Wow, this is one of my lifelong favorite dinners that Nan makes! Growing up, whenever I had a bad day or something was not going right for me, my mom always tried to fix things by preparing a favorite dinner or taking me to McDonald's for a Big Mac. This is definately one of those meals that is sure to fix anything that is wrong in the world (at least temporarily). Last night, I was treated to her world famous old fashioned potato salad, the best deviled eggs, sweet and sour green beans and chicken pieces cooked on the grill.
We grilled skin on, bone in chicken pieces over an indirect flame on a gas grille for approximately 40 minutes total. Starting with the skin side down and over indirect heat to prevent flame-ups from burning the chicken pieces, grill them until the skin has rendered its fat and becomes crispy, about 20 minutes. Flip them over and cook for another 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165- 170 degrees. If using BBQ sauce, brush on the chicken during the last 10 minutes of grilling.
My mom has been making this potato salad forever! It is a basic recipe, but still stands up to the test of time. Place scrubbed whole red potatoes in a sauce pan with cold water and heat until boiling. Turn the temperature down and cook the potatoes at a simmer until they are fork tender or about 15-20 minutes. Drain them in a colander and let them cool. Once cooled, peel them if desired, and cut them into a medium dice. Add chopped celery, chopped onion and one chopped hard cooked egg. Stir in enough mayonnaise to bring the salad together and season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve and garish with a traditional sprinkle of paprika.
The sweet and sour green beans is also a recipe from my childhood. Interestingly, we never have them unless it is with this exact dinner. I think because, strange as it sounds, the sweet and sour vinaigrette tastes so good when drizzled over the potato salad. Weird, I know, but someone tried it once years ago and ever since then, everyone eats it that way. It is one can of green beans and one can of wax beans, drained and placed in a large mixing bowl. Then, add about 1/2 of an onion, chopped and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Combine 1/2 cup canola oil, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup sugar and combine well until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the beans and stir to combine. While this salad is delicious when made early in the day, it is best when it has the chance to sit in the refrigerator over night.
Finally, the deviled eggs. Boil the raw eggs until they are hard cooked, about 20 minutes or so. Rinse them under cold water to cool them down and to prevent them from over cooking and developing that unattractive green ring. Peel the eggs and cut them in half lengthwise. Place the hard cooked yolks in a bowl and combine with mayonnaise, a drizzle of apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper (I like to add a little Dijon mustard...Mom does not). Refill the eggs with the yolk mixture, chill and sprinkle with paprika as a garnish. Another fabulous dinner by Nan!