Friday Recipe Exchange: Let’s Have a Picnic

Buttermilk Pie 1

I’m a romantic. I love picnics – you know the fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans and tasty dessert kind of picnic. So I decided to put together some recipes for a nice picnic or your Memorial Day cookout. Picnic basket is optional.

The featured recipes tonight are an easy fried chicken and spiced up baked beans. What goes great with fried chicken and spicy baked beans? How about some salads?

Italian Potato Salad (recipe here)

JeffreyW makes a bunch of picnic sides, including Red Potato Salad and a Tomato, Black Olive and Mozzarella Salad (recipes and great photos here)

And then for dessert? A simple pie that looks amazing and tastes pretty good, too.

Buttermilk Pie  (pictured above and recipe here)

Now it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite picnic/cookout foods? Do you have anything that’s different and unexpected? Don’t hold out, share in the comments.

Now about that fried chicken and my very favorite sweet and spicy baked beans that use unexpected ingredients:

Easy Fried Chicken

JeffreyW serves up fried chicken, baked beans and slaw

JeffreyW serves up fried chicken, baked beans and slaw (click for full size goodness)

(adapted from Cook’s Country)

  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk (use 5 tbsp buttermilk powder and 1-1/4 cup water)
  • salt
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  • 3 tsp  black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (this works better than fresh)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, or a mix – go with your favorites. With breasts cut them in half to make them equal size with the thighs, so they all cook evenly)
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 3/4cups vegetable oil

Whisk 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, hot sauce, 1 tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp paprika, and pinch of cayenne together in large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 2 teaspoons black pepper, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, ¾ teaspoon paprika, and remaining cayenne together in large bowl. Add remaining ¼ cup buttermilk to flour mixture and mix with fingers until combined and small clumps form. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, pressing mixture onto pieces to form thick, even coating. Place dredged chicken on large plate, skin side up.

Heat oil in 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Carefully place chicken pieces in pan, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip and continue to cook until golden brown on second side, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake chicken until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees for breasts and 175 for legs and thighs, 15 to 20 minutes. (Smaller pieces may cook faster than larger pieces. Remove pieces from oven as they reach -correct temperature.) Let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.

I’ve stolen this baked bean recipe from friends who wowed me with it years ago. Amazingly simple, it takes ordinary canned baked beans up a notch. Go for good quality beans and sausage and real maple syrup and it’s a can’t miss. Sit back and accept all the compliments that will come your way.

Nita’s Baked Beans

  • ½ lb spicy Italian sausage
  • 28 oz can favorite baked beans
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup


In saucepan, brown Italian sausage, drain well and crumble. Add beans and syrup, let simmer for 15 minutes to heat through and let flavors blend together.

Probably should think about doubling this recipe, because the leftovers are even better.

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