Spring in the South is the perfect time to spruce up your classic recipes with a modern twist. Here are three current takes on time-honored Southern dishes.

1. Spicy Honey-Glazed Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is an iconic Southern dish, but this version adds a spicy honey glaze. It's perfect for a spring picnic or Sunday dinner.


  • 8 pieces of chicken (drumsticks and thighs)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter


  1. Marinate the chicken in buttermilk for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
  3. Remove chicken from buttermilk, letting excess drip off, and coat each piece in the flour mixture.
  4. Heat oil in a deep skillet or fryer to 350°F. Fry chicken in batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 12-15 minutes per batch.
  5. In a small saucepan, combine honey, hot sauce, and butter. Heat until butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  6. Drizzle the spicy honey glaze over the fried chicken before serving.

2. Peach and Basil Julep

Give the classic mint julep a fresh makeover with the addition of peaches and basil.


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 ripe peach, sliced
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp simple syrup
  • Crushed ice


  1. Muddle the peach slices and basil leaves with simple syrup in a glass.
  2. Fill the glass with crushed ice.
  3. Pour bourbon over the ice and stir gently.
  4. Garnish with additional basil leaves and a peach slice. Serve immediately.

3. Strawberry Rhubarb Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread is a Southern classic. These muffins combine the tartness of rhubarb with the sweetness of strawberries to strike a perfect balance.


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup diced rhubarb


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just mixed, then fold in strawberries and rhubarb.
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Cover Photo by Thalia Ruiz