savory dishes: southern fried chicken & a beautiful ride

savory dishes: southern fried chicken & a beautiful ride

Have you ever gotten up and realized it was just too beautiful a day to waste doing your everyday routine? As a cool breeze gently made its way into my windows I woke up to song birds and the smell of magnolias. I thought I might still be dreaming, but I wasn’t. I heard my children get up for school, teenagers now, who don’t need my help. I lingered in bed, the sheets that perfect temperature, not too hot, not too cold. I’ve come to call that feeling PST (perfect sheet temperature). I did not want to leave my bed, but when opened my eyes I knew I had to get up and enjoy this wonderful June day.

With my boys off to school and my husband and I off from work. (Truly, we did not call in “sick”!) it was meant to be that we did something special with our day. The Marine and I packed a picnic lunch and headed out. We were off for a little mild trail biking along a beautiful river.

Our bike ride began through our neighborhood, an historic downtown area. The city began to unroll its sidewalks, merchants swept them and the train whistle blew at our backs. We made our way from the market streets to the streets lined with groomed lawns and victorian homes. The aroma of the blooms, the clicking of a sprinkler, a dog barking and the warmth of the morning sun created the scene from a charming movie.

We moved through neighborhoods until we rode onto the canal path. Aptly named as it is a path following a canal to a river, the path was speckled by sunlight as it shined down through the leaves with that warm glow particular to summer mornings that picks up the small etheral particals floating in the air. The narrow canal path widens as we enter the dirt trails that follow the river.

The trails are wide and flat for a while, but then, quickly they become hilly, rocky and winding, our bodies being brushed by the thick new growth of bright green summer leaves heavy and full having been fed by recent rains. As we bike further from humanity we can hear the river, see the glint of the sun bounce onto the bleached, round boulders lining the banks.

Some of these boulders are so flat and inviting that we stop, wade out to a particularly wide boulder of just the right shape and tilt. It is like a little island with reeds making a U shape around it. Perfect. The blanket is unrolled, the drinks and food are set out, but first, we lay on our backs, inhaling the scent of the river, watching the blue heron fly off in our periphreal vision and listening to the sounds of nature.

Our feast consisted of strawberries, cold water with lemon and left-over fried chicken. I love cold fried chicken with just a dash of salt. We didn’t have the luxury of carring a lot of food for biking and trails make it difficult to carry to much. So, what seems meager written on these pages was, for us a feast on a table set by mother nature.

Southern Fried Chicken

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • About 1 cup hot sauce
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • House seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 (1 to 2 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • Oil, for frying

Directions

  1. In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs with the water. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour and pepper. Season the chicken with the house seasoning. Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg, and then coat well in the flour mixture.
  3. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil.
  4. Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer then white meat. It should take dark meat about 13 to 14 minutes, white meat around 8 to 10 minutes.

House Seasoning

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salt (The salt in the original recipe is 1 cup, which we found to be too much. Adjust salt to taste.)
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Directions

  1. Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

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25 comments

  • June 12, 2012 at 10:06 am //

    Wow this chicken looks amazing!!! I def have to try this. YUM!

  • June 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm //

    Wow! That looks just like the chicken from KFC!
    And that seasoning looks simple yet flavorful…

  • June 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm //

    What a beautiful story and that is sort of where my husband and I are now. Sons grown and taking care of themselves, both husband and I working from home and don’t we love slipping back into bed after the first coffee of the day, just to chat and idle away a bit of time. And a bike ride and a picnic! We love both. And how I love home-fried chicken but I have never made it before. Yours looks absolutely perfect! Your post made me smile today.

  • June 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm //

    Oh wow that chicken looks incredible! So crispy and delicious.

  • June 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm //

    Paula does one thing very well and that’s frying! Love the look of this chicken. And totally know what you mean by PST. I felt that way this morning but unfortunately was rudely forced from them by the sounds of a dog puking downstairs. Lovely.

  • June 13, 2012 at 2:42 am //

    What kind of hot sauce are you using? Sriracha? Cholula? Tabasco? Dave’s Insanity?

    • June 13, 2012 at 8:19 am //

      Hi Nancy, we usually just use what’s at home, I have used both Tabasco and Cholula, but any hot sauce that you like or love the taste of would workout. It would be fun to experiment with different hot sauces, I’d like the try the Green Cholula and see how that turns out.

  • June 13, 2012 at 5:39 am //

    I’ve always wondered what Paula Deen’s fried chicken would taste like. :-) A cup of hot sauce for soaking, I can definitely do that! :-) I wish I lived in a place that had magnolia trees… the smell is divine!

  • June 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm //

    Thanks for the southern fried chicken recipe.
    I’ll create one for sure, my kids are gonna like it :)
    If you don’t mind, can you submit your southern fried chicken photo in http://www.foodporn.net ?
    It’s a food photography site full of all DIY food pictures from members around the world. Or perhaps you’d like to submit by yourself? Let me know when you did, so I can share it.

  • June 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm //

    my daughter and my nieces all love fried chicken!!!

  • June 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm //

    My mouth is watering just by looking at it. I hurt my lip the other day so haven’t been able to take big bites of food for a while, but I so wanna munch on these fried chicken!

    • June 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm //

      Oh gosh, what happened to your lip? I had a pretty bad lip issue a few years ago, I kept (in the winter time) wipping my lips, too often, and I would this lip balm, but it was full of chemicals, eventually my lips blistered, throbbing like I had botox or something lol The only product that saved them was Burt’s Bee’s Honey Lip Balm!!!

  • June 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm //

    Since we’ve moved down to the deep south, my kids keep asking about “Popeye’s Fried Chicken”! (Its a fried chicken chain well known in the south) They are curious and want to try it because the commercials make the chicken look SO good. I grew up eating way too much Popeye’s and I keep saying “No!, once you start…you cannot stop”. I love fried chicken and yours looks so delicious.

    • June 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm //

      OH Sarah.. that is the devils Whisper in our house. WE LOVE, love Poppey’s Chicken, Red Beans and Rice, and pepper mashed potatoes. We would grab a dinner and bring it home on special occasions, but I don’t know if there are anymore on the East coast?

  • June 13, 2012 at 11:38 pm //

    Your bike ride sounded fantastic to me and your feast in nature splendid!

  • June 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm //

    P.S. If you have 2 boys – that’s what I have – grown now! When they were young, we also used to go bike riding – but mostly together. :)

    • June 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm //

      Yes, I have two boys, all grown, one is graduating High School this year and the other is still in Junior High =) We have not been bike riding as a whole family in a while, we should do that this summer.

  • June 14, 2012 at 2:39 am //

    Last Saturday morning was a little like that for us–we got up and I intended to go to work after breakfast, but it was so gorgeous that we went for a hike instead. Sometimes you just have to do that! And that chicken…delish. Fried chicken is one of my favorite “bad” foods.

    • June 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm //

      Oh that sounds so beautiful, I have not been hiking for a long time, I agree, it’s great to just get out, take in nature.

  • June 14, 2012 at 11:52 am //

    My hubby would be so happy if I made this for him.. He loves southern fried chicken. I might just have to give it a go… it looks so good.

    • June 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm //

      I’ve been trying to keep anything fried for special occasions, but it is just so good when it comes right out of the fryer.

  • June 15, 2012 at 10:41 am //

    Wow, this looks like the perfect fried chicken!!! YUM.

    • June 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm //

      Finger licking good =) hehe

    • June 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm //

      Thank you Kayle =)