Aarón Sánchez’s Dream Tailgating Chopped Basket

by in Food Network Chef, November 5th, 2013

Aaron SanchezYou’ve seen Chopped judges dish out unapologetically honest criticism to chefs and even take their places in the kitchen while cooking on After Hours, but they’ve never before had a say in what mandatory ingredients land in the mystery baskets. While there’s no plans just yet to let the panel exercise this would-be-new power, you can be sure that some judges’ picks would be more ordinary than others, while some would likely be too demanding to ever assign to competitors.

FN Dish caught up with longtime Chopped judge Aarón Sánchez at an event hosted by Ortega, where he was celebrating the start of tailgating season and his partnership with the Mexican food company, and he told FN Dish the four ingredients he’d include in the baskets if there were to be a tailgating-themed episode of Chopped. “I would definitely put some sort of jam, like a marmalade or some sort of preserves, so you could make a barbecue sauce,” he said before adding, “I would do chicken necks for sure,” in a creative twist on the classic chicken wing. “I would do some sort of spicy [ingredient], maybe chipotles in adobo ‘cause … they’d be awesome with the marmalade,” he added. “Then I would do a blue cheese, then I would make a sauce.”

What do you think of Aaron’s selections? Are they too simple, given the fierce competition of the show, or do you think these ingredients would give the competitors a run for their money? If you could choose four ingredients for a tailgating-themed basket, what would they be? Tell FN Dish in the comments below.

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Comments (12)

  1. lcsa99 says:

    I think one of the best things about the chopped baskets as is, is that (for the most part) they put them together with no theme in mind. Once you start thinking about the end product first (like the chicken neck wings) and throw in ingredients that would work for it, the baskets become a lot easier to manage and take a lot less creativity to get a nice dish.

  2. tammy says:

    hot dog.. beer.. chips.. watermelon

  3. Ann says:

    Leeks, pork ribs, marmalade, garlic popcorn

  4. Lori Altman says:

    Soda pop, peppers, bratwurst, candied peanuts

  5. Micaela says:

    skirt steak, Green Chii peppers, pinto beans, beer

  6. syndee bousquet says:

    pigs tongue, brie, jalapeno jelly and beer

  7. jodie says:

    chicken wings…..beer……chips…….ketchup

  8. Diana says:

    Pigs feet, broccoli, peanut butter and potato chips

  9. Marlena says:

    Beer can chicken..beer battered bread..beef stew made with beer..oh and beer..

  10. guest says:

    So Aaron would include ingredients to make basically Buffalo wings using chicken necks. Think we'd better keep the judges judging the end results and not give them a hand in selecting the baskets LOL. I could see the judges having preconceived ideas of what the contestants "should" make from the basket ingredients. Guess the bottom line is, don't tamper with success!! :)

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