Fried Chicken; The Perfect Picnic Recipe

Fried Chicken; The Perfect Picnic Recipe

By: Lisa Elaina Fontanesi of Kidding Around the Kitchen

Get everyone involved. You are never too young to get into the food adventure and help. Have the little ones help pick the perfect peaches or fruit for the lemonade or fruit parfaits. Have them help clean the fruits and veggies at home. Have them help make the dressing for the coleslaw. The more everyone participates in the making of the food the more they enjoy the eating of it in the end. They now have a stake in it. They made it and it tastes that much better because they did.

Italy Girl Fried Chicken

There is no better picnic food

Pan frying chicken isn’t difficult, but it can be messy. I use a minimum of oil in the skillet to keep the spattering down. Also I am just pan frying the chicken long enough to give it a great crispy coating and seal in the moistness. The real cooking takes place in the oven. . The other myth is that olive oil is not good for frying; quite the contrary, it adds amazing flavor and make it just a touch healthier. Chicken should be pan fried between 350° and 375°. Don’t crowd you pan, if the chicken pieces touch each other, they won’t get the golden crust you are looking for.
This dish tastes just as good the next day as it does straight from the oven. Room temperature is just fine for this crowd pleaser.


Three young fryers or chicken pieces (thighs, legs and boneless breasts without skin) Breast can be cut up into strips for kid size YUM
3 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
1 ½ -cups flour (seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder)
1 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
1/3 cup Italian Parsley finely chopped
½ teaspoon basil fresh or dry
3 eggs (more may be needed)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for frying


Salt and pepper chicken to taste. Kids love to crack egg but have them crack them into a small separate bowl to keeps shells out. Mix lemon juice and mustard with eggs and beat. Add all other ingredients into breadcrumb mixture. Dip chicken pieces into seasoned flour and shake off to remove any extra flour. Dip into egg lemon and mustard mixture then roll into breadcrumb mixture. The flour and bread crumb dipping stages can each be done in large bags or even zip lock bags if you would like to keep the mess down or you are working with smaller children. Make sure you wash your hands after playing with the chicken to coat it.
Next sauté the chicken pieces in olive oil until golden brown.

Place chicken pieces on paper towels to drain excess oil then put chicken pieces in the roasting pan or baking sheets and bake at 350° for 25 to 45 minutes. Check at about 25 minutes. If you are making the chicken strips they will probably only need 10 minutes in the oven. Thermometer should read 160°.

Enjoy chicken warm or cold.

Red, white and Blue Fruit Parfaits

This summer time treat was created when my girls and I visited our local farmers market and found these amazing fruits available to us. The creaminess of the Greek yogurt mixed with the crunch of the granola is a perfect match to a simple no cook dessert.

2 cups nonfat plain yogurt (We like Greek style)
1 cup fresh strawberries sliced
1 cup sliced fresh white peaches
1 pint fresh blueberries, raspberries and/or blackberries
A little brown sugar to sweeten berries if needed
1 teaspoon vanilla if you want vanilla flavor in yogurt
1 cup good quality granola


If making these for a Picnic. Keep everything on ice until everyone is ready to make their own parfait. Enjoy right away!
Layer 1/3 cup yogurt into the bottom each of 4 tall glasses. Combine strawberries with fresh berries and any other fruits you choose.
Alternate layers of fruit and granola with yogurt until glasses are filled to the top. Serve parfaits immediately to keep granola crunchy.
4 large servings

This is a great treat to get the kids involved in choosing fruits at your local farmers, fruit market or grocery store. Have them find the ingredients and then go home and put these delicious treats together for the whole family.

Give an old favorite new flavors

Pink Lemonade

This is the original pink lemonade. It gets its color from grenadine, a sweet, deep-red syrup made from pomegranates. Some grenadines contain alcohol and some don’t, so be sure to check the label.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 10 big lemons, including pulp but not seeds)
1/4 to 1/3 cup grenadine or pomegranate juice (my preference)
Mint sprigs (optional)
In a pitcher, mix the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the lemon juice and grenadine to taste. To serve, pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of base into a glass and fill with water. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired. Makes a base for 12 servings.
Peach Lemonade
Slice up a few extra peaches to garnish the pitcher and glasses.
1 cup plus 1 to 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 cups water
4 ripe peaches, peeled, pits removed
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 10 big lemons, including pulp but not seeds)

First, make a simple syrup by combining 1 cup sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture boils. Lower the heat and allow the syrup to simmer for another minute. Remove from heat and let cool. In a blender or food processor, puree the peaches with 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar, depending on how sweet the peaches are. In a pitcher, combine the cooled syrup, lemon juice and peach puree. To serve, pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of base into a glass and fill with ice & water. Makes a base for 12 servings.

Strawberry Lemonade

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups water

3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 20 lemons)

1 pint fresh strawberries, stems and caps removed

1. In a pitcher or container, whisk together the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice and stir. Puree the strawberries and strain to remove the seeds. Add the strawberry puree to the lemon mixture and stir. To serve, pour into 10-ounce glasses filled with ice. Serves 12

Lisa is a mother of two and is currently working as a consultant and instructor at several LAUSD Schools. She has taught Food Art classes as well as Kidding around the Kitchen, her hands-on cooking program for kids.

For more information please visit her website at:


Hot Moms Club was founded in 2005 and have had their fingers on the pulse of mom trends ever since. Their philosophy is simple, ‘You are not the best mom unless you are the BEST YOU!’

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