Clippers guard, Kobe Brown, who was a first-round pick for the Los Angeles team, joined Jessica in her kitchen recently to make his pre-game meal.
Kobe grew up in Alabama and his chicken dish is something his mom and dad would make for him growing up.
Now, living on the other side of the country, Kobe, who is a griller, made sure to bring his smoker with him to make some of his comfort food on the West Coast.
Kobe shared which basketball player he admired growing up (you can probably guess that one), and said it was his dream come true to play in the NBA.
While the chicken cooked, Jessica and Kobe got in a game of arcade basketball. And it was a close one!
Follow Kobe’s recipe below.
Click here for the Clippers games you can watch on KTLA this season.
This segment aired on California Cooking with Jessica Holmes, Episode 156.
Kobe Brown Pre-Game Meal: Southern Style Grilled Chicken with Greens and Rice
- Skin-on boneless chicken breasts and thighs
- Dry-rub (salt, sugar, garlic and onion powder, paprika, ground black pepper)
- Collard greens
- Carolina Gold long grain rice
- Chicken, beef, or vegetable stock (optional)
- Make a dry-rub for curing the chicken: Combine 1 cup of salt, ½ cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons each of garlic and onion powder, 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Season the chicken breasts and thighs with a thin layer of the dry-rub on both sides. You’ll have plenty of the dry-rub left for next time. If you have the time, you could even season the evening before the let the chicken cure overnight in the refrigerator. It will firm up the texture of the chicken and season it deep into the tissue. Either way, let the chicken come to room temperature while you cook the greens and rice.
- For the rice, cook according to package directions. If available, use chicken, beef, or a vegetable broth to cook the rice. Not only will it add a deeper flavor, it will also boost the rice with some collagen and minerals.
- To cook the greens: If using a stock to cook the greens, bring it up to a simmer. If not, water is good too. Strip the collard leaves from the stem. Slice leaves into thick strips, and rinse / wash them. Slice the stem into coins, discarding any woody ends.
- Slice the onion and peppers into julienne (slices). Peel and mince the ginger and garlic. In a pot or rondeau large enough to fit all the ingredients, start by sauteing the onions, peppers and collard stems over medium-high heat until translucent. It’s OK to char them a little bit at this point, too, if you enjoy that flavor. Then, add the ginger and garlic and sauté, lowering the heat, until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the ginger and garlic. With each new added ingredient, add a bit of salt to build flavor.
- Now, add the sliced and washed leaves, mix and sauté. Add your stock or water, just to cover the ingredients, and bring up to a simmer. Cover and cook to your desired tenderness.
- To cook the chicken, prepare a charcoal grill—being sure to establish a hot side and a cool side. The dry-rub will help the caramelization process, so watch carefully as you cook the skin side first to render out the fat and start to crisp up the skin. Once the skin is evenly browned, flip over onto the cool side to finish the cooking. The skin will continue to render out fat and crisp up in the grill environment. As needed, move the chicken around to cook evenly and take on that smoky flavor. The key is to watch and observe, as every grill session burns a bit different.
- If a grill is not available, preheat your oven to 350 F. Use a thick-bottomed pan to crisp up the chicken skin, flip, and finish in the oven. Just like on the grill, move the chicken around and re-flip onto the skin side as needed to ensure a crispy skin.
- To serve, plate the rice in a shallow bowl. Don’t forget to spoon some of the cooking liquid from the greens (the “pot likker”) onto the plate as well—it is very nutritious, delicious, and good for dipping cornbread on. Place the chicken on top, apply your favorite BBQ or hot sauce.