Nothing says summer picnic -- or maybe Sunday dinner -- better than fried chicken. Like the previous meals, it's easy to make: Dip the chicken in a liquid (such as buttermilk), sprinkle on a coating and fry. You can use a boxed mix for the chicken coating or make your own by mixing flour or bread or cracker crumbs with seasonings such as garlic powder, salt, pepper and thyme. If you want to be healthy, you can bake the chicken instead of frying it. (No, it's not really "fried" chicken if you bake it, but some recipes can get the taste pretty darn close.)
One of the reasons fried chicken became such a common dish in the United States is that it's an inexpensive meal to prepare, especially if you use cheaper cuts of chicken, such as the thighs and drumsticks. And fried chicken keeps well, so you can fry up a batch ahead of time for this afternoon's picnic or tomorrow's church supper.
Fried chicken is one of the few comfort foods that made its way into the fast food realm, too, which is quite an accomplishment -- and just may solidify its spot as a top comfort food for generations to come.