Thursday, May 21, 2009

Southern-Style Picnic ala Maggy Style

As I said before, Ryan the 3L came up for the weekend and brought along his lady friend. We had a little BBQ on Saturday night, and I decided to make potato salad. Now, one thing I'm horrible about when it comes to cooking/baking is time management. Seems like more often then not I'm nodding off on the couch at 1am waiting for my latest invention to set/bake/cool. I figured the potato salad would take about an hour. I was wrong, and once again I managed to finish it off at 1 am (which seems to be my magic hour). I had planned to send a large chunk of it home with them, but Sunday morning ended up being quite rushed and we all managed to forget.

So I now have a ginormous amount of potato salad in my fridge. I'm guessing about 5 pounds, which may not sound like much but the Boy doesn't seem interested, and I can't humanely eat that much without exploding. I wanted to make a good meal to compliment the potato salad to get rid of some of it without eating only potato salad. Nothing in my usual repertoire sounded very good, so I was struggling along through recipes when my mom called. I mentioned my dilemma and she said simply "Picnic Food". I was a tad confused and she said "What do you take on a picnic in the summer? Potato salad and chicken".

I started thinking and decided that sounded amazing. But I want to do one better and go back to my Louisiana days. Fried Chicken, potato salad and lemon meringue. The funniest part of this is, I've never fried chicken or made a meringue. Ever. I looked up a couple recipes online and found Paula Deen's Fried Chicken and one for a lemon meringue pie. Shockingly I had most the ingredients, I really just needed the chicken and some hot sauce.

I decided to make the meringue first, which was good since it takes hours to set. The filling itself was fairly simple, and I got the done with relative ease. Now comes the topping. Ironically the only time I remember seeing anyone attempt meringue was a good friend of mine's father. That good friend lives in Norway, and so that year was 2000 maybe 2001. In other word's I'm very much lacking in the examples department.

My egg whites just didn't want to puff up. In fact, I pretty much ended up declaring war. Happily, just when I was about to pitch the whole thing and curl up and cry in a corner, it started to peak. I gave it a couple more twirls, then called it good for a 1st attempt. I threw it in the oven, and when I pulled it out I was pleasantly surprised.

I put in the fridge to chill and went to work on my chicken. I had bought both wings and breasts, but since I couldn't con anyone to come over for dinner, I ended up just cutting down the breasts into strips. I figured they would make a good test run, and being white meat they'd cook up a bit faster and I'd have a lesser chance of burning them. I used grapeseed oil (which is pricey but soooo much better for you then other oils) and made sure I had it about 350 degrees. I doused the strips with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dipped them into an egg and hot sauce mixture, then dredged them with flour, baking soda and a pinch of salt. I tossed them in the oil, and gave them 4-5 minutes a side. They turned out great and I was very proud of myself.

So there it is! Southern-Style picnic food ala Maggy.


  1. How was the chicken? Spicy friend chicken sounds wicked good.

  2. They actually aren't as spicy as you'd think. You're supposed to just dip them in it for a sec. I'm guessing you could marinate them though if you want more spice.


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