Southern cooking is known for its delicious comfort food, and it can be hard to go a day without eating some of these dishes. The recipes below are perfect for when you want something tasty on the table with minimal effort but just enough time to enjoy your meal.
Southern comfort food recipes are the perfect way to slow down and savor. These three delicious southern dishes will make you feel like you’re in a cozy cabin in the woods. Read more in detail here: southern comfort food recipes.
Momma would always let my sister Ashley and me write our supper ideas on a monthly calendar when we were youngsters. For her, it was one less thing to worry about — no more “what’s for dinner?” inquiries. Ashley and I also made it a point to have pizza and taco night every week.
But every now and then, Daddy would hear about a dinner that he didn’t like, and the entire “plan” thing would fall apart.
Daddy, you know, is a meat-and-potatoes kind of person. To put it another way, he didn’t want any frills or difficult-to-pronounce delicacies; he just wanted the comfort foods of his childhood to help him cope with the stress of travel and a hectic work week.
On such nights, I recall Momma taking a little longer to prepare our evening meal, standing over the stove, watching chickens fry to a golden brown in hot oil contained by a cast-iron pan dating back to World War I.
Though I despised Daddy for canceling our Mediterranean spaghetti dinner, a few nibbles of Momma’s Southern comfort foods swiftly dispelled my displeasure, leaving plenty of space for a wonderful food coma, washed down with sweet tea gulps.
I seem to be in constant flux these days, making supper for my wife Callie and me dependent on what’s in season, what I’m testing, or what’s on sale at the supermarket. I couldn’t commit to a weekly food plan because I’ve become a prisoner to life’s demands, manuscript deadlines, and red-eye flights.
But every now and again, I put a halt to all that foolishness. I abandon my plans. Work may be postponed, and travel can be rescheduled.
It’s during times like these that you’ll find me in my own kitchen, not making a soufflé or assembling a crudité plate. Rather, I’ll be standing over the same hand-me-down pan, frying up chicken in the manner of my forefathers, and allowing the subsequent dishes to remind me that dinner tonight isn’t simply a routine activity — it’s an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the finest of what life has to offer. So, today, I’d want to thank Momma for teaching me how to fry chicken and Daddy for teaching me how to appreciate the whole taste.
Fried Chicken on a Cast-Iron Skillet
There’s nothing like cooking chicken in a cast-iron pan for a delicious meal. The only way to “properly” fry a chicken down south is to use this procedure, which results in a crispy golden exterior that gives way to juicy, soft chicken. My grandpa, a butcher by profession, used to say that the finest fried chickens weighed about 2-3 pounds. Nowadays, it’s easier said than done to get a chicken that tiny, since most entire chickens are twice that size – which is cause for alarm! So, in this case, I recommend choosing a smaller organic or free-range chicken – you’ll be able to tell the difference. You’ve been begging for my grandmother’s fried chicken recipe for a long time, but I’m keeping it for my next book! Regardless, this is a fantastic variation that will please any Southern cook.
- 1 chicken, 3 lbs, cut into eighths
- 1 cup flour (all-purpose)
- 12 cup of water
- 1 tbsp. salt (kosher)
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce from Louisiana
- 12 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- 12 teaspoon cayenne
- 12 teaspoons garlic powder
- frying oil made from peanuts
- Wash and rinse the chicken well under cold running water, then pat dry and put in a large mixing dish. Combine the other ingredients, except the oil, and knead the flour mixture into a paste with your hands to coat the chicken, adding a little more water if required. Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
- Pour peanut oil into a cast-iron pan until it reaches just over halfway up the side. Bring the oil to 350 degrees F over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the chicken and fry the white flesh pieces for 6-7 minutes per side and the dark meat pieces for 7-8 minutes each side. To avoid hot oil splattering on you during the cooking process, always drop the chicken away from you into the oil.
- Remove the chicken from the oil and drain on a wire rack. Keep heated until ready to serve in a 200°F oven.
Potato Salad with a Southern Flair
This carb-heavy mixture has always appealed to me. This is, in my view, the ideal complement to a basket of fried chicken. This is a recipe that always stands up as a substantial side dish, whether served freshly made and warm (my favorite) or chilled and served cold. I prefer to replace part of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt to reduce fat and calories. I swear that such a replacement doesn’t take away from the taste — and, more importantly, it helps you feel a little better about eating that second serving.
- 3 pound peeled and quartered red potatoes
- 12 thinly diced Vidalia onion
- 4 peeled and sliced hard-boiled eggs
- 14 cup green olives, cut with pimentos
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 12 cup Greek yogurt, plain
- 1 tablespoon mustard (yellow)
- 2 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
- to taste kosher salt
- to taste, freshly cracked pepper
- Bring potatoes to a roaring boil in a large saucepan of salted water over medium-high heat. Do not overcook potatoes; they should just give way to the pressure of a fork. Allow the steam to escape by draining the potatoes into a colander.
- In a larger serving dish, combine potatoes with additional ingredients, stir until well combined, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve right now, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Note: If the salad is cooled, add a little extra mayo before serving to get the same creamy texture.
Green Bean Casserole That Isn’t Your Mother’s
Sure, I’ve been known to make green bean casserole using a canned mixture of condensed soup on occasion, but this isn’t one of those occasions. Instead, I make my own creamy sauce to top with fresh green beans instead of using that gel-like stuff. Because we’re already cooking the chicken, I add some onions for good measure as a crispy and delicious garnish. What’s the end result? Yes, you’ll never go back to canned foods again!
- 2 lbs. fresh green beans, cut ends and blanched for 30 seconds in boiling water
- 12 oz. unsalted butter
- 1 cup flour (all-purpose)
- 4 quarts of whole milk
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 12 tsp. pepper, freshly cracked
- 12 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- 1 Vidalia onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
- To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan with 1/2 cup flour over medium heat and stir until smooth. After that, add the milk, whisk to blend, and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Remove from the fire, season with salt and pepper, then stir in the cheese until it is fully melted.
- Meanwhile, toss the onions in a 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt combination until well covered. In the same pan as the chicken, cook the onions until golden brown and crispy, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the onions and drain them on a tray lined with paper towels.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, in a large casserole dish, layer the beans and cover with the cream sauce. Top with onions and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from the fire and set aside to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are Southern comfort foods?
A: Southern comfort foods are dishes that are said to have originated in the American South. These recipes typically include a lot of butter, cream cheese, and sugar.
What are some good Southern meals?
A: This is not a question that can be answered as there are many Southern dishes.
What are some popular comfort foods?
A: Some popular comfort foods are mashed potatoes, steak and mushrooms, chicken fried rice.
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