Zestuous appears in first MasterChef Cookalong

Tuesday night, I participated in the first ever MasterChef Cookalong on Google+ Hangouts with MasterChef contestant Krissi Biasiello and Laura Vitale, creator and star of “Laura in the Kitchen.” What a fun event.

Here’s a Zestuous highlight reel from the hour-long event.

I’ve been participating in the MasterChef Mystery Box Challenge at home, creating dishes with the surprise ingredients unveiled during each episode. I’ve been sharing those posts through social media…and I guess MasterChef liked what they saw.

I received a direct twitter message from MasterChef the other day asking me if I would be interested in participating in an exclusive event with one of this season’s contestants. After I picked myself up off the floor, I responded with a big fat YES!

A few days later, I had multiple interviews with those behind the scenes who make the magic happen. I was sitting on pins and needles, until I got the call letting me know I made the cut.

MasterChef Cookalong

We did a couple of tests and were ready for the big day. The hardest part of it all, was keeping it a secret. I was dying to tell everyone…but that’s part of showbiz I guess. We weren’t allowed to release the news until about 30 minutes before the show. I spent those 30 minutes on my phone frantically posting the news everywhere.

MasterChef CookalongMasterChef Cookalong

I was joined by fellow MasterChef fans Beth Warren from Canada and Greg Wright from New York. We mingled on Google+ Hangout for a couple of hours to test our sound and cameras.

I received Krissi’s Fried Chicken recipe early, so I could buy the ingredients. I knew from all the spices and hot sauce she used that I was going to love it. She’s allowed me to share it and her German Potato Salad recipe with you. They’re at the bottom of this post.

MasterChef Cookalong

Everything was in place. Chicken was cut and soaking in hot sauce and buttermilk, and I was ready. Wouldn’t you know it, at the moment the director called 60 seconds to showtime, my Internet went out, and I was dropped from the show. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I had unplugged every other Internet device in the house.

MasterChef Cookalong

Fortunately, I got back on a little bit after the show started. I was a little frazzled, but the kitchen is where I’m most comfortable and Krissi was so easy to talk to.

My favorite tip from the cookalong is how she knows her oil is ready without a thermometer.  She puts a quartered onion in the oil and when it’s brown, the oil is ready. Plus, it flavors the oil, making the chicken even better.

MasterChef Cookalong

She also suggests frying your chicken in this order: breasts, drumsticks, thighs then wings.

MasterChef Cookalong

This was such a fun experience. I’m so happy that I was invited to be part of it. If you’re a MasterChef fan, you might be selected, too. Interact on the show’s social media sites and you, too, might get that surprise email.

MasterChef Krissi Biasiello’s Fried Chicken

MasterChef Krissi Biasiello’s Fried Chicken


  • 1 chicken fryer, cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup Frank’s Red Hot hot sauce
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tsp. Adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • ½ stick of butter

Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Pour in the hot sauce and toss to coat.

Add in enough buttermilk to cover the chicken. Let rest in the fridge for a least an hour.

Combine the flour and spices. To make sure it’s going to taste great, dip your finger in water, then in the flour and taste the spices. Add more, if needed.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet with high edges, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add in vegetable oil until it’s about one-inch up the sides of the pan. Add in the butter. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees.

OPTIONAL TIP: Quarter an onion, leaving the root on each piece. Place it in the cool oil. When the oil is brown and crispy, you know your oil is ready for the chicken.

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and toss in the spiced flour. Shake off any excess flour and set it on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan.

Place the chicken breasts in the oil, skin side down. Cook until golden brown. Then flip.

When you flip the breasts, add the drumsticks to the pan.

When the breasts are golden, place them on a new sheet pan with a wire rack and place in the oven to continue cooking.

Flip the legs and add the thighs. When the legs are done, place them in the oven.

Flip the thighs and add the wings. When the thighs are done, place them in the oven and flip the wings. Place the wings in the oven, if needed.

The chicken should have an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees.


MasterChef Krissi Biasiello’s German Potato Salad

MasterChef Krissi Biasiello’s German Potato Salad


  • 3-4 lbs. red potatoes
  • 8 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Clean the potatoes. Using a fork, poke holes in the potatoes. Place in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.

While the potatoes are boiling, Place the bacon and onion in a large pot and cook until the onions are tender and the bacon is cooked through.

Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool slightly.

Pour the apple cider vinegar and water into the bacon and onions. USE GREASE!!

Whisk in the flour and sugar, until dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer while you cut the potatoes into bite-sized chunks. The potatoes should still be very warm.

Place the potato chunks in a bowl and pour the hot bacon dressing over the potatoes and toss gently to coat.

Season with salt and pepper.




  • Melissa says:

    Thank you so much (thank her as well) for sharing the potato salad recipe. Its also really cool that it is virtually inexpensive and most of the ingredients people already have on hand!

  • AWESOME!!!! You did fantastic. Wow, a little bit of nervousness going on, I bet when that internet went out…sheeeesh!!!! I like that sassy lady, Krissi. She has some wonderful cooking tips. Keep up the great work, Christie. Hope to see you in Vegas this November.

  • Melissa says:

    I just watched the master chef with Krissi Biasiello under Laura Vitale’s YouTube channel. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I have a question though; does Krissi Biasiello have a channel or website with more recipes like this and her potato salad? I would love to find out. Also do you have a cooking channel on YouTube I would love to subscribe! Thanks

    • zestuous says:

      Thanks Melissa. I don’t think Krissi has a website yet, but you can follow her on Twitter at @MC4Krissi. I contacted her and she said I could share her German Potato Salad recipe on Zestuous. I have added it to this post. I don’t have a cooking channel yet, but that’s something I’m thinking about starting. Thanks for the inspiration.

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