For whatever reason, when it comes to Indiana Day, I’ve skipped over it, opting instead for a variety of other things to share. Most notably is that November 16th is also National Fast Food Day. This oversite makes Indiana one of only two states in the Union we haven’t celebrated. That simply won’t do.
Indiana, a free state, and the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln, became a state on December 11, 1816. President James Madison signed the congressional resolution admitting Indiana as the 19th state. Corydon remained the first state capital until 1825, when the capital was moved to Indianapolis.
Indiana Fun Facts
No, Indiana is not one massive cornfield. Only about 60% of the state is. And because of that 20% of the country’s popcorn is grown in Indiana.
Indiana is know as “The Mother of Vice Presidents.” That’s because six VPs all hail from Indiana, three were actually born there. Thomas Marshall (under Wilson 1913-1921), Dan Quayle (under George H. W. Bush 1989-1991) and Mike Pence (under Trump 2017-2021) are all natives of Indiana. The other three were all part of the political landscape of Indiana before becoming Vice Presidents.
The first moving train robbery took place in 1866 when the Reno Brothers robbed a train in Indiana of $13,000. Trains had been robbed before, but those trains were stationary. The Reno Brothers stopped a moving train to rob it in Jackson County, Indiana.
Bedford, Indiana is known as The Limestone Capital of the World. The Empire State Building was erected from limestone quarried in Indiana. Indiana Limestone can also be found in the Pentagon and the National Cathedral in Washington DC among others.
And yes, there is a Santa. Santa Clause, Indiana that is. In 1852 the residents of a small town in Spencer County were forced to rename their town. It was called Santa Fe. When the residents applied for a post office, the application was denied. There already existed Santa Fe, Indiana. Inspired by Christmas Eve celebrations, the town became Santa Claus, Indiana. Today thousands of letters to Santa are delivered to the elves of Santa Clause. They read the letters and respond to as many as possible.
During the pandemic shutdown of 2020, the most popular recipe search in Indiana was for potato salad. This seemed a good starting point for an Indiana Celebration in food.
As mentioned before, is also Fast Food Day. Now when we think fast food, most of us think hamburgers. While burgers are good, they aren’t the best choice to pair with Potato Salad. However; chicken and potato salad is nice. So chicken and potato salad it is.
When it comes to fast food, our all-time favorite has to be Chick-Fil-A. We’ll even seek out a Chick-Fil-A when traveling. (This is especially true since the closest Chick-Fil-A is two towns to the north of us).
If you were to have a Chick-Fil-A sandwich at a restaurant, you’ll probably have it with a side of waffle fries. However, since we’re creating this hot, juicy sandwich at home, we can have a scoop of Tater Salad instead.
Happy Indiana Day with a side of Fast Food Goodness.
Celebrating Indiana Cravings
Almost Chick-Fil-A Sandwich
Amazing Potato Salad
Almost Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
4 Hamburger Buns, split
Butter as needed
4 Green Leaf Lettuce Leaves separated
1 Beefsteak Tomato, sliced
20 Dill Pickle Slices
Split hamburger buns. Brush lightly with butter. Put buns back together, wrap in plastic until ready to toast.
Break off 4 leaves of lettuce. Rinse well, pat dry and set aside. Slice tomato, wrap in plastic and set aside.
Drain pickles from a jar. Set aside to air dry until ready to use.
2 boneless Chicken Breasts
1 cup Dill Pickle Juice
1-1/2 cups Milk, divided
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Flour
1 tablespoon Powdered Sugar
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 large Egg
Place a chicken breast on a cutting board. With your hand flat on top of it, carefully slice the chicken in half horizontally to create 4 thin breasts. Trim excess fat as needed.
In a non-reactive bowl, whisk together the pickle juice and 1/2-cup of milk.
Lay chicken breasts in a large non-reactive baking dish. Pour pickle juice mixture over the breasts. Turn several times to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, turning once half-way through. Once marinated, drain well.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
In a gallon size Ziploc bag the flour and powdered sugar; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
In another large shallow baking dish, whisk together remaining 1 cup of milk and egg. Coat chicken breasts in the egg mixture, draining off excess.
Place chicken into Ziploc bag, shake to coat breast in the flour 1 breast as a time.
Working in batches if necessary, add chicken to the skillet and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
While the chicken is cooking, set buns, buttered side up, on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler to lightly toast buns. Place lettuce leave then a slice of tomato on each bottom bun.
Once the chicken is ready, place breast on top of tomato slices. Top each breast with 5 pickle chips. Place top bun in place, serve and enjoy.
1-1/5 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
5 Eggs, hard-boiled
1/4 Red Onion, minced
1 Celery Stocks, minced
1/2 tablespoon Bacon Drippings, warm (Optional)
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/8 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 tablespoons Mustard
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar plus a sprinkling for potatoes
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
Peel and slice potatoes into large chunks. Place potatoes in a stockpot and cover with 1-inch of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are just tender but not soft, about 10-15 minutes. Drain well. Sprinkle LIGHTLY with red wine vinegar and set aside in refrigerator to cool.
Place eggs in a saucepan, add cold water to cover eggs. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 12-14 minutes, then plunge eggs into cold water to stop cooking process. Once cooled, roll egg on counter to crack the shell. Return eggs to cold water and let sit for about 15 minutes. This will help to make the eggs easier to peel.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine onions, celery, bacon drippings, mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream and red wine vinegar. Whisk to combine. Taste dressing and season with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Peel and chop 2 eggs, reserve remaining eggs for garnish. Add chopped eggs to dressing. Taste dressing a second time, adjust seasonings as necessary.
Place potatoes in a large bowl. Pour egg dressing over potatoes and toss to coat. Smooth out top. Chill while garnish is made.
Reserved Hard-Boiled Eggs
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
Splash Red Wine Vinegar
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Paprika as needed
Green Onions for garnish
Split eggs, place yolks in a bowl. Mash well. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Fill egg whites with yolk mixture. Sprinkle with paprika for color. Set eggs aside.
Cut roots from green onion. Cut green portion from white portion. Using a sharp knife, cut strips into the whites, leaving bulbs intact. Spread out to make frills. Insert onion frills into the salad. Snip green portion, scatter over the salad.
Using the back of a spoon, create a small indentations. Place deviled eggs into the indentations. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until well chilled.