Mooching in the Parking Lot


When categorizing recipes I do so by significant ingredient, cuisine and diet. In some cases I’ll specify a cooking style such as slow cooker or grilling. I think I should look at adding a tailgating category.

For those unfamiliar with tailgating, it is the tradition that at a sporting event, people gather in parking lots and/or any open space near the stadium/arena. Often people will go many hours ahead of time, set up chairs, grills, tables and everything else you can imagine. Then their friends and relatives join them and all eat (and drink) before the event. Often times people will go into the stadium for the event but it is just as common for those who don’t have tickets to come to the tailgate to enjoy the atmosphere and not go to the game. Many times people at the tailgate will have satellite televisions to watch the game happening a short distance away.

Cooking at a tailgate can be quite an experience. Unless you have the RV with the built-in kitchen, most of your tailgate cooking will need to be via a grill or done way ahead of time. I cannot say that I have been the cook at any tailgates, now that I think of it. I certainly have mooched from others, but I guess I never get good enough parking to tailgate.

While there is tailgating, to some degree, for all sports, nothing is more the king of tailgating than football (American). It does not matter if it a professional or college game, there will be thousands of people in a parking lot around the stadium eating food and drinking like a fish. While tailgating is a uniquely American phenomenon (I even read where an international student services organization at a university in the US had to describe what a tailgate was to the students they serve), the idea of drinking before a game is rather common.

Check out this analysis of how the British soccer (football) fan’s tradition of going to the pub matches against the American tailgating ritual.

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This recipe starts with a pre-cooked chicken which makes it easier. Much easier.

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Start making your foil packet. A little oil so things don’t stick.

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Red onion.

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Roasted red pepper.

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A mound of chicken.

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Fold so as not to lose anything. Place on the tailgate grill.

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A great tasting sandwich for the parking lot!

Chicken-Tequila Tailgate Sandwiches

Prep Time: 20 m | Cook Time: 40 m | Makes: 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup julienned red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 1/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 1/4 cup diced Roma tomatoes, for topping
  • 4 sourdough rolls, warmed


Layer two 15-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil and fold them together around the edges to create one sheet. Repeat to make a second double-layered sheet of foil. Bend the edges of one of the sheets up 2 inches and crimp the corners so it can hold liquid.

In order, layer these ingredients on the bent sheet of foil: olive oil, onion, jalapeno, bell pepper, chicken, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, the garlic, cilantro, cheeses, lime juice and tequila. Place the second double-layered foil sheet on top of the ingredients and fold the top and bottom sheets together on all sides. Make sure the package is not leaking, then refrigerate until ready to cook.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F or a grill to medium and place the foil packet in the oven or on the grill. Cook 10 minutes; flip and cook 10 more minutes. Slice the bag open and top with the tomatoes, cilantro and parmesan cheese. Serve on the warmed rolls.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Alcohol, Cheese3, Chicken2, Grilled, Lunch3, Picnic, Recipes, Sandwich or Wrap, Vegetable4

Author:The Ranting Chef

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2 Comments on “Mooching in the Parking Lot”

  1. November 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Isn’t it interesting how language changes from one place to another? In Australia “tailgating” is following too closely behind the car in front of you and is the cause of much abuse and aggro on our roads. A far cry from this!
    Love your recipes and stories and language too, of course.
    cheers Jac


  2. November 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Definitely add the tailgating category! Recipes posted in there can be used for tailgating, for football parties at houses, for barbecues, or for any event where you’re noshing socially and informally with a lot of people and need to prep things in advance!


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