At the risk of alienating myself and incurring the wrath of any die-hard football fans, I’m going to go ahead and admit that last year was the first time I watched the Super Bowl. Or any football game for that matter. I mean, I ‘ve caught glimpses of games over the years. I’ve perhaps sat down to a game or two as a child, staring blankly at the screen before burying my nose in a book. But I have never actively watched a game before.
This isn’t to say that I had issue with football in particular. Note: this is really applicable to all sports. Just not my thing. So why, last year, I decided to host a Super Bowl party for my family is really beyond me. I suppose, if I’m being honest, I probably just wanted to cook a ton of awesome food and eat it. So I did, and something…unexpected happened.
Simon set up a prop betting board and we all placed our bets. As a result, I was a bit more invested in the game than ever before—and it was fun. I got into it. I paid attention. And I totally won every bet, which was pretty fantastic.
This isn’t to say I became a total convert after that. I mean, it was only one game. I don’t have a favorite team now. I didn’t keep up with the season this past year. However, this past Sunday I found myself watching the final four teams vie for their spot in Super Bowl 50…and I felt something so startlingly unfamiliar it almost didn’t register. Enjoyment attached to sports.
As the girl who got a concussion in P.E. by a rogue baseball and who systematically conned her way out of ever having to participate in any school physical activity, this is new territory for me. But here we are, the Super Bowl on the horizon and I’m looking forward to it. It’s a lot to process.
So, to celebrate this newfound—shall we say—appreciation for football I decided to make some game day eats to serve at this year’s gathering. I’ve recently developed an obsession for Del Viejo’s Datil Pepper products! Their salsa, spice blend, and marinade have a wonderful balance of sweet and heat with a tart kick at the end. When contemplating exactly what I would be making this year, I was torn between gumbo and chili. Chili or gumbo?
Not one to deny my cravings I decided to make both and incorporate my Datil Pepper Marinade into the recipe. What resulted was a sweet and spicy aromatic pot of magic that will satiate any of your guests. I maintain that this datil gumbo chili can unite even the most opposing of Bronco or Panther Fans. It’s hearty, filling and full of incredible flavor!
In addition to the datil pepper base I used chipotle peppers, tons of Cajun and chili spices, lime, and fresh herbs. I left out the okra (not a big fan) and used chicken thighs and spicy Andouille sausage, along with chickpeas and white beans. While you could easily use chicken breast, I find that thighs have more flavor and maintain a juicier, more tender texture in a slow-cooked dish. I opted to grill the shrimp separately because Simon doesn’t eat it and I actually prefer it grilled. I served it over brown rice with fresh cilantro and parsley—although it needs no side dish, its great as is!
The beauty of any slow-cooked meal is that they tend to taste better the next day so this is the perfect recipe to get going the Saturday before your Super Bowl get-together. It’s an easy one to play around with and you could easily swap out the proteins for others, top with sour cream or crema, add your favorite hot sauce to the mix or even some chimichurri!
I think I’ll set up a gumbo chili bar with tons of topping options and let my fam customize as they see fit. I guarantee your guests will go crazy over these Super Bowls! *Nervous laughter. Crickets* Looks tentatively around the room. Tough crowd. Too much? See, now, I almost made it through the post without any lame puns. But I like lame puns. You should know this about me.
Stay tuned for my upcoming Game Day drink post and please share any of your favorite go-to game day recipes below!!! Which team are you rooting for?
- 2 lbs. bone in, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 lb. Andouille Sausage
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil or Butter
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 3 14oz. cans of beans (I used 2 cans garbanzo and 1 can white beans)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 3 chipotle peppers in adobo minced, plus 3 Tbsp. adobo sauce*
- 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
- ¾ cup Del Viejo Datil Pepper Marinade
- ½ tsp. Del Viejo Datil Pepper Spice
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp. for less heat)
- ¼ tsp. white pepper (or black, I just happened to have some)
- ¼ tsp. allspice
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley (I used a blend) plus more for serving
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Serving Ideas
- Hot sauce
- Lime wedges
- Sour cream
- White or brown rice
- Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs and set aside.
- Heat butter or oil in a large Dutch oven and cook Andouille over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Remove and set aside. (I used a pre-cooked sausage and just wanted to get a nice sear on it).
- Add in onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add in flour and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Deglaze the pot with 1 cup of stock, using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits at the bottom.
- Add in the rest of the stock, tomatoes, Datil Pepper Marinade, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, and all the spices. Stir and give a quick taste-test, adjusting if necessary.
- Add in chicken thighs and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until chicken is falling off the bone.
- Carefully remove chicken, use forks to take meat off the bone, and set aside.
- Add in beans and allow to simmer, partially covered for about 30 minutes. Take another moment to taste and adjust the flavors, adding salt and pepper if necessary.
- Meanwhile, either grill the shrimp for about 2 minutes on each side (if grilling, marinate in ½ lime juice and season with Del Viejo Datil Pepper Spice)
- Add it in in the next step with the chicken and sausage. Allow shrimp to cook through until opaque for about 3 minutes, depending on the size of your shrimp.
- Return the chicken and sausage to the pot along with the fresh chopped herbs.
- Serve over white or brown rice, with plenty of hot sauce, chopped cilantro and parsley, and lime!
- *This is a somewhat spicy recipe. If you want to control the heat, add in less cayenne, chili powder, and chipotle peppers in the beginning. Let the flavors develop throughout the cooking process and add in more heat at the end if desired!