New Orleans Tailgate Tailgate Tailgate Tour
Oct 3, 2022
Written by: Crove Food Co.
On September 4, we traveled down to the BIG EASY! Our third stop of 11 on the Tailgate Tour, was in downtown New Orleans, LA with LSU Tigers taking on the Florida State Seminoles. We set up on the corner of Lafayette St. and O’Keefe Ave. one block away from Caesar’s Superdome.
Since we had two tour stops behind us, this third one is when we started to feel like we were finally getting in a groove. We had figured out how to get set up quickly and get food off the grills and in people’s mouths ASAP!
After we got the trailer unhitched and unloaded, it was time to start cooking! We set up our spot with our Traeger, Big Green Egg, and Weber Kettle. Today’s recipe lineup includes Buffalo Chicken Sliders, BBQ Chicken Lollipops, and Honey Garlic Porkchops.
Our food stayed cold in all three of our ORCA hard-side coolers. They are the perfect on the go “refrigerator”. We used these coolers all weekend long and they have been thrown around, sat on, and packed full. We can’t say enough good things about these coolers.
The first thing we started prepping were the BBQ Chicken Lollipops. BBQ Chicken Lollipops are a great tailgating food. They are delicious, so juicy, and are easy to hold and eat…BUT they take a lot of time to prep. They get their name because, well they look like a lollipop, with the chicken bone acting as a lollipop stick once it has been trimmed. We got all our ingredients out of our ORCA Coolers and started trimming the chicken drumsticks to turn them into lollipops. To trim the chicken drumsticks, you need a very sharp knife. You are going to make a cut completely around the lower end of the chicken leg and pull the skin down away from the meat end, until the bone is exposed. You will also need to use kitchen shears to cut the tendons. This is very tedious work, but so worth it in the end! We dusted the lollipops in our Crove Food Co. Poultry Rub & Seasoning and put them on the smoker. The poultry rub has the perfect ratio of mouth-watering seasonings in it plus it gives the chicken a beautiful color. The lollipops should sit on the meat end with the stick pointing up. We smoked them on the Traeger using Cowboy Charcoal Applewood and Charcoal Pellets. I love these pellets because it gives the meat that perfect smoky flavor. While those were on the grill, I started prepping chicken breasts for the Buffalo Chicken Sliders.
The lollipops and chicken breasts cooked together at the same temperature on the Traeger, and I had enough room for both.
Recipe for BBQ Chicken Lollipops:
- Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Trim your chicken drumsticks into lollipops. To trim the chicken drumsticks, you need a very sharp knife. You are going to make a cut completely around the lower end of the chicken leg and pull the skin down away from the meat end, until the bone is exposed. You will also need to use kitchen shears to cut the tendons. Trim until the bone is clean.
- After you have trimmed all the chicken, dust the chicken with Crove Food Co. Poultry Rub & Seasoning.
- Let the chicken sit for 30 minutes with the rub on it while the smoker is heating up.
- Put the chicken on a 275-degree Fahrenheit smoker with the chicken lollipop sitting on the grate while the chicken bone sticks up in the air. You might have to spread the skin and meat out to get it to sit up straight by pushing it down.
- Smoke the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the chicken lollipops one at a time and dip them into a bowl or cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, then place them right back onto the smoker. I used Allegro Original BBQ Sauce.
- Let the chicken lollipops smoke for an additional 10 minutes or until the sauce is set, then remove from the grill.
- Serve and enjoy!
I love serving sliders for any occasion. Sliders have everything you need… bread, meat, yummy sauce, and toppings. They are easy to eat and are so delicious! The chicken lollipops have a sweeter BBQ flavor, so I wanted to make something spicy to change up the palette. Buffalo Chicken Sliders were the perfect choice!
I coated chicken breasts in our Crove Food Co. Fajita Rub & Seasoning and put them on the smoker with the chicken lollipops. I love our Fajita Rub because you can get mild, medium, hot, or FIRE flavors with it! The more you use, the spicier your food will get, so use with care! For these sliders we made a delicious buffalo sauce and a spicy ranch using two of our rubs. We used pepper jack cheese and Hawaiian rolls to finish them off!
Recipe for Buffalo Chicken Sliders:
- 4-6 Chicken Breasts
- Crove Food Co. Fajita Rub & Seasoning
- 1 package King’s Hawaiian Rolls
- 12 slices Pepper Jack Cheese
- 2 tablespoons melted Butter
- Buffalo Sauce:
- 1 stick Butter
- 1 bottle Hot Sauce
- 1 tbsp Crove Food Co. Beef Rub & Seasoning
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire
- Spicy Ranch:
- 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch mix
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 cup Milk
- 2 tsp Crove Food Co. Fajita Rub & Seasoning
- Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season chicken breasts with Crove Food Co. Fajita Rub & Seasoning.
- Place chicken breasts on the smoker until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While the chicken is cooking, melt 1 stick of butter in a saucepan on low heat. Add 1 bottle of hot sauce, I use Red Hot’s, and a few dashes of Crove Food Co. Beef Rub & Seasoning. Our Beef Rub is a perfect mixture of salt, pepper, garlic, and onion. Mix it all together and continue to cook on low.
- Next, you are going to make the spicy ranch. In a medium sized bowl combine, 1 ranch packet, 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup milk, and a few shakes of Crove Food Co. Fajita Rub & Seasoning. Whisk together until well combined and place in the refrigerator.
- Pull the chicken off the smoker when it is finished smoking. In a large pan, shred the chicken with tongs, forks, or your hands.
- After the chicken is shredded, pour all the sauce over the chicken in the pan and mix it together.
- Now you are ready to assemble the sliders. Place the bottom half of your rolls onto a baking sheet. On top of those put an even layer of the shredded buffalo chicken. Next, pour ranch over the top of the chicken. Then, lay slices of pepper jack cheese on top. Last, put the tops of the rolls on.
- Brush melted butter on top of the rolls.
- With the sliders still on the baking sheet, place them back onto the smoker for 10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
We now had two delicious recipes to start passing out for FREE- BBQ Chicken Lollipops and Buffalo Chicken Sliders. A lot of people had never tried or even heard of chicken lollipops, and everyone went crazy about the sliders! We passed them out to police officers and to parking garage employees who were working hard on game day to keep everyone safe in traffic.
We played some games on the Tennessee River Jam corn hole boards and handed out prizes for those that could score before me! We also asked questions like “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” and since we were in New Orleans, “Is gumbo a soup?” Both of those are still up for debate! We were finally ready to cook our final recipe of the day which was Honey Garlic Pork Chops. We chose bone in pork chops for this recipe. We marinaded them in one of our favorites, Allegro Marinade Honey Garlic and paired that with our Crove Food Co. Pork Rub & Seasoning. Both of those flavors together are out of this world! We preheated our Weber Kettle with Cowboy Charcoal Briquet’s with our custom fitting GrillGrates for our Weber Kettle. We love using GrillGrates because they give the meat the most perfect grill marks and keep the porkchop extra juicy. Cowboy Charcoal Briquets provide long-lasting, even heat while adding the authentic, smoky flavor of hardwood with no chemicals!
Recipe for Honey Garlic Porkchops:
- 4 bone-in, 1.5-inch Porkchops
- 1 bottle Allegro Honey Garlic Marinade
- Crove Food Co. Pork Rub & Seasoning
- Preheat your grill. We used Cowboy Charcoal’s Briquet’s.
- Marinate pork chops in a Ziplock Baggie with 1 bottle of Allegro Marinade Honey Garlic for 6-12 hours.
- Remove from marinade and coat evenly on both side with Crove Food Co. Pork Rub & Seasoning.
- Grill porkchops on GrillGrates rotate 90 degrees each time that you flip them until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Serve and enjoy!
The bone-in Honey Garlic Porkchops were beautiful. The grill marks from the GrillGrates make them stand out and the flavor from the charcoal combined with our rub and Allegro Honey Garlic make this a recipe that you just can’t beat! It was so juicy, perfect color, and was packed full of flavor. Once again, the day flew by, and we had finally made it to the end of our first weekend of the Tailgate Tour. Thanks to our sponsors GrillGrate, Tennessee River Jam, ORCA, Cowboy Charcoal, and Allegro Marinade we were able hand out FREE samples to friends, family, and strangers who stopped by to visit all weekend long.
Once again, we loved getting to show off the products from our sponsors at this stop: GrillGrates for our Weber Kettle, ORCA Cooler Hard side to keep all our food cold, Cowboy Charcoal and Applewood Pellets, Cowboy Charcoal Briquets, Allegro Marinade Honey Garlic, and Allegro Original BBQ Sauce. We also got to showcase and cook with our new line of Crove Rubs & Seasonings which include Beef, Fajita, Poultry, and Pork and are available to order online. Shop at crovefood.com
We packed up and headed to HOME SWEET HOME. Our next stop on the Tailgate Tour is in Arkansas when the Arkansas Razorbacks will take on Missouri State on September 17th. Make sure you are following along on our social media platforms where we will announce exactly where we are set up! Stop by to tailgate with us and try out samples, play games, and hang out with our team!