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Minneapolis Farmers Market

Chef Challenge 2018

Chef Todd Macdonald, Executive Chef of Red Rabbit was the winner of the 2018 COUNTRY Financial Chef Challenge at the Minneapolis Farmers Market, while Chef Laura Bonicelli, owner of Chef Bonicelli Kitchen took runner up. Check out the recipies below.

This year's winning recipes

Pressed Chicken with Corn Crema, Garlic Tomato Pickled Plums, Petite Herb Salad

For the Pressed Chicken:

  • 1 Half Chicken
  • Salt and Pepper

Bone out half a skin-on chicken and season liberally with salt and cracked pepper. Place chicken skin side down in a non stick pan over medium heat, checking and adjusting not to scorch the skin. Place a piece of folded aluminum foil, and then a cast iron skillet or equally heavy even weight on top of the chicken in the pan. The chicken should cook 95 percent of the way like this, skin side down in order to achieve golden, crispy skin. When just about fully cooked through, flip the chicken and allow to cook on the meat side about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and allow the chicken to rest skin side up for 5 minutes. 

For the Corn Crema:

  • 4 ears Sweet Corn
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • Salt

Shuck the corn and cut the the raw kernels off the cob. Place the raw corn in a blender and puree. Pass the corn puree through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Discard the hulls and save the juice. Cook the corn juice over a low heat, while whisking, until it boils and thickens. Finish with the butter and adjust seasoning with salt. 

For the Garlic Tomato Pickled Plums:

  • 3 each Plums, Not Too Ripe
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 10 ripe Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. Local Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 pinch Fennel Pollen or Ground Toasted Fennel Seed
  • Salt and Pepper

Cut the plums into 1/2in. dice and the cherry tomatoes in half. In a small sauce pan, heat the olive oil and whole garlic cloves until the cloves are golden brown. Add the tomatoes and cook at the same temperature for 4 minutes until the tomatoes are soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, reduce the heat to low, and allow to simmer about 10 minutes. Set aside. Best if served at room temperature. 

For the Petite Herb Salad:

  • Parsley, Picked
  • Mint, Picked
  • Basil, Picked
  • Thai Basil, Picked
  • Red Orach Leaves
  • Amaranth Leaves

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp. Shallot, Minced
  • Salt and Pepper

Shake all of the lemon vinaigrette ingredients together. Gently dress the herbs with the vinaigrette and season lightly with salt and pepper. 

To Plate:

Lay the plums to one side of the plate and drape the chicken over the top. Tuck the herb salad right next to the chicken and plums. Draw a nice dollop of the corn crema along the negative space on the other side of the plate and drizzle one stripe over the chicken. Garnish with any petite herb buds you may have left.

Farm(er's Market) Soup
  • 2 cups new potatoes (small and unpeeled)
  • 1 cup baby carrots (or sliced carrots)
  • 2 cups spring peas (or whole snaps cut up)
  • 1 cup spring onions
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 4 Tbsp. butter (olive oil)
  • 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ground cherries, small cherry tomatoes (garnish in center)
  • roasted beet chips (garnish on side)


Step 1:

Boil potatoes and carrots in water until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain. (this takes 12 minutes with baby vegetables)

Step 2:

Steam peas and onions until tender, about 5 minutes. (in same pot)

Step 3:

In a medium saucepan, melt butter (heat olive oil). Stir in flour to make a roux and cookrawness out of flour for about 2 minutes. It will start to brown.

Step 4:

Add milk, all at once, and bring to boil stirring constantly. Reduce heat and stir until thickens.

Step 5:

Stir in salt and vegetables. Season with pepper. Garnish with cherries and tomatoes and dill -Beet chips on the side.

Makes 6 servings.