Independence day would not be complete without fireworks after the sun goes down, but why not start the festivities early with an afternoon picnic? Raid your pantry cabinet, grab your family and friends, and hit the park, pool or beach with baskets full of food to share! Here are some of our favorite picnic recipes to help you celebrate July 4th.
Picnic Fried Chicken Bites
Cold fried chicken is a picnic staple, and nuggets are perfect for feeding a crowd! Cut skinless, boneless fresh chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes and season with salt and pepper. Add flour to a medium bowl, buttermilk to a small bowl, and breadcrumbs to another small bowl. Toss your chicken in the bowl of flour to coat, and set aside.
Add coconut oil to a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Dip your chicken pieces in buttermilk and then breadcrumbs to coat. Add the chicken in batches to the hot oil, and fry for 4 or 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown, crispy and fully cooked inside. Transfer the chicken bites to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle generously with salt. Store you chicken covered in the refrigerator and serve cold with plenty of ketchup for dipping!
American Macaroni Salad
Yankee Doodle stuck a feather in his cap and called it Macaroni! So why not show your American pride by whipping up this classic macaroni salad for your July 4th picnic? Start by cooking a pound of elbow macaroni al dente according to package directions. Drain well in a colander, rinse with cold water to cool, drain again, and then place your macaroni in a large serving bowl. Finely chop a little fresh celery, onion, and carrots and add to the macaroni.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together a cup of mayonnaise, a cup of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon of dry mustard powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over you macaroni and veggies and stir well to coat. Store covered in the refrigerator overnight, and keep cold before serving.
Pimento and Chive Deviled Eggs
Start by gently placing a dozen fresh eggs in a medium pot and covering them with cold water, about an inch above. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for one or two minutes uncovered. Remove the pot from the heat and cover with a lid. Set aside to residually cook for 10 minutes. Carefully drain the pot and add cold water and a few ice cubes to cool.
Peel your cooled, hardboiled eggs, then scoop out the yolks into a medium bowl. Set the whites aside. Add a cup of mayo to the yolks, a teaspoon of dry mustard powder, 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, 2 1/2 tablespoons of drained and diced pimento peppers, freshly chopped chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork. Using a tablespoon, evenly scoop the mixture back in to the hollowed out egg whites, store covered in the refrigerator, and serve cold topped with a sprinkling of smoky paprika.
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