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Down-home & Delicious

April 21, 1985|ROBIN TUCKER

Sunday supper. It always seemed a bit more special than weekday meals. Oh, not special in the way of fancy restaurant food, but memorable because there was more time to prepare things just right, to make a real meal with all the trimmings. Grandma's velvety milk gravy to be poured over crispy fried chicken and to be ladled lavishly into the crater of a mountain of mashed potatoes. Mom's homemade biscuits that tasted so good that you almost didn't need butter or jam (but you'd use them both just the same). Colorful succotash with bits of bacon, and creamy, crunchy coleslaw that was far superior to anything your average deli could dream up. And dessert. With any luck, there would be more than one from which to choose--and if you'd been on your best behavior, you could sample them all. Baked apples, fragrant with cinnamon and sherry, the whipped cream melting as soon as it touched the tops. Dark, fudgey devil's-food cake and floating-on-air angel-food cake. Classic American foods that will never go out of style. Thank goodness.

FOOD STYLIST: JANET MILLER

MISSOURI FRIED CHICKEN 1 2 1/2- to 3-pound chicken, cut up 1 cup flour Salt, pepper 2 cups shortening Milk Gravy

Rinse chicken parts and pat dry with paper towels. Combine flour, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in paper bag. Add chicken parts, a few at a time, and shake to coat thoroughly. Place chicken parts on paper towels and allow to dry 20 minutes. Melt shortening in heavy skillet over high heat. Heat until drop of water splatters when dropped in hot fat. Coat chicken parts again with seasoned flour. Reserve remaining seasoned flour for gravy. Place chicken in hot shortening, skin side down, and fry about 20 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet and cook 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until chicken is tender. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and turn heat to high. Cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes longer or until chicken has become crisp again. Drain on paper towels. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Milk Gravy 2 tablespoons fried chicken drippings 2 tablespoons reserved seasoned flour 1 cup whole milk or half and half Salt, pepper

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat left in skillet after removing fried chicken pieces. Scrape up any brown bits in bottom of pan. Stir reserved flour into drippings in skillet and cook, stirring, over high heat until flour becomes pasty, but not brown, about 1 minute. Add milk all at once while continuing to stir. Bring mixture to boil, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring, until gravy thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If gravy becomes too thick, thin slightly with additional milk. Makes about 1 cup gravy. DOWN-HOME MASHED POTATOES 4 medium russet potatoes 2 to 3 tablespoons butter or margarine cup warm milk Salt, pepper

Scrub potatoes, but do not peel. Place in saucepan, cover with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook potatoes at a low boil until they can be easily pierced with fork. Remove from heat, drain and peel. Mash with potato masher or run through ricer. With whisk, beat in butter and enough milk to attain desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm in top of double boiler over simmering water until ready to serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings. SUCCOTASH 6 ears frozen or fresh corn 1 9-ounce package frozen cut green beans 1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans 6 slices bacon, diced 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/2 cup chopped onion Salt, pepper 1/2 cup milk or half and half

Cut kernels from cobs, making about 3 cups of kernels. Cook green beans and lima beans as directed. Drain and set aside. Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings. Add butter to drippings and melt. Add onion and cook until tender. Add corn and cook 5 minutes. Stir in green beans and lima beans; season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until hot. Stir in milk and heat gently. Sprinkle with bacon. Serves 8. COUNTRY COLESLAW 6 cups finely sliced cabbage 3/4 cup finely sliced carrots cup finely sliced green onions with tops 1 cup whipping cream 1/2 cup sour cream cup lemon juice 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds Salt, pepper

Combine cabbage, carrots and green onions in large bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Combine whipping cream, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, mustard and caraway seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Beat until almost stiff. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, combine dressing with salad and toss gently. Makes 8 cups. KNOTT'S BERRY FARM BUTTERMILK BISCUITS 2 cups flour 2 tablespoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon shortening 1/8 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk 1/2 cup oil

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