Rania Harris stopped by Pittsburgh Today Live to show off some great southern-inspired recipes!

Basil Buttermilk Fried Chicken

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup fresh basil – chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces – I prefer thighs and drumsticks
  • 2 cups flour (or more if needed)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying


Combine buttermilk, 2 tablespoons basil and Tabasco in a large bowl. Add chicken. Turn to coat with buttermilk mixture. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Place rack atop a large cookie sheet. Combine flour, salt, pepper and remaining basil in a large shallow dish. Drain chicken and dredge in flour mixture; shaking off the excess. Transfer chicken to prepared rack. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Heat enough vegetable oil in a heavy large skillet or deep fryer to 360 degrees. Fry chicken in batches until cooked through and coating is golden brown, about 13 – 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Serves: 8

Jim N’ Nick’s Cheese Biscuits

  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten well
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using 3 mini (tassie) size muffin tins, butter or spray the tins with non-stick pan spray, to avoid the muffins from sticking to the molds.

Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk egg, milk, butter, and vanilla together in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend.

Incorporate shredded cheese into batter. Do not over mix.

Divide batter evenly among greased muffin tins. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. When fully baked, the tops of the biscuits will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the center of the biscuits will come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each biscuit from its mold.

Yield: 36 mini biscuits

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