Food: Celebrate Independence Day with these fun recipes |

Food: Celebrate Independence Day with these fun recipes


Marinating chicken in buttermilk and hot sauce is an old Southern recipe for tenderizing and adding flavor to chicken. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, see the tips below for creating a tasty alternative. When grilling, create two heat zones: start with high, direct heat over the coals, and then move the food away from the coals to cook all the way through without burning.


1 1/2 cups buttermilk, shaken well

8 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon paprika

2 tablespoons poultry seasoning

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons hot sauce

6 pounds bone-in chicken pieces


1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine buttermilk, garlic, paprika, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and hot sauce.

2. Divide buttermilk mixture and chicken between two large re-sealable plastic bags. Place the bags of chicken in a bowl or on a sheet pan. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator, turning bags occasionally, for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

3. Heat grill to medium-low. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade); pat chicken dry with food-safe paper towels. Grill chicken, covered, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Serves 8.



1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 bell peppers (red and green), seeded and cut in half

4 celery stalks, leaves and white stalk removed

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper


1. Heat grill to medium. Toss potatoes, onion and 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl. Arrange in single layer on grill and cook, turning frequently, until tender and slightly charred, about 15 minutes. Dice onions, bell peppers and celery and mix with the potatoes, salt and pepper.

2. Add 1/2 cup of Buttermilk Dressing (see recipe below) to potato mixture and toss to coat. Add additional dressing as desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4.



1/2 cup plain, low-fat Greek Yogurt

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1/3 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons sherry wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Mix all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until blended. Refrigerate dressing until ready to use. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

TIP: Buttermilk Substitutes

Milk: Combine 1 cup milk (2 percent whole, or heavy cream) and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Let mixture stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. The milk will be thicken slightly, but not as much as buttermilk, and contain small curdled bits.

Yogurt: Mix 3/4 cup plain yogurt with 1/4 cup water.

Sour Cream: Mix 3/4 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup water.

Cream of Tartar: Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar. Let stand 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened and curdled.

Like many American families, we enjoy celebrating Independence Day by gathering together for barbeques and fireworks. These recipes for Grilled Buttermilk Chicken and Grilled Potato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing are guaranteed to set off an explosion of flavor in your mouth while providing you the freedom of time to enjoy this wonderful holiday.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

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