Saturday, February 28, 2009

Carpet Picnic. Part 1.

Red and I missed our Valentine's Day Dinner. He was just getting home from his business trip in France, and I had a little house's mishap back at the ranch when he was away. So we thought that we would do our own version of Valentine's Day dinner by having a carpet picnic, with these fun summer dishes: oven fried chickens, broccoli salad, and ice-cream sundaes with homemade caramel sauce.

Oven Fried Chickens

Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa

  • 2 chickens (3 pounds each), cut in 8 serving pieces
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening

Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 360 degrees F on a thermometer.

Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven). Don't crowd the pieces. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.

Broccoli Salad
Courtesy of Paula Deen


1 head broccoli
6 to 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup raisins, optional
8 ounces sharp Cheddar, cut into very small chunks
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoesSalt and freshly ground black pepper


Trim off the large leaves from the broccoli stem.
Remove the tough stalk at the end and wash broccoli head thoroughly.
Cut the head into flowerets and the stem into bite-size pieces.
Place in a large bowl.
Add the crumbled bacon, onion, raisins if using, and cheese.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, stirring well.
Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently.

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