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Ole Miss {Pizza Friday}

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A huge college football fan, I have wanted to tailgate at the Grove at The University of Mississippi {Ole Miss} since I heard about it many years ago.  Voted the #1 tailgate experience in college football many, many times, it really is SEC football and southern tradition at it’s finest.  {Read a detailed account of Grove tailgating HERE, and you’ll totally get it!}  For my birthday this year, my dad – in an unprecedented gift-giving gesture – bought me tickets to the FIRST Ole Miss home game of the season!!  My cousin Lauren {the most faithful sidekick!} and I road-tripped, southern style, down the east coast and through Tennessee {pics to come!}, and had the best weekend, and after a post-game stop at Gus’s Fried Chicken on the adorable Oxford square, we were totally in our southern + football + tailgate + fried food glory.  With this Pizza Friday version of the whole Gus’s Fried Chicken experience, I will admit that there were a ridiculous number of steps in this process {rivaled only by the clambake pizza – yet to be posted on the blog, but check it out on my Instagram}, and I might not ever make it again….but I’ll admit – it was pretty awesome!  I WILL, however, make a few of the components again {the collard greens and fried pickles} – they were pretty awesome in on their own, and totally bulked up my southern cooking repertoire!  {Scroll down for the recipe!}

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RECIPE {Like I said above, a TON of steps…}

First, unless you own a cast iron skillet and know how to make really awesome fried chicken already, just do yourself a favor and buy it at the store {AND send me the recipe…I do want to make this at some point…}.  For the sake of time and my sanity, this is what I did, and sorry I’m not sorry.

Next, actually make the COLLARD GREENS.  These were SO good I’m adding this dish to my Thanksgiving menu this year.  And maybe Christmas.  And random Sundays.

Ingredients {I used this recipe from Spicy Southern Kitchen as a guide, but if you have a family recipe for collard greens, by all means use it! And then send it to me, too!}:

  • 2 pounds collard greens, rinsed
  • 5 slices of thick bacon, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
  • Salt and Pepper

Use a knife to cut the thick ribs out of the collard green leaves.  Throw those away, and tear/cut the remaining leaves into 1/2 inch strips (it works well to roll them up and cut them that way).  Cook the bacon over medium heat in a large pot until crisp.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon or tongs (leaving the bacon fat in the pot) and set on a paper towel lined plate.  Add the onion to the bacon fat and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Add broth, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and Tabasco sauce to the pot.  Stir to combine.  Add collard greens and use tongs to turn and mix them until they reduce in size.  Cover, turn heat to low, and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.  Before serving, sprinkle bacon on top and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Next up is the FRIED PICKLES!  These were also awesome, and I can’t wait to make a batch of just these pickles for myself…I mean to share with a large group of people, of course…

Ingredients {I used this recipe from Lady Behind the Curtain as a guide…it was for spears, but it worked just as well with pickle slices}:

  • Jar of pickles of your choice (I used the tiny slices)
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • enough canola or vegetable oil to add 3 inches in a frying pan

Soak the pickles on a paper towel to absorb the liquid.  In a medium bowl. stir to combine the bread crumbs, cheese, and parsley.  In a small bowl add the eggs and lightly beat.  Dip the dry pickles in the eggs then evenly coat with bread crumb mixture.  Set on a baking sheet for 10 minutes.  Heat oil to 375 degrees.  When oil is ready, add the pickles.  You can add a few at a time, but don’t overcrowd.  I think I added about 10 tiny slices in a large frying pan.  Fry until golden brown and crispy.  Place the fried pickles on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Finally, you’re ready to assemble the pizza.  Shred/chop the fried chicken {preserving as much of that outer coating as possible}.  On a pizza dough of your choice {I use gluten free}, lightly brush on olive oil, then add shredded mozzarella cheese.  Top with chicken, pickles, and collard greens, and bake at 350 degrees until you see the cheese bubble, then give it a minute or so under the broiler.

And…enjoy, Hotty Toddy, and go Rebs!!


One response to “Ole Miss {Pizza Friday}”

  1. Barbara Casta says:

    Well – since I don’t cook I can’t add much here, except to say that these photos are just fabulous!!

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