By Allison Davis
September means different things to different people. In the Davis household it can only mean one thing! Football!  With game time and football season comes tailgating.  The smell of burgers and brats on the grill, chili, bourbon, and “C-A-T-S…CATS..CATS.CATS” chants fill the air.  No matter the outcome of the football game this chili is guaranteed to be a winner. There are so many possibilities for a tailgating menu, but one of my ultimate favorite recipes is a white chicken chili!  This is a perfect tailgating item because it is great by itself or also can be used as a dip with tortilla chips, fresh salsa, sour cream, avocados, and shredded cheese.  Also included are some other great recipes for your tailgate. Enjoy!
Game Day White Chicken Chili
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup (1/2 of a yellow onion)  chopped
2 green onions chopped
3 Cloves of minced garlic
2-3 Celery stalks finely chopped
1/2 of a red bell pepper chopped
1/2 of a green bell pepper chopped
1 4 oz can of green chilis
1 lime
1 package of McCormick’s White Chicken Chili Seasoning Mix (optional)
2 or 3 cans of white Northern Beans
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/2 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast cut in 1 inch cubes (or for a time saver use the rotisserie chicken from your grocery store and just pull off the bone)
1 box of chicken stock (32 oz)
1/2-1 cup of heavy cream
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
Toppings (Optional)
1 package of shredded mexican three cheese blend
Sour cream
Tortilla Chips
In a medium or large size stock pot heat olive oil on medium high heat until just smoking hot.  Add in the onions and let cook for at least 1 minute before adding the garlic. Then add the celery and allow these ingredients to cook until the celery and onions start to become translucent (clear).  Add the peppers and green onions and continue to stir. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  At this point I would remove the vegetables and set aside, add the chicken and brown the skin; however if you decided to go with the rotisserie chicken pulled off the bone (super convenient) wait for now and just add the green chilies and navy beans and stir all the ingredients together. You should also turn the heat down to a medium temperature. The bottom of the pan maybe starting to brown and stick so take your lime and squeeze the juice to “deglaze” the bottom of the pan, it will steam up but will help remove some of the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and add flavor to your chili.  Your chicken is nice and brown now so if you went with the boneless chicken breast vs. the rotisserie you can now add the green chilis and navy beans and vice versa (add in the pulled chicken).  Now add the McCormicks spice mix, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and then add your chicken broth. (Note:  You may not need to add all of the chicken broth, add as much as you want to get the consistency you like.  Some people prefer a very thick and chunky chili, some like it “soupy”… it’s a personal preference) 
 At this point you will want to let the chili simmer on a low to medium heat for about 30-45 min with occasional stirring so that it doesn’t settle on the bottom and scorch.   After about 35 min or so you will notice that some of the liquid has reduced, at this point I like to add between 1/2 cup to a cup of heavy cream.  It really gives the chili a nice creamy consistency. 
 If time permits, continue to simmer, the longer the better.  For tailgating, just take it in a crock pot.  Just before you are ready to serve, add in the fresh cilantro...don’t forget the cilantro!  It will add flavor and a pop of color to your chili.  Set up a chili bar and sit the toppings out for your guests and enjoy all the compliments you will receive on this amazingly satisfying game day chili.

Cajun Cashews
A great snack, addictive, and perfect with a brewsky before the big game!
1 large container of salted cashews (4 cups )
1/2 stick of butter, melted
4 TBSP Chili powder
5 dashes of Franks Hot Sauce
2 TBSP Cajun Seasoning
1 tsp cider vinegar
2 TBSP Old bay seasoning
2 TBSP Black pepper
2 TBSP Garlic Powder
Mix the melted butter, cider vinegar, and all spices together. Add the cashews and toss together in a bowl.  Lay flat on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 6-10 minutes until the cashews are slightly browned. Let cool and enjoy. These can be made a week in advance.

Roasted Red Pepper Spinach & Artichoke Dip 
Great Vegetarian option!
1 jar of Roasted Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
2 packages of frozen spinach
1 can of  artichoke hearts
2 TBSP of basil pesto (for time and convenience, purchase premade pesto)
1/4 of a red onion, small diced
1/4 cup of Mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper
Squeeze half of a fresh lemon
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of celery seed
Mix all ingredients together in an aluminum pan or bowl and cover with aluminum foil, place on the grill and turn/stir occasionally for about 10-15 minutes until dip is nice and hot, remove and serve with pita/tortilla chips.

Chipotle Pepper Jack Sliders
These mini tex mex chipotle cheeseburgers will score a touchdown!
Ground Beef (1 1/2-2 lbs) 90/10 or 80/20 you can also substitute with ground turkey
2 Adobo chilis in can, remove seeds, and chop
2 TBSP of Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
2 TBSP grill seasoning (i.e.  McCormicks Montreal Steak or Canadian Steak Seasoning)
1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
1/4 cup of bottled beer
1-2 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP onion powder
a handful of fresh cilantro chopped (again just eyeball it)
salt and pepper to taste
Pepper jack  and mozzarella Cheese Slices
Lettuce, Tomatoes, & Onions sliced
avocados, quartered and cut in strips
Toasted Mini Hamburger Buns
Spicy Mayo-  Add about 1 1/2 tbsp adobo chili sauce and 1 tsp of chopped adobo chilis to about 1 cup of  mayonnaise, and season with a little salt and pepper.
Before you mix up all the ingredients in a medium size bowl season your meat on both sides with a little salt and pepper and just a drizzle of olive oil. In a medium size bowl mix ground meat, onions, cilantro, adobo chili, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, grill seasoning, onion powder, and bottled beer.  Patty out your burgers just a little larger than the size of the buns because they will shrink once they hit the grill. Season once again with just a pinch of salt and pepper and place on a hot oiled grill.  Cook about 5 minutes on each side or to desired doneness.  Place cheese slices about 2 minutes before the burgers are ready. Serve on hot toasted mini burger buns with lettuce, tomato, onions, sliced avocados, and a dollop of the chipotle mayo!  Get your napkins ready, but it is sooo worth it!

Posted on 2014-09-04 by