Tuesday, June 30, 2009


My dear friend and room mate from the 70's, Robin Heil, is a superb cook and her fried chicken was often requested by her ravenous room mates and friends. I have been begging for her to cook it again and, when she visited Gainesville from Colorado, we were lucky enough to coax her to our stove to do a rendition of her much-loved fried chicken. We were thrilled with the result.

Robin grew up in south Florida and came to Gainesville for college. From the mother of a Gainesville boyfriend, she encountered Southern cooking and learned many recipes. For someone from south Florida (hardly known for its Southern fare), Robin's cooking astonishes me because she has mastered many Southern dishes as if she were a fourth generation resident of Georgia, north Florida, or Alabama. Her chicken is a prime example.

Her fried chicken recipe (which follows) may look simple, but d&mn, it is tasty....among the best I have tasted.


Place lard and bacon fat (or peanut oil) in skillet to a level one-inch deep. Heat to smoking point.

Prepare flour and corn meal in equal parts for dipping. Season mixture with 1 tablespoon of Bell's Poultry Seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Dip chicken into flour/seasoning mix to cover all sides. Shake off excess.

Place gently in pan and cover to keep oil from splattering.

Cook for 10 minutes and turn over. Try to only turn the chicken once.

Cook for 10 more minutes and remove chicken to paper towels or flat paper bag to drain.

Serve hot.

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