Maui cook is named
chicken champion

In five years, Kristine Snyder has gone from onions to chicken, from Maui to Baltimore, from a state recipe winner to a national champion, with a stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off along the way.

Kristine Snyder: The Kihei resident is a veteran cooking competitor.

Friday, Snyder won the National Chicken Cooking Contest, bringing a $25,000 first prize back to Maui.

Even before this win, Snyder had a long list of recipe contest victories to her credit. She won the Maui Onion Festival for four straight years and in 2000 she was among 100 finalists in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. She will compete in Texas at the National Beef Cookoff next fall.

She's created recipes for stuffed onions, onions in puff pastry and shrimp tacos. Her chicken prize was for a chicken burger with a ginger-mayonnaise dressing.

Her plan for her winnings is to have air-conditioning installed in her Kihei home, to make her summer cooking more bearable -- although as a professional harpist who plays at weddings, Snyder said she wouldn't be cooking much in June. "This is a busy month."

Snyder was at ease as she prepared her recipe, which was selected as a finalist from among thousands received by the National Chicken Council. She worked calmly in the mini kitchen that was provided for each of the 51 contestants -- one from each state and the District of Columbina.

Her use of panko -- Japanese breadcrumbs -- drew questions from an audience unfamiliar with the ingredient. Snyder said it offered a crunchy texture addition beyond ordinary bread or cracker crumbs.

Second place went to Jamie Miller of Maple Grove, Minn., for Moroccan Chicken and Squash Tangine; third place to Linda Miranda of Wakefield, R.I., for Jerk Chicken Thighs on Sweet Potato Pancakes; fourth place to Jean Williams of Salt Lake City, Utah, for Citrus Chicken Thighs with Avocado Butter; and fifth place to Virginia Anthony of Jacksonville, Fla., for Guava-Sauced Chicken Over Beans and Rice.

To order the cookbook of recipes from the 45th National Chicken Cooking Contest, send $2.95 in check or money order to Chicken Cookbook, Department NCC, Box 307W, Coventry, Conn. 06238.

Recipes are also on the Web site

Teriyaki glaze and ginger-tinged mayonnaise dressing give chicken burgers an island flavor.

Pacific Rim Chicken Burgers

1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
2/3 cup panko
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Asian chile sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 sesame buns, toasted
4 leaves red lettuce
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
>> Glaze:
1/2 cup bottled teriyaki glaze
4 teaspoons honey
>> Ginger Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine chicken, panko, egg, onions, cilantro, garlic, chili sauce and salt. With oiled hands, form into 4 patties.

Combine teriyaki glaze and honey in a small bowl. Combine ingredients for Ginger Mayonnaise; refrigerate.

Heat oil in large, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken patties and cook about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Turn once and brush with teriyaki glaze.

Place burgers on toasted buns and top with lettuce, cucumber and Ginger Mayonnaise. Garnish with additional cilantro and cucumber slices. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per burger: 675 calories, 36 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 190 mg cholesterol, greater than 3,000 mg sodium, 51 g carbohydrate, 40 g protein.

Nutritional analyses by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S. Freelance writer Mary Alice Powell contributed to this report.

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