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Gordonsville, Virginia Fried Chicken

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Barbara
Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 12:11 PM
Subject: Gordonsville, VA Fried Chicken

> I'm looking for the recipe of the batter fried chicken from Gordonsville, 
> VA.  They are known as the Fried Chicken Capital of the World. have you 
> ever heard of this recipe? Thanks for your help!!!  :) :) :)
> Barbara

Hello Barbara,

Gordonsville, Virginia grew up around the intersection of two railroad lines, and it was a major RR stop in the early 19th century. The passenger trains that went through Gordonsville were not luxurious, lacking dining cars and other amenities. In the mid-nineteenth century, enterprising African-American women in Gordonsville saw an opportunity in this and took it. They began frying large quantities of chicken and selling it and coffee to the passengers at the station in Gordonsville. In 1869, Gordonsville was given the title of "the chicken leg centre of the universe" by one George W. Bagby. Those women, known as "waiter-carriers" soon had a thriving business raising chickens, frying chickens , and selling fried chicken and coffee to the railroad passengers.

In the latter part of the century, the town council began to require licensing of the chicken vendors, and this, along with the advent of railroad dining cars, signalled the decline of the Gordonsville fried chicken industry.

Gordonsville has a fried chicken festival yearly, and there are places in the town that sell "Gordonsville fried chicken". What is "Gordonsville fried chicken", exactly? It's a batter-fried chicken, but other than that, recipes tend to vary. There's not, as far as I can find, a single "Gordonsville fried chicken" recipe. There are two recipes going around the Internet. One, the first one below, is one concocted by John T. Edge after he visited Gordonsville and talked to fried chicken cooks there. It's in his book, "Fried Chicken: An American Story". The second one is purportedly from an old Bon Appetit magazine. I have no information regarding the provenance of this second recipe. This second recipe is a rather typical Southern fried chicken recipes and is not very unusual at all. I did not find any other recipes for Gordonsville fried chicken.

There are multiple requests for the Gordonsville fried chicken recipe from someone named "Barbara" on message boards around the Internet. If those are your requests, then I'd be surprised if you didn't already have the recipes that I'm sending to you.

Note that, from Mr. Edge's detective work, in the old days Gordonsville fried chicken was soaked twice in salt water before cooking, and it was, of course, fried in lard.


Gordonsville Fried Chicken (John T. Edge)

3-4 lb. chicken cut into 8-10 pieces

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbl. salt
1 tbl black pepper
1 tbl paprika
2 tbl ground sage
2 cups 2% milk
1 egg beaten
peanut oil into which you mix 3 tbls bacon fat

Combine salt, pepper, 1 cup of flour, paprika, and 1 tbl of sage in bowl
stir in the milk and beaten egg to make a thin batter.

In the remaining 1 cup of flour roll the chicken..and then dip the chicken 
in the batter allowing excess to run off.
Place chicken on a wire rack in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to set.
Heat 3 inches of oil to a temperature of 350 degrees
Put in skinside down chicken cook without cover at 325 degrees
for 8 to 12 minutes per side or until internal temp. is 170 for dark meat,
and 160 for white.
Drain on wire rack and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbl of sage...
Gordonsville Fried Chicken (purportedly from Bon Appetit)

3 lb chicken in 8 pieces
2 c milk
1 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
3/4 c water
vegetable oil

Soak chicken in milk 1 hour, occasionally turning.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, stir in water. Drain and pat 
dry chicken. Dip into batter and let stand 10 minutes. 1/2" of oil in 
skillet heated to 375 degrees F. Chicken skin side down til golden brown. 
Turn. Paper towels to drain.

El Pollo Loco House Salsa

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Tim 
To: 'Phaedrus' 
Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2009 12:13 AM
Subject: RE: Help

Thank you. This is great.  Do you have their house salsa recipe also?  


Hello Tim,

There are a dozen or so requests on various message boards for El Pollo Loco's House Salsa recipe. Since those requests have had no responses, then I'd say the recipe is not available. However, I did find the below recipes. They might be worth a try.


El Pollo Loco Salsa

2 large fresh tomatoes, in chunks
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, stemmed
1/2 tsp salt 
Chop the tomatoes and jalapenos together until they have the consistency of a course puree. 
You can use a food processor, but stop when the mixture is still quite course. There will 
be a lot of liquid, which you want to use as well. Pour everything into a medium bowl.
Add the salt and stir. Pour the salsa into a covered container and let it sit for several 
hours to allow the flavors to develop (overnight is best).
El Pollo Loco Avocado Salsa

1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1 jalapeņo, stemmed, cut in fourths; see cook's notes
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons diced onion

Combine avocado, jalapeņo, water, vinegar and salt in blender. Pureé on high. 
Pour into medium bowl. Add cilantro and onion; stir to blend. Cover and chill.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Crab Salad

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Virginia 
Sent: Saturday, July 11, 2009 7:26 PM
Subject: crab salad

Years ago I enjoyed a crab salad on a roll. It was made with crab meat, mayo, 
tomato soup, gelatin and celery and served as a filler in the roll. It was delicious. 
I cannot find the recipe anywhere. Can you help.


Hello Virginia,

The below recipes are the closest that I could find to your description.


We have crab rolls up in Maine, but they don't have tomato soup or juice or gelatin. I've seen crab roll recipes with tomato juice, but they have bacon and no mayonnaise.

Molded  Crab  Salad

1 can tomato soup
1 (8 oz.) envelope Knox gelatin
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped green peppers (optional)
1/4 c. grated onion (or 1 tsp. onion powder)
1 can crab
1 c. mayonnaise

Heat tomato soup in saucepan, with Knox gelatin and cream cheese. Stir while heating, 
until smooth. Cool mixture. 
Add celery, green pepper, onion and crab. Fold in mayonnaise. Fills 4 cup mold and chill.
Tomato  Crab  Salad

3 oz. pkg. lemon Jello
1/4 c. hot water
1 can tomato sauce
1 c. finely chopped celery
1/8 c. grated onion
1 c. shrimp or crab meat

Dissolve Jello in hot water.  Heat tomato sauce and add Jello.  Add remaining ingredients 
and refrigerate until set. 
Crab  Salad

1 env. gelatin
1/2 c. cold water
1 can tomato soup
3 (3 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1/4 c. chopped green pepper
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. Miracle Whip

Dissolve gelatin in the cold water.  Heat tomato soup and stir in cream cheese. 
add all ingredients together, then mix in 1 can crab meat. Pour in greased 6"x10" 
flat dish.  Let set in refrigerator for 12 hours.
Crab  Salad

1 pkg. lemon Jello
1 c. boiling water
1 can tomato soup
1 (3 oz.) pkg. Philadelphia cream cheese
1 c. crab meat
1/2 c. sliced stuffed olives
1/2 c. diced celery
1 tsp. green onion
1 c. mayonnaise

Dissolve Jello with boiling water, add soft cream cheese, then tomato soup. 
Mix well, then add crab, mayonnaise, olives, celery and onion.  Chill well 
before serving; overnight, if possible.  Serves 6. 

Luby's Spanish Slaw

Luby's Spanish Slaw With Dressing
Categories: Salads
Yield: 10 servings

2 lb Cabbage
1/4 c Parsley sprigs, coarsely-chopped
1/3 c Shredded carrot
1/2 c Green bell pepper strips
1 T Diced red bell pepper
1/4 c Green onions, sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 c Dill pickles, sliced 1/8-inch thick

1/2 c Water
1/3 c Dill pickle juice
1/4 c White vinegar
1 T Sugar
1 T Salad oil
1 ts Salt
1 ts Freshly ground black pepper

Spanish Slaw
Discard outer leaves from cabbage; wash head and cut in half. Remove
center core. Cut into 1/8-inch strips against the vein. Cut pieces into
2-inch portions. Place in a large serving bowl. Add parsley, carrot, bell
peppers, onions and pickles. Pour dressing over top and mix well. Chill
until ready to serve.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together water, pickle juice, vinegar,
sugar, oil, salt and pepper. Use as directed above.

Dobbs House Black Bottom Pie

Dobbs House Black Bottom Pie


1 cup granulated sugar, divided 
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain salt 
2 tablespoons cornstarch 
3 large eggs, separated (see note) 
2 cups whole milk 
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped 
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
2 prebaked pie crusts or chocolate cookie crusts 
1/4 cup cold water 
1 1/2 envelopes (about 3 3/4 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin 
1/2 teaspoon dark rum or rum-flavored extract 
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 
1 cup heavy cream, well-chilled 
Sifted cocoa, grated chocolate or cacao nibs, for garnish 


Combine 1/2 cup sugar, salt and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Add yolks and 
whisk well to combine. Slowly whisk in milk and stir to combine. Place over 
medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a 
rolling boil and thickens, about 5 minutes. 

Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler and cook, stirring occasionally 
with a dry wooden spoon, until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. 

Once the cornstarch mixture thickens, pour half into the melted chocolate. Stir 
to combine and add vanilla. Divide mixture between the 2 prepared pie crusts; set 
aside. This forms the black bottom layer. 

Place the water in a liquid measuring cup. Add the gelatin and stir to combine. 
Add this mixture to the remaining cornstarch mixture and stir to combine. Add rum 
or rum extract and stir to combine. Set aside for 8 to 10 minutes until the mixture 
just starts to set, or congeal. 

Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the 
whisk attachment. With the machine on medium-high speed, whip the egg whites until 
foamy. Increase the speed to high, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Slowly, 
steadily add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. 

Take about 1/3 of the beaten whites and add to the rum-flavored mixture and stir 
well to combine. Pour that lightened mixture over the whites and fold to combine. 
Once the mixture is smooth, pour the rum-flavored mixture over the chocolate 
bottoms in the pie crusts. Refrigerate to set, at least 1 hour. 

While the pies are chilling, place a clean mixing bowl and whisk attachment in 
the refrigerator. When ready to serve, making sure the cream and equipment are 
well-chilled, place the bowl on a mixer fitted with the chilled whisk attachment. 
Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Top the set pies with the whipped cream and 
serve. Garnish with cocoa, chocolate or cacao nibs, as desired. 

Note: To avoid the risks associated with raw egg whites, use 2/3 cup pasteurized 
egg whites instead. 


Copyright (c) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Phaedrus