Ina Garten’s Summer Celebration Menu Is Traditional, Yet Elegant

Ina Garten is a master entertainer who has curated a number of menus for holidays and special occasions. One of those special menus is for a summer celebration to mark the end of the season. It’s one of the Barefoot Contessa’s more traditional menus — fit for an American holiday weekend — with a twist of elegance that fans have come to expect from the Food Network star.

Ina Garten poses in her hamptons kitchen in October 2018
‘Barefoot Contessa’ star Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The star of Ina Garten’s summer celebration menu is Oven-Fried Chicken

Making a delicious batch of fried chicken at home is no easy task. The great thing about Ina’s recipe for Oven-Fried Chicken is that it takes away any fear you might have about doing fried chicken right.

The secret to Ina’s method is soaking the chicken pieces in a bowl of buttermilk in the fridge overnight. Then, when you’re ready to cook, take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece with a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper. 

Working in batches, fry each piece for just a couple of minutes on each side to get flavorful, crispy skin. Then, finish off the cooking process and get juicy, tender meat by putting your chicken pieces in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

“I made this chicken recipe and absolutely loved it… Bringing the oil to the correct temperature, which is extremely important…It was the best tasting fried/oven cooked chicken I’ve had in a very long time,” one happy fan shared

Vegetable Coleslaw and French Potato Salad for the sides

For the side dishes in her summer celebration menu, Ina includes two traditional recipes with elegant twists that are “so Barefoot Contessa.” First, there is her recipe for Vegetable Coleslaw, a dish Ina highlighted in her very first cookbook more than two decades ago.

To make this no-cook dish, you’ll need white cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, kale leaves, good mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, sugar, cider vinegar, celery seeds, celery salt, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Ina’s twist on her French Potato Salad is that it isn’t mayonnaise-based. Instead, her recipe calls for wine and champagne vinegar to give the side dish a robust flavor without the added heaviness of mayo.

“OMG!!! My family is not a fan of mayonnaise-based potato salad and this!! Wow the pop of the dill and the basil, the acid bite of the vinegar and wine with the scallions and Dijon! This IS my go to summer potato salad from now on!” one reviewer shared.

Fresh Peach Cobbler for dessert completes Ina Garten’s summer celebration menu

Completing the Food Network star’s summer celebration menu is Fresh Peach Cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

“I’ve always made fruit crisps but avoided cobblers because by the time I’ve prepped the fruit for the filling, the last thing I want to do is start making biscuits for the top,” Ina shared. “Recently, I came across a topping by Mark Bittman and my version of his drop biscuit topping was the perfect solution.”

For that drop biscuit topping, you’ll need flour, sugar, baking powder, kosher salt, unsalted butter, eggs, pure vanilla extract, and cinnamon. For the fruit filling, you’ll need four pounds of ripe peaches, sugar, cornstarch, orange zest, freshly squeezed orange juice, and unsalted butter.

The Barefoot Contessa airs on Food Network.

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