Friday, November 1, 2013

"John Madden's Ultimate Tailgating" - Award-Winning Chili for the Packers Vikings Game

Date I made this recipe:  October 27, 2013 (Packers v. Vikings, round 1)

John Madden's Ultimate Tailgating by John Madden with Peter Kaminsky
Published by:  Viking (Oh Lord, I just realized why I should not have used this book - Viking [Press]?  Forgive me, Packers, I did not know what I was doing...)
ISBN:  0-670-88098-1
Recipe:  Award-Winning Chili - p. 109

So, you all watched the game last night, right?  What do you mean, "No?"  Well, all right, maybe you are not a big fan of football or a big fan of either teams (perish the thought that you are not a Packers fan), or even John Madden (again, how is that possible?) but hopefully you are a fan of cookbooks, cooking and/or chili.  There has to be something in that combination that fits, right?  Right.

So we'll skip over the part about the game (except it was kind of delicious how the Packers pulled together and the Vikings fell apart) and talk about John Madden.  And so a tutorial:

According to Wikipedia, former NFL Coach, John Madden was born in Austin, Minnesota.  I will not hold that against him seeing as how he did not grow up here (and therefore had no reason to be a Vikings fan); the family moved to CA when John was young.  Madden eventually became head coach of the Oakland Raiders and in a hilarious twist of fate, his Raiders went on to beat the Minnesota Vikings 32-14 in the 1977 Super Bowl, the only time the Vikings have ever been to the big show...and based on their playing this year, it's going to be a long while before they repeat that appearance.  As I told some Vikings fan friends today, Packer Nation completely understand the angst of losing, seeing as how the years from 1967 to 1996 are nothing to write home to mother about.  "Painful" is the word that comes to mind but since this is a cookbook blog, moving on...

Big J retired shortly after that Super Bowl win and went on to be a sports commentator for many years, retiring from that gig in 2008.  Say what you will about the guy, but he was a memorable presence on TV and totally cracked me up.  I rather miss him, especially when compared to today's sports analysts, most of whom drive me up the proverbial wall with their comments.  Take yesterday's Packers Vikings game.  So okay, the Vikings caught a break and ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown.  Then the Packers got the ball and on the very first possession of the game, I heard "Well, the Packers are going to have to make some adjustments."  Note the time people:  we were two minutes into the game.  This is not "analysis," this is evidenced by the fact that the Packers dominated the game and never punted the ball the entire night.  Not once the entire night.  And yes, Bob Costas, I'm talking to you!!!

So at any rate, I miss Madden.  Lucky for us, John wrote today's cookbook, John Madden's Ultimate Tailgate, and so all is well with the world.  Although let me be clear:  if I was to tailgate, it would not be outside the Metrodome (where the Vikings currently play) along with, oh what--a dozen Vikings fans who still believe in their team, wearing fake goldilocks braids and horn helmets.  No.  I would however, be totally up for tailgating in my Packers cheesehead along with thousands of Packers fans outside Lambeau.   This I would do (and nearly have done but we would have had to crash a tailgate already in progress and that would have been rude...or would it?)

As you might imagine, there are a lot of BBQ/grill recipes in this book and a lot of recipes to feed a crowd, but I selected today's chili in part because I like chicken chili, could easily cut down the recipe and, with the addition of green chili and yellow and white Colby/Monterey Jack cheese, it instantly became a Packers dish - ta da!  And this, of course, is exactly why we won!

Now, unlike John Madden, I cannot exactly say this was "award-winning" but it was pretty darned good.  I was missing a spice though--maybe just some salt or maybe something else but that was my own personal preference.

And now the search is on for a rematch recipe when the Vikings travel to Lambeau Field on November 24th.  Can't wait--mama wants a pre-Thanksgiving Day present!  Go Pack Go!!

Award-Winning Chili - serves 8 to 10 (we cut the recipe in half)
2 pounds boneless chicken breast
cold water
1 T. olive oil
2 medium onions chopped
4 garlic cloves
Two 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 pounds cooked great northern beans (follow directions on package--I used canned beans)
4 cups chicken stock or broth
20 ounces Monterey Jack cheese (grated)
sour cream
Jalapeno peppers, chopped

Put the chicken in large saucepan.  Add cold water.  Bring to a simmer.  Cook until tender.

Remove chicken, discard water.  In same pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions, cook until translucent.  Stir in garlic, chilies, cumin, and cayenne pepper.  Saut√© for 2 to 3 minutes.

Shred chicken by hand and combine with beans, stock, and 12 ounces of cheese.  Simmer 15 minutes.

Ladle into large bowls.  Top with 1 ounce of cheese.  Serve with a side of sour cream and chopped jalapeno peppers.

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