- Test Kitchen Challenge
- Souped Up!
- Episode 1
The Comfort Food Challenge - Test Kitchen Challenge, Souped Up!
Presented by Campbell's? | In the first episode of the Test Kitchen Challenge, contestants are tasked with breaking down a chicken and making use of it in their interpretation of the ultimate comfort food dish. The winner moves on to the grand finale!
Released on 04/12/2020
Welcome to Test Kitchen Challenge, Souped Up!
Brought to you by Campbell's and Swanson.
Today we're in the Bon Appetit test kitchen
and we've asked three BA superfans
to the ultimate home cook challenge.
The contestants will compete to make the best dish
using their skills, experience and unique backgrounds.
[Christina] And our home cooks will be incorporating
Campbell's Soup into their dishes.
The winner of each episode will move onto a grand finale
for a chance to win a beautiful engraved knife from Korin.
Who will be crowned our first ever BA Test Kitchen winner?
My father was a chef in high-end Italian restaurants
here in New York, and I kinda learned by osmosis.
Ever since I was a kid I think I just loved eating so much
that cooking just became, I was just curious to see
what my mom was doing in the kitchen.
Everybody tells me that I make really good wings.
Party wings, lemon pepper wings, just chicken wings!
Chicken wings are delicious.
Welcome to the BA Test Kitchen.
[Contestants] Thank you.
It's the comfort food challenge.
Today you guys are gonna be competing in two challenges.
The first one is technical,
and Rick is going to be demonstrating a cooking technique
that you will have 15 minutes to duplicate.
And the winner will get a special advantage
in the next challenge.
And in the Hero Challenge,
we're gonna take what you learned
from the technical challenge.
We're gonna combine that with a Campbell's Soup
and whatever you would like to use in our Campbell's pantry.
All of this will be combined
to make the ultimate comfort food dish.
What do you guys think of when you think of comfort food?
Slippers? Comfy chairs.
[Christina and Rick] Ahh.
Alright, so, this is the part
where you guys get to go have a break,
so, go have fun. Have fun with Rick!
Go have some cheese. Okay.
[Sohla laughs] Good luck, guys!
Thank you, bye! Thanks, bye!
Bye, see you later.
Are you ready?
Yeah! All right let's get started.
I'm gonna show you how to break down...
[dramatic cymbal rolling]
So I've got a very sharp chef's knife,
and the first thing that we're gonna do,
is we're gonna just make a little slit here.
We'll go ahead and just cut through that.
Flatten it back out, and cut.
Obviously, same thing on this side.
It's easy because the chicken will kinda tell you
where it wants to be cut.
Pop the bone, and then make your cut.
And then, find your little line,
and just go in, give it a cut.
Now we have two thighs.
Same thing for the wings.
Make your little circular cut.
Do the same thing with the other wing.
Again, the chicken is showing me
exactly where I need to make this cut.
So clean kitchen shears, and just go in.
You can kinda trim this up a little bit,
and now, we have the breast.
You think you guys got this?
[dramatic drum hitting]
Think so. Let's hope so [laughing].
Sohla, Christina, I'm done!
[Sohla] Ooh, you did
such a pretty job! Look at my chickens.
[Christina] So beautiful, yeah, work of a master.
So these guys are completely ready to go.
You each have 15 minutes to break down
the bird in front of you,
using the skills that Rick just taught you.
The winner of this challenge wins a special
five minute assist from him in the next round.
And trust me, you will want that special assist.
Rick, Sohla, and I will be judging you guys
based on how well you're able to replicate Rick's technique,
as well as whether or not you're able
to finish the challenge.
So, on your mark!
Get set! Go!
[Rick] How you doin'?
You made it look, legit, so easy.
Well, it looks like you're off to a strong start,
so we're gonna leave you be. Yeah, pieces already.
Yeah, let's go. Thank you.
Hi, Mark! Hello.
Which part are you the most nervous about?
Right now, this part, because it's what I'm doin'.
[singing] Hi. Janet!
[Rick] Look at you. Wow, you are just
cruising through this. Yeah,
but it's not looking good here.
I'm wingin' it, ha!
You have 10 minutes left.
You guys have five minutes remaining.
Janet, are you done?
I, I believe so.
It is done. Oh, it's done!
[Sohla] She's, like, ready.
Oh, so you're ready for another chicken
is what you're saying?
[Hosts] Five, four, three, two, one!
Step away from the chicken.
I repeat, step away from the chicken.
Yay, good job. [hands clapping]
Contestants, please bring up your chicken.
[calm upbeat music]
[Christina] Thank you.
The legs here are separated really cleanly,
like look at that.
That hip joint's Oh, that's great.
popping right out.
[Rick] This bone is actually splintered
so when you cook this,
you're gonna get little fragments of bone.
I think that this could have been a little bit neater,
but you know, the parts are all correct, they're all there.
[Rick] Yep, it's still pretty good.
What are you guys feeling?
I feel pretty good. I think I'm ready
to make a decision. All right,
we are going to make our decision
and we'll see you guys in a little bit.
[Nike] Thank you.
When they were looking at my chicken
I just kept thinking, like,
oh, please don't see all of the flaws.
Yeah, it's a learning experience,
and I grew a little bit from it. [laughs]
Yeah, I was rushing.
Probably more hacked chicken than cut chicken.
Hey. Well done, everyone.
Yeah, everyone should be really happy.
You all did a great job.
However, there can only be one winner,
and that winner is...
[bright electronic music]
Congratulations! [group applauding]
[Rick] Yay, it's beautiful bird.
Nike, we just thought your bird
was beautifully broken down.
Amazing, fabulous bird. Artful display, too.
[Christina and Rick] Artful display!
You don't get extra points
for artful display, but worth noting.
What you do get is me!
Best surprise in the world.
If at any point during the hero challenge
you feel like you need a little bit of help,
I am yours, do whatever you want for five minutes.
People would pay good money for this.
Yes. Okay, we'll see you guys
in the next challenge. Good luck!
I literally can't believe
that I won the technical challenge,
especially since it was chopping a chicken,
but I'm so pumped.
The pressure got to me maybe a little bit.
I think I could have taken my time a little bit more.
Going into the next challenge, I'm excited.
I'm ready to get started and hopefully bring a dish
that the judges like.
[groovy upbeat music]
Welcome to the hero challenge.
Now, for this challenge we'd like for you guys
to use your freshly broken down chickens,
Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup,
and ingredients from the pantry.
You'll be using your well-honed kitchen skills
and creativity to make a comfort food dish,
and you'll be judged on taste,
presentation, and inventiveness.
You will have 45 minutes to make your excellent dish,
and, Nike, if at any time you feel like you need
a five minute assist, I am at your beck and call.
[upbeat hip-hop music]
We can go?
You can go. Okay. [laughing]
[Rick] And cloves.
[Sohla] They're going for a lot of spices.
That's gonna be exciting.
But-- That's so satisfying.
Mark is just dealing with the chicken right now,
which might be smart.
He still hasn't gotten any ingredients.
Yeah, you are hard at work.
[Sohla] I see you really set yourself up.
I love that.
[Rick] Tell us about what you're doing.
So I am gonna be making a little pot pie.
Yes, I like that! Okay.
When I think comfort food, I think
something like you said, with carbs, and fat.
[Sohla] Does that mean you're gonna make us a crust?
A biscuit top.
Biscuit, ooh! Ah, wow.
I love a biscuit top.
The good thing is the Campbell's Cream of Chicken
actually kind of makes it faster.
Yeah, cool. Love it.
I'm looking forward to it.
[Rick] Tell us what you're making.
Like a creamy, balsamic bacon chicken dish.
Cheesy, buttery rice to go with it.
[Rick] Sounds good, can't wait.
[Christina] Yeah, sounds good.
Janet! Hi there!
[Sohla] Hey, Janet!
I saw you got a-- Hi, guys!
You got your pots on right away.
[Christina] I know.
[Janet] There's so much going on right now.
It's a baked chicken in a wine sauce cream sauce.
Sounds great. Sounds amazing.
[Christina] Rock it, Janet.
[Janet] Some of the flavors and tastes
that I really love now
and that I hope to bring to this competition
are things that I've loved since childhood.
I'm really excited by the contrast between
all of the spices on Nike's station,
but then we've got a lot more pared-down, simple
going on in Mark's station.
Can I use my five minutes with your help?
Yes, you may. Ooh!
And do I need to bring my knife?
You do need your knife.
[Rick] I will bring my knife.
30 minutes left.
I'm gonna have you chop up my veggies.
I have some carrots.
[Sohla] Peels are flyin' all over the place.
She's gotta get her money's worth, man.
How much time do I have?
You have one minute, dude.
And you just want like a slice, or how do you want these?
Yep, that's great.
Five, four, three, two, one.
Done with Rick assist, yay!
Oh, wow, you got through the celery?
That was a good assist, man. Great job.
[Christina] I'm starting to smell things.
[Rick] It's smelling really good.
[Sohla] Yeah, it smells like chicken.
[Rick] Oh, he's cooking in the bacon fat!
Yes, yes! Oh!
His patience will be rewarded.
[Sohla] Ooh, is she putting cheese in her biscuits?
[Rick] She is not messing around.
Not messing around.
No reason to be nervous or anything, right?
We're just all staring at you.
Yeah, I'm gonna put these in the oven to finish cooking,
gonna deglaze this pan a little bit with some sherry,
and then I'm gonna add the Campbell's Cream of Chicken.
[Christina] So this is like your cream sauce
situation happening. Exactly, exactly, yep.
[Christina] The soup has come out.
[Rick] We have soup out!
[Janet] We do, we do.
Okay, so you're gonna add your soup
and broth mixture to the carrots?
That, and pour everything over the chicken,
and then bake it.
[Rick] Oh, sounds amazing.
Contestants, you have 15 minutes.
Oh, this is going by fast. So let's have a 15 minute
[Sohla] I'm very worried for Nike.
She's gotta get it in the oven now.
She's got to get those biscuits in the oven
like within the next five minutes.
Nike, get those biscuits in the oven!
[cheerful upbeat music]
Oh my God, I literally saw Mark taste his thing
and then he did this thing with his hand, he was like...
Like, he isn't feeling his sauce right now.
[Mark] I don't think my meat thermometer's working.
Oh, it was in Celsius, I'm an idiot.
I was like, it's so low!
I'm just praying to the biscuit gods
that there's a miracle.
There might be.
There will, there will be. You still have a solid
three and a half minutes left.
That's really all. So much can happen.
Ooh, one minute left!
[cheerful upbeat music]
[Hosts] Five, four, three, two, one!
Alright. You guys did an amazing job.
Janet, will you please bring your dish forward?
So tell us what you made.
[Janet] It's a baked chicken in a wine cream sauce.
I think the chicken is really well-cooked.
I was going to say, number one thing,
can we just acknowledge, chicken cooked
perfectly? Very well.
Yeah. Thank you.
Great, great. Very nice.
I got a little crunchy carrot.
I probably would have liked a few more minutes
on the carrots. Yeah.
The sauce has a lot of flavor.
I just wish the chicken had some more seasoning.
It is still juicy and it's perfectly cooked.
Thank you. Thank you.
Mark, will you please bring your dish forward?
So tell us what you did.
[Mark] So I made a chicken breast
in a Creamy Balsamic mushroom sauce,
and then I topped that with parsley and bacon,
and I made a side of rice.
Great, let's do this.
I love how creative you got with your sauce.
We got really excited about your sauce,
and I think maybe you took it just a little bit
to the point of over-reduced.
Yeah. And I think your sauce
might have broken a little bit in the end.
One of the other things that we were impressed by
is the fact that you kept tasting,
and that you were actually really into the food.
And it's always a good sign,
and it makes you wanna eat the person's food
when they're happy and excited about what they're making.
Thanks, Mark. [laughing]
Nike, please bring up your plate.
It's arrived safely.
[Rick] Thank you, yay.
[Nike] So this is my hey bay-bay pot pie.
[Hosts] Hey bay-bay?
[Nike] There's a lot of seasoning in there--
[Sohla] Okay, cool.
With the Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup
as the pot pie filling,
and then like a orb and cheddar biscuit.
You gettin' that bay-bay.
The flavor's really good.
I think it's safe to say,
it's not just like an ordinary chicken pot pie, so--
For that, I think you did
a really nice job. You changed it, you took it
to another level. Yeah, definitely.
Unfortunately, the biscuit is not cooked.
[Sohla] Wow, the top's okay.
The top's okay. The tippity-top's good.
We can taste the top. I know that was
a big concern for you,
right Nike? Yes.
I wish you had like five more minutes--
I know. The flavor in the biscuit
Alright, so you guys have made our lives really difficult.
We're gonna have to go back into the tasting room,
and talk about everything that we've just eaten,
but we will be back very shortly with our decision.
Thank you. Thanks.
Okay, I feel like number one,
must give props to everyone
for breaking down a whole chicken,
which is something that--
Not a lot of people do.
No, no, even I don't do that.
I'm lazy, I go buy the parts.
And all three contestants made sauces
that were really creamy, really delicious.
And even though they all used the same base,
they were all very unique.
They were different.
I wouldn't have guessed
that they were all starting from the same soup.
Okay, so let's start with Nike.
It was such a fun dish and she was so fun,
and you can tell she had fun doing it.
[Rick] She had such a great energy.
My heart literally broke when I cut into the biscuit
and I just saw it, like-- I know.
I had hope, it was browned on top so I was really hoping.
Yeah. That's what I ate.
The top of the biscuit. The top was delicious.
Okay, we gotta talk about my girl Janet.
Who was doing a lot.
[Rick] Perfectly cooked chicken.
That chicken was really tender, delicious.
She did some smart things, like she used the pasta water
in the soup, which I thought was really clever.
Okay, it kind of adds to that
creamy texture. Creaminess.
Creamy body, yeah.
I think that was smart.
I think she just kind of,
she didn't hit all the points in terms of her pasta cook,
and her baby carrots, frankly.
[Christina] They were crunchy.
They were crunchy. It's a weird choice.
So then there's Mark, who,
I feel that we went through a whole journey with him.
I really was so worried about him.
Like, gather your ingredients, Mark!
Time started and he zeroed in on the chicken.
And I was so scared for him Well, he 100%
seasoned the chicken
from the get-go, and then it was just sort of like,
what's happening with Mark?
I think the criticism of that sauce.
I think if he had stopped cooking it
when we walked by the first time,
it would have been perfection.
[Sohla] Yeah, perfect.
And the thing that's great about
Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup
is that you don't have to cook it for that long.
He didn't need to cook it for 20 minutes.
That being said, nailed the chicken cook.
He literally took every talking point that we had
with our comfort food discussion
and was like, I'm gonna put this in.
He was like, cheese, rice,
butter, slippers. Bacon, carbs, yeah.
[Sohla] And we just needed pajamas.
Well, I think we know what we're gonna do, right?
Yeah, I feel-- I think, I feel good.
I feel good too.
Alright, let's get in there and tell 'em.
We just wanted to say that we feel really proud
of all of you today for not only demonstrating
technical prowess at a task that isn't super easy,
breaking down a whole chicken,
but then also taking that chicken,
making it into a dish your own,
with our asks to incorporate
this Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup.
So for all of those reasons,
I feel like you guys should be really proud.
After watching you cook for 45 minutes
I feel like I just got to know you a lot better.
laughing) Your personalities
really came through
in the cooking and in the dish.
So, but we have made a decision,
and it was really difficult because we like you a lot,
we liked the flavors a lot,
we liked watching you guys a lot.
But our decision is that the winner
of the Comfort Food Challenge is...
Congratulations! Yes, Mark!
[Mark] Thank you, thank you!
Thank you, thank you.
Thank you, guys.
Yay, oh my God. Thank you so much.
Thanks a lot. It was so--
[Rick] Janet, it was a pleasure.
I didn't know what to expect coming in today
and all the other dishes were so great,
so I'm really proud and grateful that.
I get a chance to come back again and cook something else.
I feel fantastic.
I am so glad I did this competition.
I didn't win, but it was such a fun time.
I met two wonderful home cooks.
My favorite moment was literally having Rick
as my sous-chef, can't top that.
So thank you guys.
Thank you Bon Appetit [laughing] for this,
and thank you Campbell's.
[relaxing acoustic music]
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