Happy National Poultry Day!


Following the theme of yesterday’s blog post about random holidays, we thought we would share one that is sure to be near and dear to every Kentuckian’s heart: National Poultry Day! From Colonel Sanders to the World Chicken Festival, its no secret that the folks of the commonwealth love their yard birds. To celebrate this unique holiday, we wanted share the history of a native Kentucky chef!

Kentucky’s Cookbook Heritage by John VanWilligen highlights the life of Thelma Clay Linton of Harrodsburg, KY, who was a respected caterer and an important leader in the business, social services, and religious communities. Linton lived to the ripe old age of 101. Susanna Thomas’s introductory essay states, “In our town of Harrodsburg in Mercer County, Kentucky, Thelma Clay Linton is an institution, revered for her outstanding country cuisine and her remarkable character”. Here is her recipe for fried chicken pulled from her cookbook, Thelma’s Treasures: The Secret Recipes of the Best Cook in Harrodsburg:

Fried Chicken (1992)


Puritan oil


Put the chicken pieces in a big pot of water. Add two tablespoons of salt for every one chicken that you use. Soak the chicken in the salty water overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, drain off the water, pat the chicken pieces dry.

Mix the flour (enough to coat all of the chicken) with the pepper and the paprika and a little bit of salt to taste. Coat each piece of chicken with this mixture.

In an iron skillet, add the Puritan oil and cook it until it sizzles. The grease should be even up with the chicken. Then add a few pieces of chicken and turn down the heat to medium. Cook the chicken a half hour or so on one side and flip it and cook it a half hour on the other
side until it is evenly browned. Remove the pieces from the pan as they are done and drain them on a paper towel.

To learn more about Kentucky cookbooks, recipes, and chefs, check out Kentucky’s Cookbook Heritage by John Van Willigen on our website!


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