Log Out | Member Center

70°F

73°/58°

Author: Think quality over quantity when planning tailgate menus

  • Chicago Tribune
  • Published Wednesday, Sep. 25, 2013, at 12 a.m.

CHICKEN-SWEET POTATO KEBABS

Prep: 1 hour

Marinate: Overnight

Cook: 12-15 minutes

Makes: 12 kebabs

Chicken:

2 ½ tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar

½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon each: coarse ground black pepper, ground sage

¼ cup olive oil

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size cubes

Vegetables:

1 each: red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper

1 medium yellow onion

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces, parboiled, cooled

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon each: salt, Dijon mustard, coarse ground black pepper

¼ cup olive oil

For the chicken, whisk the vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, salt, pepper and sage together in a bowl. Continue whisking while slowly pouring in the olive oil. Add chicken to a large zip-close plastic bag; pour in the marinade. Seal; refrigerate overnight.

For the vegetables, chop the peppers and onion into bite-size pieces. Add to a large zip-close plastic bag along with the sweet potatoes. Whisk the vinegar, salt, mustard and pepper together in a bowl. Continue whisking while drizzling in the olive oil. Pour over the vegetables. Seal; refrigerate overnight.

The next day, assemble the kebabs at home. (Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before using.) Alternate pieces of chicken, vegetables and sweet potatoes on 12 skewers. (Discard marinade.) Transfer the skewers in covered containers to your tailgate event.

Grill over medium-high heat, turning once, until the vegetables are softened and the chicken is cooked, 12-15 minutes.

Adapted from “The Southern Tailgating Cookbook” (University of North Carolina Press, $30), by Taylor Mathis.

Nutrition information:

Per serving: 156 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 42 mg cholesterol, 13 g carbohydrates, 16 g protein, 87 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.

There’s tailgating. And then there’s tailgating.

“When I was at University of Florida, there were people who got there at 2:30 in the morning cooking a whole pig on a spit,” said Taylor Mathis, author of “The Southern Tailgating Cookbook: A Game-Day Guide for Lovers of Food, Football and the South” (University of North Carolina Press). “It’s great to see that kind of dedication, to get there 17 hours before kickoff.”

Mathis saw dedication writ large during his gridiron-infused culinary tour of 35 college stadiums — from a Halloween game at the University of Kentucky with mummy-shaped apple slices floating in cider, to a University of Washington crowd hosting a Midwestern fish fry with Great Lakes fish sent by their University of Michigan pals.

“One of my favorite things was seeing how creative people could get with themes,” says the 28-year-old University of Wisconsin at Madison graduate.

Mathis devoted a chapter of his book to an “eat your competition” theme. (Beer can chicken when your rivals are birds; a mutton dish when Rams are the opposition; souped up hot dogs when you’re facing a team of Bulldogs.)

Regardless of your theme — or the number of tailgates under your belt — let the food take center stage, he suggests.

“Go for quality over quantity,” Mathis says. “Pick one or two great dishes and do them well.”

Because once you walk into that stadium, greatness is up for grabs.

“You can’t control how your team performs on the field,” he says. “All you can do is throw the best pregame celebration possible.”

Subscribe to our newsletters

The Wichita Eagle welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views. Please see our commenting policy for more information.

Have a news tip? You can send it to wenews@wichitaeagle.com or consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Wichita Eagle.

Search for a job

in

Top jobs