More Disc-It Round Up

The 3rd Annual Disc-It Round Up is history. We came, we cooked, we feed the masses and helped raised over $70,000 for the UNM Children’s Miracle Network Fund. I have to say this was one of the best events I’ve ever attended and I’m proud that I got to be part of such worthy cause.

Beautiful NM Summer Day, photo by Gary Howard
The Disc-It Round up is a truly unique contest; all of the entrants cook their dish in a Disc-It. Even more unique than the customized discs were the cooks creating their culinary delights for the hungry masses all in the hopes of winning the Grand Prize, a custom Disc-it and of course bragging rights. Some of the teams cooked up traditional New Mexican dishes like chicharones and calibicitas.  There was also American food like corndogs and turkey burger sliders with fries.  However the best part of any cooking competition is the deserts fried apple pies with ice cream, bananas foster and the funnel cakes, there was enough variety satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Team AlbuKirky
This was my first cooking contest and I was really excited just to participate.  I assembled my team consisting of my lovely wife Cheryl, her sister Trissi, Trissi’s boyfriend Sean, and our friend Debbie.  We arrived donned in our matching shirts and aprons ready to kick some culinary butt!  We got off to a good start, cooking up batches of chicken and working out our serving system.  I was so busy cooking I didn’t notice the crowd forming at our table. Just about the time we started hitting our stride we ran out of chicken.  I thought 250 pieces of cut chicken would be plenty but we blew through that in about 2 hours.  Sean was sent on a mission for more chicken while we were left to turn away the hungry crowds.  Sean returned and we cooked and served up another 16lbs of chicken to the anxious crowd. 

Cooking Hard.  Check out the customized handles.
When the dust had settled and all the votes were counted we finished 5th out of 58 teams. Which I thought was great for our first effort and considering we ran out of chicken.  Next year I’m going to buy at least 50lbs of whatever meat I’m going to cook. 

Bandanas and Good Hair Days do not go together
The team AlbuKirky dish was Pecan Crusted Chicken Nuggets.  Inspiration for the dish came from Tatsu, a Japanese restaurant in Las Cruces that Cheryl and I used to dine at frequently.  The house specialty was the Pecan Chicken Katsu. A chicken breast strip coated in a pecan crust and fried to crispy crunchy delicious morsel.  Tastu is long since closed but I think this recipe is pretty close to the original with a little AlbuKirky twist.

The Pecan Crusted Chicken Nugget with BBQ Sauce
Pecan Crusted Chicken Nuggets   (click for printable recipe)

2lbs of Boneless Chicken Breasts cut into 1 ounce pieces
½ cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
½ cup of Plain Bread Crumbs
½ cup of Pecans Chopped
4 Eggs Beaten or 1 cup of Egg Substitute
3 teaspoons AlbuKirky Seasonings BBQ Rub

Mix the bread crumbs, pecans and BBQ Rub in a large bowl. In another large bowl add the eggs and beat thoroughly. Dredge chicken pieces in egg then roll in the breadcrumb and nut mixture, coat completely.  Heat the cooking oil in Disc-It or deep frying pan to 350-375F.  Add 5-10 pieces of chicken to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes or to an internal temperature of 160F.  Allow the nuggets to cool for a few minutes and serve with AlbuKirky Seasonings BBQ Sauce. Also very tasty drizzled with honey

A Batch of Pecan Crusted Chicken Nuggets
I have to say I was really impressed with the Disc-It Round Up. For my first cooking contest I couldn’t chosen a better venue.  I never been much for doing charity but I have to say it does feel really good to be part of a successful event and all I had to do was something I love, cooking.  I’m already planning for next year’s cook off.  My mind is flooded with recipes and ideas and  I’ve only got 363 days to decide what I’m going to do.  Hope to see you all at next year’s event. I’m going to steal Nevin’s line, “Fund raising outdoors has never been better”!

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