The Downside Of Packing Fried Chicken For A Picnic

There's something whimsical and special about a picnic on a nice, warm day. The right area with just a bit of a breeze and lots of sunshine can be rejuvenating. Bring a big picnic basket with just the right assortment of goodies and the best people to share it with, and you have the perfect afternoon. Of course, to make it work, you'll need to bring foods that pack well and are easy enough to eat while sitting on the ground. And though tempting, fried chicken unfortunately isn't the ideal option for most types of picnics.

For several reasons, fried chicken could be a difficult picnic choice, even though it can be served cold and may be enough to get even the pickiest kids to go on a hike. The problem is, it's messy to eat and clean up after, meaning you'll probably want to wash your hands after eating, which isn't always ideal — or even possible. But that doesn't mean chicken is off the menu entirely.

Try grilled chicken instead

If you're set on bringing chicken to your picnic, consider choosing grilled instead of fried. It's an easy enough switch, and with the right grilled chicken recipe, it's sure to be a hit with the whole group. The big benefit here comes from the fact that you'll eliminate most of the grease, making it less messy. If you're looking for something with a bit more flavor or zip, you can bring along a favorite barbeque sauce to dip your chicken into. (Just remember, sauces have the potential to get just as messy as fried chicken would have been.) Pair your chicken with simple sides like chips, veggie sticks, and fruit salad for easy cleanup.

As with all picnic foods, you'll want to make sure you keep it properly chilled to ensure it remains safe to eat. The FDA recommends eating chicken within two hours of removing it from the fridge; if it's warmer than 90 degrees outside, that safe window of time drops by half to just one hour, so plan accordingly.