placed the finished chicken in a display warmer for serving. To maximize holding time, they limited the warmer to 35°C (95°F), putting a limit on the amount of time they could hold cooked chicken before it was no longer fit to sell. We suggested they test our CVap holding cabinet, in the hopes of extending their holding time and improving food quality. The test results were exciting!
Holding Cabinet Preparation: The CVap Holding Cabinet was set at food temperature 54°C (129°F) and food texture at + 28°C (82°F). The evaporator was filled with hot water, and the cabinet was allowed to preheat for 45 minutes, to reach full temperature.
12:05pm: Chicken was cooked and removed from the fryer, and put into holding cabinet (15 pieces). Initial taste of chicken: crispy outside, moist inside and meat is very hot to touch and taste.
12:10pm: Cooked rice (wrapped in oil paper) is put into the same holding cabinets with fried chicken. Initial taste of rice: moist, sticky, and fragrant.
13:05pm: (holding 60 minutes)
Chicken was still crispy outside (though very slightly less crisp than when first removed from fryer), moist inside, still hot, and color had not changed. The chicken breading remained crisp.
13:35pm (holding for 90 minutes）
Chicken was still crispy and moist. Color was good. Food retained flavor, with minimal loss of freshness.
13:55pm (holding for 2 hours)
The skin remained crispy, though not as crisp as when it was initially fried. Flavor and moisture were still good. Color had not darkened.
14:00pm (rice held for 2 hours)
Rice was hot and tasted fresh; not dried out at all.
15:35pm (3.5 hour holding time)
Chicken tasted good, skin remained crispy, meat was moist. Although the chicken was not “just cooked” fresh after 3.5 hours, it was still at safe temperature, and appetizing enough to serve.
15:40pm (after holding for 3.5 hours)
Rice was hot, and texture was good.
These photos, taken at different times over the course of testing, give you an idea of the appearance of the food.
Electricity Consumption: 800 watts
Holding Capacity per Cabinet: 13 full size sheet pans, each rack equals one basket (4 heads) chicken, or 338 pieces
CVap Holding Cabinet Test Conclusions
Goals for Future Testing
- Extending the holding time for the chicken without compromising the texture, taste, and food safety.
- Testing other products, (wrapped rice was incorporated).
- Improving staff work flow.
- Staff can pre-prepare chicken during lean hours in preparation for peak hours, thus shortening the waiting time while producing the best tasting fried chicken.
- During lean hours, customers can still savor the taste of freshly fried chicken from the holding cabinet.
- Minimize food shrinkage.
- Minimlize food waste.
- Extension of holding times for other foods is possible, since CVap cabinets are versatile enough to hold both crispy and moist foods.
One Final Note – CVap Technology is great, but it’s not magic.
The very nature of fried foods (crisp outside with moist interior) promotes evaporation. CVap technology is the best available to maximize holding time, but even CVap, using the necessary high differential setting (the difference of food texture setting over the food temperature setting) will eventually lose the battle to maintain food temp and freshness. It’ll hold fresh longer than the competitors, but if the food is crunchy (fried chicken, French fries, etc), it can only be held for so long.
On the other hand, moist foods, such as rice or noodles, are perfect for CVap, and can be held for many hours with no loss of temperature or quality.
The consensus of the Uncle Jack test was that it was possible to lengthen the holding time for chicken. More testing would be needed to perfect the texture, taste and crispiness, to come up with the Uncle Jack Standard Operating Procedure.
Winston Foodservice celebrates the Farm to Table movement. We wanted to share one of our recipes that takes full advantage of locally-available ingredients. The texture of these tartlets were so creamy and silky! What mother wouldn’t want to be treated to this delicious treat?
Savory Basil Goat Cheese Tartlet with Heirloom Tomato and Honey Salsa
- ¾ cup Toasted Panko
- ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Tbsp Melted Butter
Mix all ingredients together, place small amount in bottom of mini muffin pan, and press firmly.
- 33 oz. Capriole Goat Cheese
- 3 Whole Eggs
- 1 Egg White
- ¼ cup Whole Milk
- 1 TBSP Basil Pesto
Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl, until smooth. Pour into each mini muffin pan until ¾ full.
Place in CVap set to 200 + 0 for 5-7 minutes. Remove and cool. Serve warm in CVap set to 130 + 0.
Heirloom Tomato Salsa:
- 4 Heirloom Tomatoes (diced)
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 1 Tbsp Red Sweet Thai Chili Paste
- 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Stir ingredients together, bring to boil, and cool.
Place a spoonful of salsa onto goat cheese tartlet prior to service.
I love food! And I mean all types of food. My absolute favorite style of cuisine is Hispanic – more specifically, Mexican, with its wealth of tradition and depth of flavors. What’s not to like? This year Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby fall back-t0-back on May 5 and 6. Celebrate both with a delicious Mexican recipe.
I have a group of friends I meet every Sunday at our local South of the Border establishment for lunch and a margarita or three (If I’m being honest, the food is decent, but the margaritas are the real draw!). I decided to mix it up and order one of my favorite traditional Mexican dishes: carnitas. They were less than spectacular, and I asked my friend Sergio why he thought they weren’t very good. He replied that too many people really only want fajitas on the hot plate, and this restaurant’s preparation just wasn’t traditional. To be fair, one look around the room proved that he was right. It looked like a sauna with the steam rising from every table. I was a victim of demand.
I wasn’t about to settle for this disappointment, however. Carnitas are a staple of Mexican cuisine and I mean, c’mon, it’s pork! I decided to take matters into my own hands. There are many ways to prepare carnitas, but traditionally it is shoulder meat (or leftover parts of a butchered hog) slow braised for several hours in pork lard confit style. Once the pork has been broken down enough, it is taken out and either pulled apart or cut into cubes. It then goes back into the lard with the heat turned up, and is fried to add texture. There are many twists and variations of this dish, and the part of the country you are in usually defines what ingredients and flavors your carnitas might have. For this recipe, I’m combining the old with the new and adding a splash of CVap®.
- 2 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 2 small bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ orange
- ½ lime
- ½ medium onion
- ½ Mexican beer, preferably dark
- Fresh cilantro
- 2 lbs. lard or cooking oil
In a large vacuum or re-sealable bag, combine all ingredients.
Place bag in CVap Cook/Hold oven at the settings below. Drink the other half of your Mexican beer!
CVap Cook/Hold settings
High Yield Mode: OFF
Time: 8 hours
When the timer goes off, pull the bag out of the CVap oven and separate the pork cubes from the other ingredients.
Heat lard or oil in a fryer or large pot on the stove to 350°F (or medium-high heat). Carefully drop the cubes into the oil and let fry until golden brown, about one minute.
Now comes the tricky part: eat the carnitas! I usually enjoy them over a bed of rice and beans, with a little salsa on top. I also like them in a corn tortilla with diced onions, cilantro, and freshly squeezed lime. Then again, sometimes I just eat them right out of the pot because it’s fried pork and I’m impatient. There is no right or wrong here, just enjoy!
During the AKFCF Annual Convention (USA) show in Austin, Texas, Winston Foodservice received two amazing awards. The Great Lakes KFC Franchisee Association and the Upper Midwest KFC Franchisee Association both awarded Vendor of the Year to Winston. Wow, what a treat! Two Vendor of the Year awards in a single year. I’m tooting our own company’s horn, that is pretty AWESOME! Thank you Great Lakes and Upper Midwest KFC for the partnership! The Winston team is thankful for the partnership and commitment to your business.
The Great Lakes KFC Franchisee Association consists of KFC franchise owners in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, portions of Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
The Upper Midwest KFC Franchisee Association was formed in 1974 and is comprised of owners in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and portions of Illinois.
Winter may be waning, but the popularity of Nashville Hot Chicken sure isn’t. We decided to try our hand at preparing a big batch. It was as good (and hot!) as promised.
Nashville Hot Chicken’s powerful poultry story originated nearly seven decades ago, at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Apparently Thorton Prince was quite the lady’s man. Tiring of his late night escapades, his gal served him up a Sunday breakfast of fried chicken, generously doused in cayenne pepper and other fiery spices. Her revenge backfired – rather than crying out in pain, he loved it, and the inspiration for Nashville Hot Chicken was born. If you’re interested, read the whole story on Prince’s website. Numerous other restaurants and chains, inspired by Prince’s, have put their own twist on this Nashville classic.
We brined in the fridge overnight using a simple 6 % brine. If you want to learn everything you need to know about brining go to our friend’s site Genuine Ideas (browse under their food header). We lightly dusted the chicken with our seasoned flour, and then dipped it in a simple blend of eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce.
Then we tossed lightly again in our breading mix, giving us a light double breaded chicken. Double breading creates a nice robust crunch once the chicken is fried. Properly prepped, it was ready for the Collectramatic fryer.
The chicken was open-fried for 15 minutes at 325°F. It emerged from the fryer a mouth-watering golden brown. After draining excess oil, we painted with the spicy special sauce using a pastry brush. It was as good as we had hoped, delivering a delicious heat that delighted our taste buds while making our faces flush and our brows sweat.
This chicken can be held for two hours in a CVap holding cabinet. After frying, place it directly in a CVap set to 135 +50. Apply the sauce just before serving.
Here’s a pared-down version of the recipe (in case you’re not feeding an army).
Nashville Hot Chicken
- 2 – 3 1/2-4-pound chickens, each cut into ten pieces (breasts halved)
- 1 gallon of 6% brine
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
- 2 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Texas Pete)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika. (You may use your own special flour mix if you’d like).
- Vegetable oil (for frying; about 10 cups) (unless, of course, you have a Collectramatic fryer handy).
- 6 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Whisk flour and remaining 4 teaspoons salt in another large bowl.
- If you’re not using a Collectramatic fryer, fit a Dutch oven with frying thermometer; pour in oil to about two inches depth. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 325°F. Pat chicken dry. Working with one piece at a time, dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess, and then dip in buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl. Dredge again in flour mixture and place on a baking sheet.
- Working in four batches and returning oil to 325°F between batches, fry chicken, turning once after 15 minutes, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thigh pieces registers 185°F and 165F white meat. This usually takes ten more minutes after the turn for a total cook time of 25 minutes. Transfer to a clean wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Let oil cool slightly.
- Whisk cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a medium bowl; carefully whisk in 1 cup hot frying oil or melted lard. Brush fried chicken with spicy oil. Serve with bread and pickles.
Everyone’s fried chicken is the best! Or everyone has a grandmother that made the best fried chicken. I get it; I really do! Everyone has their own techniques, tricks, and superstitions when it comes to making their “famous fried chicken.” Well, my fried chicken is never the same. I do not prefer one technique over another. I am a fan of all styles. I don’t care if its buttermilk fried, Korean fried, or country fried – as long as it’s delicious and crave-able! Below, I have a recipe for a damn good piece of fried chicken. And at the end of the day, I really think that is paramount!
What makes this particular recipe great, besides tasting so good, is the fact that it is less greasy and can be prepared, mostly, ahead of time. Winston’s CVap® is the KEY to all of this. What I have done is reduced the fry time from 12 minutes down to about 3 minutes, resulting in a super moist, less greasy, and crave-able fried chicken. A quick tip: the less time the chicken is in the oil, the less grease the breading will absorb!
CVap Chicken Process
The day I prepared this, I wanted something with Asian flavors. So that’s where my approach came from. Let’s get into the details of the process!
Salt – 1 tablespoon
Sugar – 1 tablespoon
Water – 2 cups
Lemongrass, chopped and pounded – 2 stalks
Star anise, toasted – 4 each
Soy sauce – ¼ cup
Black peppercorns – 1 teaspoon
Ginger, fresh – 1 small knob
Lime juice – 1 tablespoon
Jalapeno, halved – 2 each
Place all the ingredients for the brine in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place a lid on the pot and turn off the heat. Cool to room temperature. Strain and cool in refrigerator until it goes below 40F. Heat the CVap Cook and Hold to 155 F + 0F, Constant Cook On, time of 3 hours.
I prefer thighs and legs of the chicken for my fried chicken so that is what I used. In two freezer bags, I placed six pieces of chicken in each bag and split the brine between the bags. When closing the bags, try and remove as much of the air as possible to ensure that the chicken is making contact with the brine as much as possible. Once your CVap is to temp, load the chicken and press Start. Tip: For older chickens or larger cuts of chicken, increase the cook time to 4 or 5 hours. This will help breakdown the connective tissues and make it much more tender.
As the chicken is cooking, prepare the breading. There is a wet and dry step. For the wet I mixed equal parts buttermilk and coconut milk. The flour, I used bread flour because there is higher protein in bread flour. Higher protein makes for a better crunch!
Buttermilk – 1 cup
Coconut milk – 1 cup
Bread flour – 1 ½ cup
Onion powder – 2 teaspoons
Garlic powder – 1 teaspoon
Salt – 1 teaspoon
When the chicken is close to being done, prepare your pot of oil. You will want to use peanut oil because we will be frying 390F to 400F for this round. Tip: Cover your stove with foil to make cleanup much easier!
Once the chicken is done and you have the oil heating, remove the chicken from the bag and pat it dry with paper towels. When your oil comes to temp, turn down the heat to maintain that temperature and start the breading process. Dip the chicken in the wet mixture first and move to the flour mixture and back to the wet and back to the flour. That’s how you get EXTRA CRISPY. If you do not want extra crispy just go through the process once. You will want to do about four pieces at one time as to not overload the oil and you don’t want the chicken to sit breaded as it gets gummy.
Carefully put the chicken into the oil. When it is in, increase your heat on the oil to bring the temperature back to 390F – 400F. Since the chicken is already cooked, all you are trying to do is brown the breading! About three minutes in the oil will do. When you have reached your desired color, remove the chicken from the oil and let it rest on a rack. Season with a little salt.
The nice thing about this is if you don’t want to fry all the chicken you do not have to. Leave it in the bag and place it in the fridge and the next day you can fry the chicken from cold. You will need to heat the oil to about 330F – 340F, but the rest of the process remains the same. The cook process will take longer, about 8 minutes, but hey it’s still packed with all that flavor and the chicken is already cooked!
I topped mine with a mixture of sesame, scallions, soy, chili paste, lime and fresh ginger.
- More than half of all chicken entrees ordered in restaurants are for fried chicken.
- In 2007, 95% of commercial restaurants had fried chicken on their menu.
- The average American eats over 80 pounds of chicken each year.
- According to the National Chicken Council, more than 1.25 billion chicken wing portions were consumed on Super Bowl Weekend in 2012 (more than 100 million pounds).
What menu item is going to keep customers coming back for more? To-go orders? Catering offerings? What is going to set your product apart from your competition? Fried chicken!
Let’s look at the features and benefits of our Collectramatic® Pressure Fryer. Available in 4-head (32 pieces per drop) and 6-head (48 pieces per drop) versions – now that’s a lot of fried chicken!
Benefits of pressure frying:
- Quicker cook times
- Juicier product
- Texture control
- Healthier product
Benefits of a Winston Collectramatic Pressure Fryer:
- Microprocessor controller
- Reliability – Very few moving mechanical parts
- Round pot – For strength with a single weld, sediment cannot build up in the corners and continue to cook/burn the oil.
- Footprint – Let’s look at the numbers. With a LP56 fryer 6-head, you can fry approximately 192 pieces of chicken per hour and 1,200 pieces before you need to filter the shortening. Our collector, the largest in the industry, catches all the sediment from the cooking vat, so it does not continue to cook
At a recent training, with an install of three LP56 Collectramatic fryers, the customer was able to pressure fry 576 pieces per hour and 3,600 pieces before they needed to filter the shortening.
Partner this with a Winston Shortening Filter and a CVap® Holding Cabinet or two, and now you have a fried chicken program sure to bring success!
Since day one of being on the Winston Foodservice & Collectramatic® team, I have always heard “Collectramatic fries the best tasting chicken.”
When I started in 2002, I just thought that was what everyone at Winston said. I thought, “Of course you say we make the best chicken, because we build the best fryers!”
A few years later, I had the chance to go to the KFC USA National Show in Orlando, FL. At the show, I heard it again from numerous franchisees: “Collectramatic makes the best Original Recipe Chicken!” I realized then that the phrase wasn’t something we made up. It’s something our customers say and share with others!
In 2013, I started calling on KFC franchisees all over the USA to really test the saying. To this day, almost 15 years later, I still hear franchisees agree that Collectramatic is the best at frying delicious chicken. The Colonel said it many years ago and the statement still stands today.
Don’t take my word for it, though; take a look at these testimonials and see why Collectramatic is truly the best!
The Collectramatic Open Fryer OF59C uses FilterFry technology to cook chicken and other foods to golden perfection. Its patented cold zone prevents cracklings from scorching and tainting your shortening. The OF59C is an open fryer with 18 lb (8.2 kg) capacity and an 8-channel programmable control.
Collectramatic Open Fryer OF49C is a time-tested model. It uses FilterFry technology to cook foods to golden perfection. Its patented cold zone prevents cracklings from scorching and tainting your shortening. The OF49C is an open fryer with 14 lb. (6.4 kg) capacity and an 8-channel programmable control.
The Collectramatic High Efficiency Fryer LP56 operates at a fraction of the pressure of high pressure fryers. This means longer shortening life, less wear on the equipment, and a better kitchen environment. The LP56 is a high efficiency pressure fryer with 18 lb. (8.2 kg) capacity and an 8-channel programmable control.
The Collectramatic High Efficiency Fryer LP46 operates at a fraction of the pressure of high pressure fryers. This means longer shortening life, less wear on the equipment, and a better kitchen environment. The LP46 is a high efficiency pressure fryer with 14 lb. (6.4 kg) capacity, and an 8-channel programmable control.
The F662T Transport Shortening Filter has a 90 lb. (41 kg.) tank capacity. Includes a heavy-duty pump and motor that speeds filtering time to three gallons per minute. Portable design allows for the filtering of one or multiple fryers. Quick disconnect provides safe operation.
The F552A8 Shortening Filter with 82.5 lb. (37.1 kg.) tank capacity saves space by storing underneath our four-head fryers when not in use. Its portable design enables you to filter one or multiple fryers. Heavy-duty pump and motor speeds filtering time to three gallons per minute. Quick disconnect provides safe operation.
When I’m home, I do most of the cooking. I can’t say I’m a great cook but I am much better than my wife (Shhh, Don’t tell her I said that). My Maple Glazed Pork Chops and “Made from Scratch” Wild Blackberry Pies are our favorites, but that’s not really what this blog is about.
We recently held our annual Winston CVap® and Collectramatic® Cooking Competition. Every year we split our sales and marketing group into three teams who each prepare a four-course meal. All the groups receive two common ingredients for each of the four dishes they must prepare, along with a cooking style. This year my group chose Gastropub. (Yes, our Tom Ford has a PhD in Hops)
We know all of the ingredients beforehand, but there’s always a twist. This year we received a list of “mystery ingredients” at the very last minute to include in each dish. Our “delicious” mystery ingredients included Cactus, Dried Cherries, Dried Asian Fish and Salt & Vinegar Chips! (I am fully convinced “someone” at Winston loves to punish us)
Fortunately, I had five amazing people on my team to help pull this off. The task was going to require a lot of creativity and experience to get a win and we knew we had just the right amount of both to come home first place. Taste, Speed of Service, Creativity, Cleanliness, Food Safety, Budget, Teamwork and the Best Use of CVap and Collectramatic all scored points in the event (It’s not just about who made the best grilled cheese sandwich, but how they made it).
Step into the horror for a moment.
Starter: Base ingredients were Pork Shoulder and Fennel with the Dried Cherries mystery ingredient.
Entrée: Base ingredients were Beef Short Ribs and Sweet Potatoes with the Dried Asian Fish mystery ingredient.
Dessert: Nutella and Pink Peppercorns with the Salt & Vinegar Chips mystery ingredient.
Our team leader, Chad Lunsford chose the team he thought would win, myself, Judette Baylon, Tom Ford, Tony Martino and Barry Yates. However, the day before the competition, Chad fell ill with the flu adding to the chaos exponentially. It was a huge blow to our team, but his invaluable leadership leading up to the event armed us with the “right stuff” to meet the challenge head-on.
Here’s what we prepared:
Amuse Bouche: CVap Staged Cook & Hold Seared Scallops and Collectramatic Panko Crusted Cactus Chips with Yuzu Sauce, topped with Collectramatic Pork Casing Dust.
Starter: Collectramatic Pork Fries (held in a CVap Holding Cabinet) with Dried Cherry Mustardo and Fennel Slaw.
Entrée: CVap Staged Cook & Hold Pre-Seared Beef Short Rib/Pork Shoulder/Bacon Hamburger with Havarti Cheese on a CVap Thermalizer Baked Pretzel Bun, a Dried Asian Fish Aoli and Collectramatic Shredded Sweet Potatoes.
Dessert: Chai Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream rolled in a Salt & Vinegar Chip Yummy Crumb, topped with a CVap Thermalizer Nutella and Chocolate Chip Crisp.
Since this is a blog and not a novel I’ll get to the point.
We executed our plan with only a few “minor hiccups” and after what seemed like days in the kitchen, we prepared to be judged.
I am, at my core, the air guitar player who loves music but lacks the talent to play. Having a great team of Winston culinarians around me (and CVap & Collectramatic equipment to use) gave me the opportunity to be on the winning team again.
Again? Yes indeed! A real three-peat! That’s a culinary competition win in 2013, 2014 and 2015 for yours truly!
Each year every team has created amazing dishes, but I have been immensely fortunate to have an entire team of talented sales and marketing culinarians (and the right equipment) to help me. Over the past 3 years, this competition has not only been fun and educational, but has equipped me with the knowledge and ability to now impress my friends with confidence.
A Huge Thank You to: Chad, Judette, Tom, Tony, Barry, Shaun, Nick, Christine, Corey, Spencer, Gary, Pam, J.J., Priscillia, Donald, Angie and Melissa.
Whether it’s good for the body, soothing for the soul, or transports you to a nostalgic happy place from your childhood, there’s something deeply satisfying about chicken noodle soup that resonates with most people.
It can also be an eloquent expression of different techniques. In this case, we utilized both CVap and Collectramatic equipment to create a chicken soup with a robust flavor profile and a broad range of textures.
For the broth, we combined chicken carcasses, aromatics including carrots, onions, celery, thyme, sage, parsley, and rosemary, and slowly reduced it in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven set at 180 + 30 for 8 hours with Constant Cook ON.
Chicken thighs were vacuum-sealed with olive oil and salt and CVap-poached at 165 + 2 for 2 hours with Constant Cook ON. The result was a confit with an almost buttery texture.
The skin was removed from the CVap-poached chicken and open fried in a Collectramatic fryer at 350°F for four minutes.
Celery, carrots, and onions were steamed in a CVap at 200 + 0 for one hour and added to the stock and held until it was time to assemble the plates.
We purchased fresh noodles from whole foods and steamed them at the same settings as the vegetables.
For plating, we started with the steamed noodles and topped them with the vegetables, followed by pulled confit of chicken.
We then poured hot stock over the bowls and garnished with fresh herbs and the fried chicken skin crisps.
It just doesn’t get more satiating than that!