Tailgating skewers, sauces recipe

Across the U.S., fans assemble to take part in pre-game festivities, including grilling food, sharing prepared dishes and beverages and engaging in spirited conversations related to their favorite teams.

Referred to as “tailgates,” these events typically take place in a stadium parking lot. They are organized by contributing members to coordinate not only food and drinks but also coolers, tents and furniture. At its finest, tailgating can create and cultivate a sense of identity, belonging and team spirit among fans. Organizations, alumni and supporters unite in the spirit of their teams.

According to the American Tailgater Association, pre-game celebrations preceding sporting events date back to 1969. The first tailgate on record took place at the Princeton-Rutgers inaugural intercollegiate football game, where fans met before the game to sport their team’s colors around their necks and atop their heads.

Today, team pride is displayed and celebrated by fans at university football tailgates all over the nation, and UH is no different. Sports administration senior Antonio Perez said he has experienced challenges associated with the temporary location change of UH football games.

“Playing at Reliant has made tailgating a bit tougher,” Perez said. “Now there are more things to worry about, such as transportation.”

Many organizations and fan groups are creating their own solutions to this problem. Communication senior and philanthropy chair Andrew Pate is in charge of organizing tailgating for the Sigma Chi organization.

“We have offered transportation to and from the game,” Pate said. “To limit spending, we teamed up with our alumni for tailgating spots. We are excited about tailgating at a first-class stadium like Reliant, as well as the BBVA Compass and Rice stadiums.”

One thing is for certain: Regardless of the challenges posed by the construction of the new UH stadium, the show must go on. Cougar fans are finding ways to overcome obstacles to continue the tailgating traditions they have been a part of in the past.

What will you contribute at the next tailgate? Here’s a healthy dish that can be whipped up in a snap and is sure to impress your friends at your next pre-game festivities.

Spirited Skewers (with marinade)

Makes 12 servings
Serving size: 1 skewer

You will need:

  • 24 pre-soaked bamboo skewers
  • Grill


  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (thawed)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup mango juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon pasilla pepper
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


Combine juices, olive oil, pepper powders, chile powder and paprika in a large bowl.

Cut each chicken thigh in half, like a thin filet. Marinate for two hours or longer in the refrigerator.

Skewer each thigh half twice in order to keep the chicken flat on the grill.

Place chicken skewers on the grill and cook for about four to five minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Remove skewers from the grill and generously apply the previously prepared glaze (see the following recipe).

Spirited Skewers (glaze)

You will need:

  • Medium sized pan
  • Container with a lid


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 8.5-ounce can of sliced peaches in heavy syrup, drained
  • 4-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider


Combine olive oil, garlic and onions in medium sized pan. Sauté until soft.

Add remaining ingredients to pan. Bring contents to a boil.

Reduce heat and allow contents to simmer until peaches and oranges break down (about 10 to 15 minutes).

Let cool and pour into a container with a lid. Bring along to your favorite tailgate.

Add glaze to Spirit Skewers during or after cooking and share with your tailgating buddies.

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