These Green Bay Packers fans really know how to tailgate. (Photo by Matt Ludtke/Getty Images)
"The massive Raider Nation is beyond doubt the sleaziest and rudest and most sinister mob of thugs and wackos ever assembled." ---- Hunter S. Thompson
What a better way to start the 2011 Monday Night Football season than a match-up between the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders. For me, the best part is that there is more time to Tailgate (or Barbecue if you can't make it to the game) because of the evening time slot. Now, I've had a whole lockout to figure out the game plan to kickoff the season and I think I have two good plays called. As the quarterback for your Tailgate or afternoon patio soiree, you can run with the first recipe or pass to the second read. Just audible for the situation. Or better yet, make them both. Take the jump and we'll see if I can whet your appetite for some football food.
The first entree has the Broncos Orange made into a reduction as in what will happen to the Raiders on Monday night at Mile High Stadium. There is some Marinating time involved with this one, so make sure you get a head start.
Orange-Soy Glazed Grilled Chicken Breasts
The total time involved here is roughly 3.5 hours. 45 minutes for prep, 2.5 hours marination and 15-20 minutes cooking time. This is an Easy meal that yields 4 servings.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 4 tsp olive oil
Set a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and add the orange juice, soy sauce, sugar and orange zest. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until liquid is reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Remove the glaze from the heat, reserve 1/4 cup separately, and then pour the remaining glaze over the chicken breasts in a re-sealable plastic food storage bag. Refrigerate the chicken breasts for 2 hours; remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and discard the marinade. Season the chicken on both sides with the salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Place the chicken, smooth side down, on the grill and cook for 4 minutes, rotate 45 degrees and cook an additional 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over, brush each breast with 1 tablespoon of the reserved glaze, and cook for another 4 minutes on the second side, or until just cooked through. Remove from the heat and serve.
A lot of Orange to Reduce the Raiders into basement dwellers.
The second read is a little bit more difficult to pull off, but just as tasty depending on your palate. This one is by television celebrity chef Bobby Flay.
Grilled Chicken Breast Stuffed with Goat Cheese with Smoked Chile Cilantro Sauce
- 8 ounces soft goat cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped olives
- 1 red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped (choose your heat range)
- 1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped thyme
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 large boneless chicken breast, pounded thin, or butterflied
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat grill. Mix together the goat cheese, olives, red pepper and thyme in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay each breast out and brush them with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Fill with the cheese mixture and roll the breasts up, securing them with toothpicks. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with Smoked Chile-Cilantro Sauce.
SMOKED CHILE-CILANTRO SAUCE
- 2 Poblano Peppers, smoked, peeled and seeded
- 1/4 cup red onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 2 tsp honey
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a blender, combine the Poblanos, onion and lime juice and blend until smooth. While the blender is running, add the oil slowly until emulsified. Add the spinach and cilantro and blend until smooth. Add the honey and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.
So whether your taste runs toward the sweet or the savory, these two winning recipes will help you enjoy an evening of football. Celebrate the Broncos inaugural win in 2011 with a Tailgate that's off the depth chart.
Good Eating and...