The moment the weather turns as nice as it has been around here for the last few days, I try to eat all my meals outside, and I look for easy, do-ahead recipes that allow my family to spend as much time out of the kitchen as possible. We love fried chicken dinners on the deck, and this recipe—along with the potato salad that goes with it—is one of our faves.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
1 3- to 4-lb. frying chicken, cut up (or simply use 6 to 8 pieces of chicken cut into legs, thighs, breasts, and wings)
2 c. buttermilk
4 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. paprika
2 T. sea salt
1 T. ground black pepper
1 qt. rendered lard
Wash and dry the chicken parts. Place in a Zip-Loc bag, cover with buttermilk, and store overnight in the fridge. Drain chicken parts, discard buttermilk, and place flour and seasonings in a large paper shopping bag. Stir to combine. Add chicken parts to bag, fold top down, and shake bag to coat chicken. Fry in the lard in a preheated electric skillet set to 350 degrees or in a large iron skillet over medium heat using a kitchen thermometer. Do not crowd pan. Keep lard at 350. Fry for 17 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is brown and cooked just to the point of being done, with internal temperature of the pieces at or above 150 for white meat,165 for dark. Drain on paper towels and serve at room temperature, or let cool completely and refrigerate for use later on. Makes 6 to 8 pieces.
Grandma’s Potato Salad
2 lbs. fingerling potatoes (or red/gold new potatoes)
2 T. fresh minced parsley
2 hardboiled eggs
1/3 c. minced onion
1/2 c. minced celery
2 T. brown mustard
2 T. minced chives or scallion tops for garnish
2/3 c. mayonnaise (or to taste; homemade is best)
Place potatoes in 3 quarts of rapidly boiling, salted water. Bring back to a boil, lower heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, until potatoes become tender. Drain and rinse for 5 minutes with cold water. Drain a second time and cool potatoes for a few hours in the fridge. Quarter potatoes and combine with all other ingredients. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper and refrigerate. Serve.