Today, I’m joining Barb at Grits and Glamour for her porch and patio party. You may be wondering what happened to the series on Southern food. Well, it’s still here. You see, porches and Southern food go together like greens and ham hocks.
Back in the day, they didn’t have air conditioners. So, Southerners would often gather in the shade of the porch on Summer evenings after supper to enjoy the relative coolness of the evening. Remember, it gets blazing hot and very humid down South; so we are always looking for cool spots.
July and August are traditionally favorite times for church socials on the grounds, community barbecues and other outdoor gatherings that centered around food. The crops were already in the ground, and it was a good time for everyone to take a little bit of a break.
Some of the favorites at these gatherings were fried chicken, deviled eggs, potato salad (a true Southerner knows to steer clear of potato salad that has been sitting out in the Summer heat). There would always be desserts and lots of sweet tea.
One year, when I was growing up, my Mama and Grandaddy, decided to get some chickens to “process” in Grandaddy’s backyard. Now, the chicken I always ate came from the grocery store, and I really didn’t want to have anything to do with the actual “killing” of the chickens. When I told Mama this, she informed me that the dead ones were the only kind you could eat! Well, she’s right about that.
Here are pictures from one of my porches. I still love to sit on the porch in the evenings, listening to the birds sing and enjoying the world. Of course, there will be recipes at the end!
Thanks for coming to the party on the porch. Now for some food!
Today’s Lagniappe: Mama’s Southern Fried Chicken
Mama tells me that to get it really crispy you need to fry it in shortening or lard.
shortening or lard
1 chicken, about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds, cut up
2 cups flour
Salt the chicken. Heat the shortening or lard in a large skillet. Combine the flour with seasoning salt and pepper. Roll each piece of chicken in flour and place in the hot fat (about 370° F). Put the largest pieces in first, in the hottest part of the skillet. Arrange the chicken pieces in the fat, making sure not to overcrowd. Fry the chicken until outside is golden brown and crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes, turning once to brown both sides. Reduce heat and fry until cooked through golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Turn once. Drain chicken on brown paper or paper towels
The fat should be deep enough to cover the pieces when it boils up, but make sure you use a deep skillet, preferably one made for frying chicken, and watch carefully.