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Iron Chef: Family Edition

Posted on: October 17th, 2012 by Robin

Here’s an idea for a slow-paced weekend night, when hanging out in the kitchen suits everyone’s mood. It allows you to be 100% creative and make up a main course, just like those crazy cooking shows on TV!

You’ll be forming two teams to “compete” against each other in the kitchen. However, since different family members may not be as skilled in the kitchen, you’ll want to prep some of the ingredients first.

Buy skinless, boneless chicken breasts (4 oz per person). Using a rolling pin or an empty wine bottle, pound the meat until it is an even thickness of about one half inch. Next, put flour, salt and pepper in a clean bag, insert pieces of raw chicken and coat the meat with an even layer of flour. You may wish to cut each pounded piece in half, to make the flouring process easier. Keep the floured chicken chilled until time to cook.

Afterwards, be sure to wash your hands and use bleach spray on cutting surfaces to prevent cross contamination! You can never be too careful when using raw chicken.

Now, onto the game! Divide your friends and family into two teams of cooks–girls vs. boys, older vs. younger, mixed/balanced skill level, or another division that you can all agree on. Look through your pantry and refrigerator, and pull out spices, veggies, condiments that might inspire the chefs. Some good items:

Sour cream
Any kind of cheese
Olive oil


Almonds or walnuts or cashews
Sun dried tomatoes

Soy sauce
Lemons, limes
Worcestershire Sauce
Spices and herbs

Give each team a non-stick 8 or 10-inch skillet and a pot, and then set the timer for 30 minutes! Each team must cook their chicken till done (165 internal temp), and serve it with a sauce or side ingredients. They must also plate it in an appealing fashion, just like on Iron Chef!

Once the teams are done, everyone gets to try at least one bite of each dish. You can serve the meals with the Quinoa Salad or a big green salad. Have fun discussing how the dishes were invented, what name you might give your dish, and opinions of the flavors and final product. Everyone wins!


Robin is a certified professional chef and 2011 graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Prior tthat, she enjoyed a career as mom, director of adult education for her town and director of religious education for her church. She can make puff pastry, classic French food, Italian peasant food, ice cream and really good PB&J. A devout believer in lifelong learning, she loves to try new foods, recipes and techniques, and invite her friends and family to come over for a bite.

Images above via and via.