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Does Anyone Save Cooking Mags? Looking for Something Very Specific! [Moved from General Topics]

Maybe someone can help me and I hope this is the right board to make this request.

I am searching for a very specific recipe that seems to be all but lost to me. Gordonsville Fried Chicken.

First of all, please do NOT tell me to contact Mr. John T. Edge, or to buy his book. I did both already. It's NOT in there. He does have a recipe that is "inspired" by the people of Gordonsville but it is absolutely not the recipe I seek.

Ok, now that I got that out of the way...

The recipe was originally printed in either Gourmet or Bon Appetit around 1988 through 1992. Not earlier or later, that much I can pinpoint due to events in my life.

I kept the recipe for several years but lost it in a move. I contacted the magazine at that time. They were able to provide me with a xerox copy. Unfortunately, several moves later and before the advent of the use of personal computers ad nauseum, I again lost the recipe and forgot which publication it came from. I tried contacting both magazines to no avail as the recipe by then was far to ancient even for them to dig up.

I've done web searches, and nothing similar comes up. I do remember the recipe more or less, nothing matches it.

So, my only hope now it either to make a road trip to Gordonsville (which in itself is such a Chowhoundish thing to do, that this may be my only solution) or I can hope that some obsessive/compulsive magazine hoarder out there has this issue sucking up storage space in their garage or attic. Wouldn't you just love to be able to prove to your significant other that there was a good reason for saving all of those magazines? LOL!



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  1. Not trying to be a smartass, but have you tried the public library? Or maybe a library on a college campus? Maybe even a library at a cooking school?

    Two magazines x 4 years is a lot of back issues ... but it wouldn't take too long to leaf through them ... if you could find a library with back issues that old ... just a thought, anyway

    1. No you weren't being a smartass :-) It was a great suggestions in fact. I already looked in my local library - but I live in a small town and that was useless. I also did a brief, albeit not thorough search in NYC, where I work so I do need to go back there.

      However, I never thought about a cooking school. That's a great idea.

      Yep, it is a lot of back issues I know that but I thought I'd throw it out here just in case. You never know. I was stunned that anyone even heard of Gordonsville Fried Chicken when I originally posted about this a while back!



      1 Reply
      1. re: sivyaleah

        Good luck ...

        and while I'm sure you already thought of this, I'll suggest it anyway ...

        There are online websites that sell back issues of magazines. Also, a lot of used book stores sell magazine back issues.

        It's out there, you'll find it ...

      2. Actually Paul, I had NOT thought of that! Thanks for the suggestion, that one is brilliant! I'm going to start searching!


        1. I got frustrated last year trying to find a recipe in Bon Appetit during that same time period so I bought a bunch of magazines from an Ebay seller. Unfortunately, I have looked through them and can't find the one you are looking for. She advertised them as being complete but, they are not because in the November 1988 issue, the index says there is a recipe for perfect fried chicken on page 226 but those pages are gone as is the table of contents. That is what I get for not checking the magazines closer at the time. Anyway, if the recipe was called Perfect Fried Chicken, you might try finding the November 1988 issue. Otherwise, I have had no luck in turning up this recipe.

          1. Velma, that was very nice of you to take a look for me in the '98 issues. I really appreciate it! Unfortunately, that isn't the name of the recipe - I know for sure it's called Gordonsville Fried Chicken, that part I remember :-)

            It's so frustrating, isn't it? At least now, Epicurious has all the recipes from Gourmet and Bon Appetit from recent years, so it's gotten a lot easier for us!


            1. This seems almost too simple, but I googled "gordonsville chicken" and up came quite a few refs to fried chicken...
              maybe this will help?

              1. How (if you can remember certain ingredients) does the Edge "inspired by" recipe differ from the recipe you're looking for? Since you don't have the recipe in front of you, perhaps this is a dumb question, but I'm curious.

                1. Hello, is it Gordonsville, VA or TN ? There are people and organizations or businesses in either place that will probably help you, hospitality and all that, like the chamber of commerce, public library of the town in question, restaurants or b&b's that do the regional food. Another approach is reconstruction from what you remember, the traditional ways to fry chicken have a few variations, but not that many, is it the breading and seasoning that make it unique, is the chicken soaked in buttermilk? Talking to the folk from the locale might get the answers there as well. good luck

                  1. I have almost every issue of Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Food and Wine going back to 1985, and Saveur since 1994 when it started, as well as many years of a dozen other food and travel magazines. The only issues I am missing are ones which were stolen by friends when I left them out in the living room or when the subscription couldn't keep up with the 27 times I moved since 1985!

                    Presently they are in my attic in milk crates and the ones more than 3 years old are even in chronological order. I will go up to find the issue eventually but right now in summer the attic temp is around 120-180 degrees, seriously. Even with the rain and cooler weather lately it is still too hot to go up there. If I am up late at night I will take a look.

                    1. I googled it to no avail as far as getting the recipe too. Edge's recipe was prepared and seasoned differently than the one I'm looking for, although there was another recipe in his book which was a bit more similar, but still not quite it.

                      As far as the actual recipe is concerned, this is what I remember:

                      The chicken was definately soaked in buttermilk first, I think it had a touch of tabasco in the buttermilk. I remember this because it was the first time I'd every used buttermilk in cooking and I remember being a bit leary about it (since then, I've come to love it, particularly for lemon buttermilk ice cream).

                      I recall it was double-dredged in flour that was flavored with salt, pepper and if I remember correctly, either sage or thyme, but sage rings a bell (perhaps it was both). It came out of the buttermilk, hit the flour, went into the buttermilk again, into the flour and then rested on a rack for a while (probably in the fridge).

                      It was skillet-fried, really had a thick, heavy crust which adhered really well and was nice and savory and extremely moist inside. Just a really fine recipe. I personally like the thick crust, because I'm a chicken skin lover and since it really sticks to the skin, it makes it really easy to get it all in one bite (yum!).

                      I am thinking about trying to reconstruct it - maybe it isn't too difficult, doesn't seem like it should be. My husband might think I'm nuts tho especially since he's not a lover of chicken on the bone but I guess I can make some breast pieces off the bone for him, should be just as good.

                      As far as what region it is from, I'm not sure if it was VA or TN, part of the problem in researching. For some reason, I think it may have been VA because I do remember a background story of it being the fried chicken capitol of the USA. I think that is VA. Then again, I bet every southern state would lay claim to that LOL. I do remember it had something to do with a train station, and from what I've read thus far, VA seems to be the standout for this. Yesterday, I bookmarked a forum I found in Gordonsville VA which was for locals to communicate with each other, and I figured, what the heck? Why not try and post about this there? All they can do is think I'm a crazy yankee and either ignore me or hopefully better yet, humor me and help me out.

                      Thanks everyone, you've been incredibly helpful to me with this quest! Any other ideas are most welcome!


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: sivyaleah


                        Have you tried e-mailing Bon Appetit or Gourmet? I've had a lot of luck with doing this in the past when I remembered a certain recipe, but couldn't remember exactly what issue it appeared in. Sorry if you've already done that! I still have a turkey recipe that I miss, and I don't even remember what magazine it was from!

                        Good luck,

                        1. re: sivyaleah

                          This sounds an awful lot like "Deviled Fried Chicken" on epicurious.com. I've made this and it is truly delicious!

                        2. Katie, yes I tried that a while back and they said it was too far back for them too!

                          What turkey recipe are you looking for? May as well let us know, you never know if someone here has heard of it :-)


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sivyaleah

                            It was just a regular roasted turkey, but it was served with a garlic and onion jam, and my mom and I made it one year for Thanksgiving, and it really was the best turkey we'd ever had. (After that Thanksgiving, my Grandma said next year she just wanted to have "normal" food, but that's a whole other story!!) I had thought it was a Martha recipe, but when I e-mailed them, they said they didn't have anything even close to that. Maybe there should be a lost recipe thread!

                          2. Homemade garlic onion jam! My husband would flip over that!

                            Hey! You should let the chowhound owners know about your idea for a lost recipe thead. Post it to them! I think that is a wonderful idea. Seriously. I bet a lot of people would make use of it.


                            1. All right. I just spent a silly amount of time looking for this recipe because, for whatever reason, I remembered seeing it. (I dont, however, remember what I did last Thursday....) It was in the May 1987 issue of Bon Appetit - in the Too Busy to Cook section.

                              Gordonsville Fried Chicken.

                              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 peper, 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.


                              1. Oh my god you are a saint Mirage! And why did I think it was buttermilk??? Maybe there was another recipe they posted around the same time? My memory must be sloppy. Maybe what I remember, is that the batter was foamy due to the baking powder and the milk and flour in it? Now that I think about it, that makes perfect sense. It would probably have that consistancy, right? The baking powder would cause the flour to begin to rise somewhat and bubble up?

                                I don't know how to repay you for this! Unbelievable! The people on this board are the best!


                                5 Replies
                                  1. re: sivyaleah

                                    The baking powder in that recipe wouldn't start bubbling until it was cooked.

                                    Foamy batter might be buttermilk and baking soda.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      I don't think so. You might be thinking of double-acting baking powder, which reacts first when wet and second when heated. Single-acting baking powder reacts once, when wet.

                                      1. re: Darren72

                                        Actually baking powder reacts to heat, baking soda reacts to liquid. Whatever, I'm trying that recipe!

                                  2. Oh and by the way - I copied this and put it someplace VERY safe on my computer :-)


                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: sivyaleah

                                      "Oh and by the way - I copied this and put it someplace VERY safe on my computer :-)"

                                      Ahhh, yes - but computers can crash. :-)

                                      Might I suggest you Email it to yourself at every Email address you have; print it 25 times and put it in your favorite cookbooks; and give a copy to friends and family with their promise that they will never ever discard it.


                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        My mom calls me for my grandmother's recipes all the time for this very reason. =) I am her safety deposit box.

                                    2. That's exactly what I did Linda :-) I emailed it around to several addresses LOL! I printed out a few copies too, stuck it in my bag, and intend to tuck a copy in a couple of places at home.


                                      1. The miracle of the Internet ... even I feel better ... :)

                                        1. I just have to say....WOW. I knew us 'hounds were a good group but what a labor of love! Please post pic's and give us a report when you make the now infamous chicken!! My husband loves fried chicken and I have always been too intimidated to make it. I just might be inspired to give it try......

                                          1. Mirage is Chowhound of the Month!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Dave Feldman

                                              Aw shucks. I'd like to thank my loving family, my dog and my microplane...

                                            2. You might try searching Epicurious.com

                                              They seem to have all the recipes that have appeared in Gourmet and Bon Appetit.

                                              1. hello, glad there was a happy ending. The recipe you reconstructed with the buttermilk and dredging and herbs actually sounds like it might end up with a tastier result (the 'gordonsville' has salt and pepper only). Back in the early 60s when timesaving conveniences were in vogue for the harried housewife (tv dinners the new thing) my dear mother had 'bisquick' in the pantry which was flour and baking powder premixed, and a shortcut to things like pancakes, muffins, and fried chicken batter. Not surprised that it was Bon Ap. 'Too Busy...' I eventually lost faith in that mag, and my wonderful spouse discont'd her longtime subscription, because their recipes had too much simplification and use of premade/bottled /canned ingredients. Myself, I'm someday going to try to figure out a simplified for American use version of the Javanese style fried chicken (simmered or soaked in cocoanut milk before frying). enjoy

                                                1. To all, when I get around to cooking this recipe I will make a point of taking photos, I promise! Now I just have to invite enough people over to make it worth my while. It's just two of us at home, and my husband is not a chicken-on-the-bone kind of guy, tho I'm very tempted to tell him tough luck, suck it up and make the best of it, and cook it anyway. But, I'd rather do it for a crowd, where at least I'll get some well-deserved accolades from standing over the hot oil LOL.

                                                  Mirage, again, you are, as someone else said, Chowhound of the month. I wonder if we can have a special board for this LOL. Post your picture and all? I hereby bestow upon you a virtual gold-plated "cutting through the hype" chef's knife of your choice :-)

                                                  Thanks to everyone who made this thread very helpful, and entertaining too!

                                                  Happy July 4th!


                                                  1. I tried this recipe yesterday, and I wonder if there could be a problem with the measurements. The dry ingredients w/ the listed amount of water formed (for me, anyway) a fairly stiff dough rather than a batter that I could dip chicken in to. I wondered if it could be 1 3/4 cups, rather than 3/4. At any rate, I increased the water until I got something dippable.

                                                    Anyone else try this recipe yet?

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: bruce

                                                      I plan on trying this recipe at some point before summer's over. Aside from having to alter the water proportion, did you like it? Do you think using buttermilk would be better? How was the seasoning, etc.?

                                                      1. re: bruce

                                                        I re-checked the recipe. That's how it was written. So, definitely use your judgement.

                                                        1. re: mirage

                                                          Thanks very much for checking!


                                                      2. The people I served it to enjoyed it, but I admit I wasn't that impressed. I would probably season it a bit more aggressively. I also think buttermilk might be really good. Anyway, I probably won't use that recipe again.

                                                        Have fun!


                                                        1. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/s...
                                                          SF Chron Critic Mr. Bauer went back home to KS to sample the Fried Chicken of his youth. This is the follow up, with some interesting
                                                          Chicken Fryin' tips.

                                                          + his trip: