Take Your Pick

Five of our favorite picnic recipes.

Fried Chicken

2 whole chickens, cut into pieces
3 cups buttermilk
¼ cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Sauer’s All-Purpose Seasoning
2 tablespoons Sauer’s Poultry Seasoning
flour for dredging
Crisco shortening

Wash and pat dry chicken pieces. Cut breasts in half for more uniform cooking. Combine buttermilk, salt and sugar in a plastic bag and place chicken pieces inside. Brine overnight in the refrigerator. Drain chicken pieces in a colander (do not rinse). Place chicken pieces in a pan and season both sides liberally with Sauer’s spices. Melt enough Crisco over low heat to come 1/2 inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan, being careful to keep the oil temperature at 350 degrees. In small batches, dredge the seasoned chicken in flour, shake off excess and place skin side down in skillet. Cook until golden brown, approximately 8 minutes per side. Remove from oil and drain on a rack.

Long Bean Salad

1 pound green beans or runner beans
1 pound yellow wax beans
1 small onion, chopped (about 1⁄2 cup)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Cut ends off the beans and blanch 7-10 minutes in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until tender. Drain and refresh in ice. Drain and dry well. In a large sauté pan heat the butter and oil until foamy then add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the beans and continue to sauté until hot, approximately 5-6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pimento Cheese Spread

1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1 pound white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
½ pound Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated
½ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Texas Pete hot sauce
1 3-ounce jar pimento peppers, chopped

Combine all of the cheese in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients well. Combine with cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving.

Southern Sweet Iced Tea

3 bags Luzianne tea
sugar to taste

Follow directions on box for brewing tea. While still hot, add sugar to taste (for a true Southern-style sweet tea, add enough sugar to make your teeth hurt). Chill. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices.

Lemon and Rosemary Cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups all-purpose four, sifted
zest of 2 lemons
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely minced
pinch of salt
¾ cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
ice water, if needed

Mix the butter, flour, lemon zest, rosemary and salt in a bowl until crumbly. Add the sugar and yolks. With floured finger tips, quickly work the mixture into a smooth dough. If the dough is too dry, add a few drops of ice water as needed. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter two baking sheets. Break off small pieces of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Place the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making crisscrossed patterns with the tines of the fork. Bake the cookies until very pale, about 12-15 minutes.

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, and then transfer them carefully to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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