Deep South Dining


Deep South Dining | Tailgreat Season

Football is back in Mississippi, but the pregame ritual of tailgating will be everything but traditional this year. Yet the one constant is that a good game deserves good food. Oxford based chef John Currence wants to make sure your home tailgate this year is just as delicious and festive with his latest cookbook, Tailgreat: How To Crush It At Tailgating. He joins the show and talks about how he never experienced tailgating in his hometown of New Orleans, the evolution of the Grove, and how he has managed during the COVID pandemic. Also Carol celebrated Malcolm on his retirement from the Mississippi Arts Commision.

Alabama Firecrackers and Fried Chicken Salad

(from Tailgreat: How To Crush It At Tailgating by John Currence)



  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil*
  • 1½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. MSG, such as Accent
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. lemon pepper
  • 2 (1-oz.) packages buttermilk ranch dressing powder
  • 1 (1-lb.) box saltine-like (aka soda) crackers

*For more spice, substitute 1 to 2 tbsp. chili oil instead of olive oil


  1. In a 2-gallon freezer bag, combine the olive oils, garlic powder, onion powder, MSG, cayenne, red pepper flakes, lemon pepper, and ranch dressing powder. Seal the top and shake gently but thoroughly to combine well. Add the crackers to the bag and mix until the crackers are evenly dressed. Allow the bag to sit in the refrigerator overnight before finishing the crackers.
  2. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Remove the crackers from the bag and lay them out in a single layer on the prepared sheets. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Store, refrigerated, in zip-top bags for up to 3 weeks.



  • 1½ cups mayonnaise, preferably Blue Plate
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. hot sauce, preferably Crystal
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • ¾ cup grated sweet yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tbsp. black pepper
  • 7 cups finely diced leftover fried chicken, including the skin and fried bits


  1. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, hot sauce, celery, onion, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, stirring to blend well. Add in the chicken and stir until fully coated. Refrigerate overnight. Serve cold with the Alabama firecrackers.

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