When I think of this time of year, I think of two things: food and football.  I can’t watch football without eating something delicious, so while my team was struggling on the field this season (welcome to the life of a Skins fan), I ended up winning in the kitchen.  I got creative and came up with two new dishes perfect for game day.

The first are my tailgate friendly Chicken BLT Sliders; you can cook the chicken on the grill, they can be picked up and eaten without utensils and they include the ingredient that (almost) every football fan loves: BACON!

The second dish is for the wing lovers, and it’s Teriyaki Wings.  These are great for staying in to watch the game, and they’re a nice change from your standard Buffalo fare. Teriyaki is more kid-friendly, and my sauce can be used on fish and vegetables in addition to wings.

Grilled Chicken BLT Sliders

Ingredients: (Makes 12 sliders)

  • 6 chicken tenders (approx. 1 lb.)
  • 4-5 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 12 slices of lettuce (romaine or iceberg, cut or torn to the size of the slider rolls)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Paprika, to taste
  • 12 slider rolls or dinner rolls, sliced in half
  • Basil mayo (recipe below)
  • Large toothpicks


Before prepping and grilling the chicken, you should have all other ingredients ready to go.  In a small frying pan over medium high heat, fry bacon for about 3 minutes on each side or until just crisp and drain on paper towels.  Once bacon is cool enough to handle, cut each strip into thirds so that you have 12 slices.  Then, slice tomatoes about a ¼-inch thick so that you have 12 rounds as well.

Next, preheat your indoor or outdoor grill to high and prepare the chicken tenders by seasoning both sides with salt, pepper and paprika to taste.  Grill tenders for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.  Pull tenders off the grill and allow to rest while you toast the slider rolls on the grill for about 2 minutes.  Last, cut each tender in half on an angle.

To assemble the sliders, simply spread basil mayo (see below) on the tops and bottoms of the rolls.  Place a piece of bacon, then a piece of chicken on the bottom half of the bun.  On the top half of the bun place a piece of lettuce, then cover with a piece of tomato.  Bring the top half together with the bottom half, and secure with a toothpick.  Arrange on a serving platter, and watch them disappear!

Basil Mayo

Ingredients: (Makes 1 cup)

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 6-7 large fresh basil leaves (add more if leaves are smaller)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a food processor, blend all of the ingredients together and spoon into a small bowl.  If you do not have a food processor, simply chop the basil leaves and combine with remaining ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.  For a fresh spin, substitute this for plain mayonnaise on sandwiches or in your favorite recipes such as egg or tuna salad.

Teriyaki Wings

  • Ingredients: (serves 4)
  • 1 lb chicken wingettes (about 12 pieces)
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  •  ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  •  2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Optional Garnishes: finely diced chives and toasted sesame seeds


In a small pot whisk together soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar.  Add in the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes and bring to low boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Then in a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and water together and then whisk the slurry into the teriyaki sauce.   Allow to simmer for about 5 mins and remove from the heat and let stand for about 5 minutes more. (Ok to make sauce ahead of time and the longer it sits, the thicker it will get).

Next, preheat your broiler to low.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil and arrange the wingetts on the pan in a single layer.  Season both sides of the wings with salt and pepper to taste.  Then, brush a generous amount of the teriyaki sauce on both sides of the wings and place under the broiler.  Let the wings broil for 20-25 minutes, flipping and basting every five minutes or so.  The sauce should be caramelized and have a deep brown color and the chicken should be cooked through.

As soon as you remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle with sesame seeds and transfer to serving plate.  Sprinkle wings with chives and serve hot.  Feel free to put out extra sauce as well.