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Chefs Share Recipes for At-Home Tailgates

by Kimberly Inlander

Jan 13, 2022

© Yunkiphotoshot | Dreamstime.com


With football play-offs starting and just a few weeks until the big game — Super Bowl LVI will be played Feb. 13 — your family is probably starting to think about the menus for your at-home celebrations. A few chefs from restaurants around the country share their tailgate favorites.


Recreate these culinary creations in your own kitchen with these recipes:


Duck Wings from Bayou Bar, New Orleans, Louisiana

6 disjointed chicken wings (6 drum sticks and 6 flappers)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 slices of Texas Toast

About 2 cups of cornstarch


Fill a large pot with canola oil about 2–3 inches from the top and put on medium heat, until about 350 degrees. While oil is heating up, season one dozen wings with salt and pepper. Toss with cornstarch and refrigerate for one hour.


Remove wings from the refrigerator and toss in a little more cornstarch. Working in batches, gently add wings to oil and fry until golden brown (about 8–10 minutes). Place cooked wings on a Texas toast and sprinkle with Memphis dry rub (recipe below) and serve white BBQ sauce (recipe below) on the side.


Memphis Dry Rub

1 cup paprika

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon coriander

1 tablespoon Allspice

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried oregano


Combine all ingredients.


White BBQ Sauce (small batch)


2 cups  mayonnaise

1/3 cup horseradish

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/8 cup cane syrup

1/8 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon garlic powder

.5 teaspoon onion powder

.5 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 dash Tabasco


Whisk together all ingredients. Taste for seasoning.


Glitter Chicken from L.A. Jackson, Nashville, Tennessee

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup milk

1 large egg

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

Vegetable oil, for shallow frying


Cut the chicken lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide strips. Whisk flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne and 2 tablespoons of salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the milk and egg in another shallow bowl until combined. Dredge the chicken fingers in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg mixture, and then back into the seasoned flour. Set aside on a baking sheet. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the chicken fingers, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about three minutes. Transfer the chicken fingers to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and season with salt. Dust in edible glitter!

Buttermilk Ranch

⅔ cup buttermilk

¾ cup mayo

¾ cup sour cream

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon celery salt

2 dashes Tabasco

2 tablespoons ground pink peppercorn

Kosher salt

Whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, lemon juice, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, Tabasco, and pink peppercorn in a medium bowl; season with salt. Chill at least 20 minutes to let flavors meld before serving.


Guacamole from Lona Cocina & Tequileria, Fort Lauderdale, Florida


3 fresh ripe avocados

Juice from ½ lime

Salt to taste



Place the avocados, lime juice and salt in a bowl. Roughly mash ingredients together.


Pico de Gallo

1 diced tomato

½ jalapeño pepper, seeded & minced

¼ cup finely chopped white onion

½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

½ lemon, juiced

Salt to taste


Stir the tomato, jalapeño pepper, onion, cilantro, lemon juice and salt together in a bowl. Garnish the guacamole with pico de gallo and chicharrón or crab meat.


Green Buffalo Crispy Cauliflower Tacos from Phuc Yea, Miami, Florida

Green Buffalo Sauce

2 cups green Tabasco sauce

2 poblano peppers (roasted whole)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

¼ ounce apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

4 ounces butter, whole



2 cups cauliflower, florets

1 quart buttermilk

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon paprika


Blue Cheese Crema

1 cup blue cheese crumbles

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup milk


Pickles Carrots & Celery

1 carrot, cut into matchsticks

1 celery stalk, cut into matchsticks

2 cups rice wine vinegar

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon salt


For the sauce, in a pot add all ingredients except the roasted poblano peppers and butter; remove the stems and seeds from the poblano peppers. Place pot on stove at medium high heat and cook until sauce comes to a boil; remove from heat and let cool down. When sauce is completely cool, add to a blender, add roasted poblano peppers and butter. Blend until sauce is completely emulsified.


For the blue cheese crema, in a pot, add the blue cheese and cream; bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Place blue cheese mixture in a blender. Blend until well emulsified and reserve.


For the pickled carrots and celery, bring the vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and pour hot liquid over carrots and celery. Chill and reserve.


For the cauliflower, combine flour, salt, black pepper and paprika; mix well. Add cauliflower to seasoned flour mixture and toss to coat. Place in buttermilk and roll until cauliflower is coated completely. Add to flour mixture a second time until completely coated. Place cauliflower in a hot fryer and fry until cauliflower is crispy. Toss in green buffalo sauce.


Place cauliflower in your favorite corn or flour tortilla; top with blue cheese crema, pickled vegetables and cilantro. Serve hot.


Lechon Tostones from R House, Miami, Florida


4-6 pound pork shoulder

4 cups sour orange

40 cloves garlic

4 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons oregano

2 tablespoons cumin

4 teaspoons ground pepper

4 tablespoons rosemary

4 tablespoons thyme


Pork Skin

4 pounds coarse salt

4 egg whites

½ cup white vinegar

½ cup apple cider vinegar


Prepared Lechon Mix

2 tablespoons olive oil

10 ounces diced pork

18 ounces pineapple slices

4 tablespoons shallots

4 tablespoons green bell pepper

4 tablespoons red bell pepper

4 tablespoons red onion

2 tablespoons jalapeno


Mojo Verde

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon coarse ground pepper

1 ½ bunches cilantro

4 tablespoons lime juice

½ cup olive oil



2 platanos

¼ cup pork mix

1 teaspoon mojo verde

Fresh cilantro leaves to garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Begin by preparing and roasting your pork shoulder joint in the oven. Before roasting, marinade the pork shoulder overnight then cover with salt. The marinade is made with sour orange juice, chopped garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, ground pepper, rosemary and thyme. Make a thick salt coating using coarse salt, egg white, regular vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Roast the marinated pork shoulder in the oven for two hours.


After roasting, remove the salt crust — this salt will have taken on lots of flavor and can be used to season the dish just before serving — then cool, de-bone and dice the meat into small chunks.


Prepare a simple sofrito by sauteing four tablespoons each diced shallots, green bell pepper, red bell pepper red onion and diced jalapeños. Separately, grill 9 ounces of pineapple slices until dark grill marks form. Dice the pineapple, then add to your sofrito mix. When mixed well, add 5 ounces diced pork and continue to mix.

Next, to make the tostones, fry 16 thick slices of platano. After initial frying, smash platano slices so they form thin and wide slices, then re-fry until golden brown. When crispy, remove from pan and pad off any excess oil. Place the tostone slices on large plates, then on each piece place a quarter cup of your pineapple-pork mix. Place 1 teaspoon of mojo verdeon top then season with the salt from your original salt crust.


Garnish each toston with cilantro leaves then serve!


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