Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Recipes For Michelle Obama's White House Kitchen Garden Harvest Picnic

White House Kitchen Garden Baked Chicken with Brown Rice and Peas; White House Kitchen Garden Salad...
All of the foods cooked for the picnic that accompanied First Lady Michelle Obama's White House Kitchen Garden Spring Harvest were simple, low fat, and of course healthy. The White House has released the recipe for the Baked Chicken, created by assistant chef Sam Kass. It's accompanied by brown rice with peas. There's also a recipe for the Kitchen Garden Salad that was served at the picnic. (Above: Mrs. Obama and Kass cook the recipes with kids in the White House kitchen)

The recipes are designed to be kid friendly, especially the chicken: It's meant to appeal to those youngsters who have a penchant for unhealthy and fried chicken "fingers" or "nuggets." The chicken is rolled in an egg wash and breadcrumbs, and baked rather than fried. It's actually delicious. And the recipes are so easy that even those who have no experience cooking can get in on the action.

The recipes are the very first to be created by Kass for public release in his role as the First Lady's Food Initiative Coordinator, and during the cooking fest in the White House kitchen, Kass casually commented that "breaded and baked is the new fried." This has instantaneously turned into a Kass catchphrase. A Kasstastic American foodism, as it were. Another Kasstastic foodism: "Always wash your hands before and after handling raw chicken." Herewith, the official White House recipes--and yes, there's even instructions for how to cook the rice. Check the sidebar for more White House recipes, including dessert recipes.

White House Kitchen Garden Baked Chicken
with Brown Rice and Peas


1 chicken cut into pieces
1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wash and pat chicken dry. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of the chicken.

3. Place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in three separate bowls. Place chicken in bowl of flour and and cover chicken completely, knock off excess flour.

4. Dip chicken in egg, covering completely.

5. Finally, roll chicken in bread crumbs and cover completely.

6. Place on baking dish and put in oven for approximately 40 minutes until juices run clear. Stick meat thermometer in and make sure the internal temperature of the largest piece of chicken is at 180 degrees.

Brown Rice
1 1/2 cups brown rice
3 cups water

Combine rice and water in pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook for approximately 40 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, add a sprinkle of salt and a tablespoon of butter or olive oil at the end.

1 pound of peas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove chopped garlic (or garlic powder)

1. Clean and rinse one pound of peas (use frozen peas if peas are out of season). If snap peas are available, these can be used as well.

2. When chicken and rice are finished cooking, heat a frying pan on med/high heat and add oil and garlic.

3. Just as garlic becomes golden, add peas and cook until warm, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat and serve.

White House Kitchen Garden Salad

One head of lettuce
2 carrots
half a cucumber
1/3 cup vegetable oil (olive or canola)
1/4 vinegar (red wine, balsamic, or lemon juice)
1 tsp honey
1 tsp mustard (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and chop lettuce and place in a small bowl. Peel and cut carrots and cucumber into bite-size pieces. In a small bowl, place vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Using a whisk, mix vinegar mixture while slowly pouring oil into a bowl. Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a leak-proof container and shake vigorously. Add dressing just before serving.

Serve and enjoy!

Above: Mrs. Obama and her helpers set the table for the picnic in the First Lady's Garden, which is located by the East Wing.

Related: A post parsing the meaning of the First Lady's remarks at the event is here. The official text of her remarks is here. The cupcakes served at the event are here.

*Photos via Reuters; table setting pic, above, by Lynn Sweet, Chicago-Sun Times