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Top Chef Seattle Recap: Fried Chicken; Deliciously Simple But Deceivingly Complex

January 24, 2013 05:53 AM by Donna W. Martin

On tonight’s episode of Top Chef Seattle, the six remaining cheftestants tackled sushi in the quick fire challenge and simple fried chicken in the elimination challenge. Who whipped up some delicious fried chicken? Who over complicated the dish and was asked to pack there knives and go? Keep reading to find out.

Quick Fire

For the quick fire challenge, the chefs were asked to prepare a sushi dish. Guest judge and Master Sushi Chef, Katsuya Uechi explained the best sushi dish consisted of rice and fish and that it shouldn’t be mixed up too much.

The cheftestants had 30 minutes to prepare their dish. And while there’s no immunity from here on out, the winner received a prize of $5,000.

So how did they do? Stephan struggled with the challenge and ended up preparing two dishes, yellowtail, and lobster without any rice but Katsuya said it tasted good.

Josie prepared halibut with bacon and although Katsuya liked the dish, he said it needed more punch.

Lizzie made lobster soup. Katsuya told her she might want to put some rice underneath.

Brooke prepared octopus and Katsuya said it was very good.

Josh wasn’t very familiar with sushi and struggled with his dish. He ended up preparing a breakfast sandwich with bacon. Katsuya said the bacon was too oily.

Sheldon made a sashimi with burned lemon. Katsuya noticed the technique right away and said it was interesting.

Chef Katsuya’s least favorite dishes belonged to Lizzie and Josh. He told Lizzie her dish was too chewy and explained when you pour hot liquid over cold fish; it makes the fish taste fishier. He told Josh the combination of his ingredients was good but the bacon was too greasy.

His favorites were Stephan and Brooke.  Stephan won the challenge and $5,000 furnished by Healthy Choice.

Elimination Challenge

For the elimination challenge, Padma came in with Chef’s David Chang and Tom Colicchio. Tom said he had rented a house while they were in Seattle and explained he had invited some top chefs over for dinner later that night. The cheftestants’ elimination challenge was to cook dinner for Tom and his guests that evening. What was on the menu? Fried chicken. Chang added, “Deliciously simple, but deceivingly complex.”

The cheftestants prepped their dishes and then went to Tom’s house where they had one hour to cook. While the meal was being prepared, Tom and his guests, Padma, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, David Chang, Vinny Detolo, Michelle Berstein, and Jon Shook, sat at the table joking. “These contestants have no idea what’s waiting on them…there’s some fried chicken fools at this table,” Emeril said.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, Sheldon worked on two chicken dishes, Momofuku, and umami but he had problems with his oil and didn’t make enough to go around.

Lizzie said she wasn’t familiar with American fried chicken and chose to make spicy fried chicken breasts.

Josie prepared fried chicken with a secret blend of spices and plated on a banana leaf.

Brooke finished with 15 minutes to spare so she decided to keep her chicken warm in the oven and then dropped it back in the fryer before serving.

Stephan prepared Chicken Cordon Blue in lieu of traditional fried chicken while Josh went for his grandfather’s old time fried chicken recipe.

Sheldon, Lizzie, and Josie served their dishes first. The judges thought Sheldon’s chicken was delicious and juicy but noticed that there weren’t enough wings to go around. They said Lizzie’s dish, although not traditional American fried chicken, was delicious, crispy, and moist. However, Josie’s chicken had no spice and was oily.

Then Stephan, Josh, and Brooke served their dishes. Emeril said he had the “chicken cordon blues,” referring to Stephan’s dish. The judges liked Josh’s chicken saying it was wonderful and the most flavored. However, Puck said, “What is this show called? Top Chef? I wouldn’t even call this The Apprentice,” referring to Brooke’s dry, overcooked chicken.

Judges Table

The next day at judges table, Padma called Josh, Sheldon, and Lizzie in first and told them, they had the judges’ favorite fried chicken dishes. David Chang announced Josh that was the winner and Padma said he would receive a year’s supply, 365 bottles of Terlatto wine.

Next in were the cheftestants who prepared the judges least favorite chicken dishes, Brooke, Josie, and Stephan. Each gave their excuses for performing poorly in the challenge. The judges said Brooke’s chicken lacked flavor and was overcooked and they weren’t sure what she was thinking just using the breast.

They said Josie’s chicken was greasy but it was flavorful and fried. However, they noted she mismanaged her time, again.

The judges had a hard time understanding why Stephan would choose to prepare Cordon Blue, and a bad version at that.

In the end, Padma asked Josie to pack her knives and go.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Do you agree with the judges’ decision to send Josie home? Post a comment and let us know.

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Photo Credit: Bravo

Topics: Bravo Reality TV Shows, Top Chef |

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