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Jun 25, 2008

Exotic, Spicy Recipes Heat Up the Grill In the 20th Annual Winning Taste Recipe Contest(R)

Exotic, Spicy Recipes Heat Up the Grill In the 20th Annual Winning Taste Recipe Contest(R)

Chicken Tandoori Gyros with Cucumber Raita Takes Grand Prize

PITTSBURG, Texas, June 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- This year's winning recipes kick up the heat and flavor in the 20th anniversary of the Winning Taste Recipe Contest®. The grand prize winning recipe, Chicken Tandoori Gyros with Cucumber Raita, was entered by Jessie Grearson from Falmouth, Maine.

Grearson, a self-described full-time creative person with a variety of part-time jobs, created the recipe while driving around doing errands. I play at creating recipes the way some people work on Sudoku or crossword puzzles, said Grearson. It is an honor to win the contest, and I can't wait to see the photo of my recipe on the web site (

Grearson and the other winners will share more than $50,000 in prizes. The grand prize package includes a seven-day trip for two to the Refugio da Vila Cooking School in Alentejo, Portugal, cash, a FireMagic® Gourmet Grill, J.A. Henckels® fine cutlery and SCANPAN Ergonomic® cookware.

The other winners were:

-- First Place: Korean Barbecue Chicken Bowls, created by Felice Bogus of Raleigh, N.C.

-- Second Place: Greek Chicken with Confetti Orzo, created by Brenda Day, Savannah, Ga.

-- Third Place: Spicy Grilled Chicken with Fennel and Black Olive Relish, created by Gilda Lester, Wilmington, N.C.

-- Fourth Place: Cuban Chicken Sliders, created by Lisa Keys of Middlebury, Conn.

-- Fifth Place: Southwest Chipotle Chicken Breasts, created by Lorelle Thompson, Cape Coral, Fla.

This year grilling was the preferred cooking method and the adventurous flavor profiles, as you can see from our winners, took us around the globe, said Barbara Davenport, Pilgrim's Pride food specialist and contest director. We noticed a number of other trends in the contest entries, such as increased light and healthy menu choices; frequent use of dark meat, especially boneless, skinless thighs; more simple, one-dish meals, and the use of marinades to increase a dish's flavor and ease preparation.

Cooks from across the country entered their original recipes using fresh chicken in five categories: 1) Appetizer/Snack, 2) Main Dish/Entree, 3) Light Eating, 4) Grilling, and 5) Quick and Easy. Recipes were judged on taste, originality, ease of preparation and appearance.

The winning recipes and photos are available at The 2009 contest will begin accepting entries in October, and the entry deadline is April 30, 2009. Comprehensive contest rules and an online entry form will be posted on the web site in October.

The Winning Taste Recipe Contest, created to promote and encourage creative cooking with fresh chicken, is celebrating 20 years as one of the nation's longest running and most widely recognized chicken cooking contests. Pilgrim's Pride Corporation conducts the contest, which has awarded more than $600,000 in cash and merchandise to amateur cooks across the nation.

About Pilgrim's Pride Corporation

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (NYSE: PPC) is the largest chicken company in the United States and Puerto Rico and the second-largest in Mexico. Pilgrim's Pride employs approximately 53,500 people and operates 36 chicken processing plants and 12 prepared-foods facilities. Pilgrim's Pride products are sold to foodservice, retail and frozen entree customers. The Company's primary distribution is through retailers, foodservice distributors and restaurants throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and in the Northern and Central regions of Mexico. For more information, please visit

           GRAND PRIZE: Chicken Tandoori Gyros with Cucumber Raita
                        Jessie Grearson, Falmouth, ME

    1      pound Pilgrim's Pride boneless skinless split chicken breasts

    1/4    cup plain yogurt
    3      tablespoons vegetable oil
    3      tablespoons lemon juice
    3      garlic cloves, finely minced
    1      tablespoon ground cumin
    1      tablespoon paprika
    1      tablespoon turmeric
    2      teaspoons salt
    1      teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1      teaspoon black pepper

    Cucumber Raita:
    2      cups plain yogurt
    1      small cucumber, coarsely grated, drained
    1/2    teaspoon ground cumin
    1      teaspoon salt

    Cilantro-Mint Chutney:
    1 1/2  cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
    1 1/2  cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves (spearmint preferred)
    1/2    hot green chili (Serrano or jalapeno)
    3 to 4 tablespoons lime juice
    3/4    teaspoon salt
    1/2    teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4    teaspoon black pepper

    2      onions, cut into wedges
    4      large Naan bread*
           Butter for Naan, optional

Cut chicken breasts into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks. Place in shallow glass dish or in reclosable plastic bag. Prepare marinade by combining all ingredients. Pour over chicken, cover or seal bag and marinate in refrigerator at least 4 hours.

Prepare Cucumber Raita (pronounced RI tah). Place yogurt in bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients until blended. Refrigerate.

To prepare Cilantro-Mint Chutney, place cilantro, mint, chili, juice, cumin, salt and pepper in blender or food processor. Blend until finely chopped. Refrigerate.

Place grill rack 4 to 6 inches from heat source and lightly coat with oil or cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium heat (350 degrees F for gas grill). Remove chicken chunks from marinade and thread alternately with onion wedges onto four skewers. Place filled skewers on hot grill, brush with marinade then discard remaining marinade. Close grill lid and cook 10 minutes; turn skewers and cook 5 minutes longer in closed grill, or until internal temperature of meat is 160 degrees F on meat thermometer. Remove to platter. Place Naan on grill and heat briefly to warm and soften; remove and lightly butter, if desired.

To serve Gyros, slide meat and onions from each skewer onto the center of each Naan. Spoon with desired amount of Cilantro-Mint Chutney, roll up gyro style and serve with Cucumber Raita. 4 servings

* Note: Naan (pronounced NAHN) is an East Indian, baked, white-flour flat bread. It is available in many supermarkets, natural food stores, and Indian markets. If unavailable, substitute flat bread or pita.

SOURCE Pilgrim's Pride Corporation
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of all the winning recipes are available upon request.

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