UMass Amherst Mom Wins Recipe Contest, will Feed Son and Classmates Curried Chicken with Apples

AMHERST, Mass. – Mom’s home cooking—prepared by a UMass parent selected in a recipe contest—will be featured Thursday night, Dec. 8, in the dining commons of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Get ready for 3,000 servings of Curried Chicken with Apples!

Yvette Jette of Attleboro, Mass., will be hosted on campus by the university’s self-financed dining services to discuss her recipe with executive Chef Willie Sng. Jette will serve as a celebrity chef, preparing portions and meeting with students from 3 to 7 p.m. in the Worcester Dining Commons.

“It was a perfect contest for students, it got students and parents involved,” says son Liam Jette, a sophomore biology major who submitted his mother’s recipe. “It is hard to beat mom’s cooking. My mom is very excited about winning the grand prize.”

In addition to the trip to UMass for two, grand prize winner Yvette Jette will receive dinner for two at the University Club, two tickets to watch a hockey game at the Mullins Center, a welcome basket, UMass gear for two, a $100 gift certificate to the University Store, and a gift delivered each month from November to May to her student compliments of the Gifts from Home program.

Ken Toong, director of dining services, said prizes will also be given to the families of second-place winner Laura Saindon, a senior from Salem, Mass., and third-place winner Christine Mealey, a junior from Foxboro, Mass.

Toong said the recipe contest was the result of dining coordinators concerned with providing more menu choices for students and in response to students saying they missed home cooking. The contest ran from Oct. 17 to Nov. 4 and was open to all students on meal plans. Recipes were judged on originality, taste, ease of preparation and appearance.

Dining services received more than 50 recipes, but only three prizes were awarded. Saindon won second place for a recipe for Mozzarella Meatballs, and third-place winner Christine Mealey submitted a recipe for Chicken Bake.

Want to try the grand-prize recipe at home? Here it is:

Curried Chicken with Apples
(Serves 4)

4 chicken breasts
4 Tbs. butter
2-3 Tbs. yellow curry powder
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 Granny Smith Apples (sliced into wedges)

Preparation Directions: Pound chicken breasts between two pieces of wax paper; mix salt, pepper, and flour. Dredge chicken into mixture. Melt down butter in a large frying pan, add curry powder and mix. At medium heat, add chicken breasts and brown on one side, turning after 8 minutes. Add apples and cook for 5 more minutes while stirring apples. Add heavy cream and cook until thickened. Place chicken on platter with apples and pour extra cream sauce over them.