Southern Comfort Food and Mexican Cuisine in Kansas
Kansas is named after the Kansas River, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native Americans who lived along its bank. In 1803, most of modern Kansas was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Southwest Kansas, however, was still a part of Spain, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas until the conclusion of the Mexican–American War in 1848, when these lands were ceded to the United States. This explains the Mexican influence in the cuisine of the area.
When we think “Southern,” the first thing that comes to mind is Southern Fried Chicken (or just Fried Chicken). Because it’s been a Sunday afternoon staple in many homes, fried chicken is often referred to as “Gospel Bird.” No matter what you call it, call My Girlfriendships® to the table when it’s ready!
Classic Southern Fried Chicken
Ingredients for 4 | Multiply by degree of hunger, divide by number of girlfriends!
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons salt, plus additional for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 4 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken pieces
- vegetable oil, for frying
Preheat the oven to 200º F. Place a rack in a large baking pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the milk and eggs. Whisk to blend well.
In a large heavy-duty resealable plastic food storage bag, combine the flour, 2 tablespoons salt, and pepper. Seal and shake to combine.
Dip the chicken pieces in the milk and egg mixture, and let excess drip off into the bowl. Set already dipped pieces aside on a plate until you have three or four.
Add the dipped chicken pieces to the bag of seasoned flour.
Seal the bag and shake well to coat the chicken pieces thoroughly.
Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
Heat the oil in a deep, heavy skillet to 350º F. While it is heating up, set aside a large serving plate lined with paper towels.
Fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, for about 10 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked.
With a slotted spoon, move the done chicken pieces onto the paper towel-lined platter to drain. Sprinkle immediately with salt.
Transfer drained and seasoned chicken to the parsed pan with a rack. Keep warm in the preheated oven while frying subsequent batches.
Be careful not to put too many chicken pieces at once as this will reduce the temperature of the oil thus affecting the crispness of the final product. Also, chicken breasts will take a little less time than dark meat pieces.
Serve and enjoy!
Travelling to Leavenworth or Wiichita and looking for a place to gather with girlfriends for lunch or dinner? Here are a couple of great options:
- Pullman Place Restaurant | If you read our Let’s Go blog earlier this week, you know there is a railroad history through this area. Pullman Place restaurant specializes in big parties so this is perfect for our girlfriendships visit. It’s an historic, family-owned, railroad-themed restaurant serving quality food. The restaurant has an antique railroad décor, complete with unique train memorabilia. The menu is filled with homemade dishes and keeping with the theme, The “Conductor,” a 6 oz. USDA Choice sirloin dusted with Pullman seasonings and griddle seared, is our choice.
- Redrock Canyon Grill | At Redrock Canyon Grill, we’ll find a combination of Southwest and American cuisine. Remember the Mexican influence in the area’s cuisine? Our choice is the Chicken Enchilada platter with sour cream, pico, and guacamole washed down by the local brew: Freestate Stormchaser—a bottled Kansas IPA.
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