2014: A Chance for Fried Chicken and Redemption

Yesterday, as I was going through the check-out line at the Cordata Co-op, my cashier Marc announced with joy in his eyes that he was going to be able to eat fried chicken once a week for the next two months because fried chicken day just happened to coincide with his work schedule. He excitedly relayed that he had been telling all his customers about how great the hot bar fried chicken is and how hard it is to get because it usually goes so fast. I could only smile and nod. Animal-Bird-Chicken-Dark-BrahmasI thought how ironic is life, how full of surprise and mystery, that I would be so wrong about something so ridiculous as fried chicken in a hot bar.

Several weeks ago, Jeremy, one of the cooks, and Donna, the manager at the Cordata Deli, approached me, I believe it was the day before Thanksgiving of all things, and suggested we serve fried chicken in the hot bar. Now, I know what you are thinking. Fried chicken does not work in hot bars. The crispy-ness of the coating gets soggy in such a warm, moist environment. Being the responsible purveyor of hot bar foods that I am, I argued this point, but they were both adamant. They seemed to think that organic hand-made fried chicken was a brilliant idea for the hot bar, so, I relented. I figured, it is always good to let people learn through epic failure.gluten-free-fried-chicken-recipe-3

A week later, the day came where the fried chicken would be served in the hot bar. I decided to just hang back and watch to see the disappointment on their faces as the chicken sat in the hot bar and soggified. Yes, it’s a word. As I sat back, waiting for the moment I would yet again be able to stand on a chair, point at the heavens and say, “I told you so”, something very odd happened. I smelled the most delicious and wonderful smell; my cheeks got warm, my eyes teared up….it was the bewitching combination all of my fondest childhood memories manifested in aroma.

I walked down from my office to the deli to see people already milling around the hot bar. Evidently, my childhood memories smelled delicious to everyone else too. As they brought the chicken out, an impulse wild and strange took hold of me; I had to eat some of that hot bar chicken. I filled my beige plastic plate up with chicken, bacon cheddar mashed potatoes, savory carrots and roasted cauliflower. I raced up stairs to feast on the bounty of crow before me, and commenced. The chicken itself, organic, and cocooned in a savory, delicate crust of delight. The mashed potatoes, creamy, and salted with the flavor of bacon and cheddar. As I sat and ate, I couldn’t believe how delicious and wonderful it was to be utterly wrong about something. I spent that afternoon wandering about in a food coma, murmuring to everyone about how wrong I had been about the fried chicken.

Weeks later, here I am, eating crow once again. I have filled my plate as I have every other Wednesday this month, and will continue to do on into the future. I have come to accept and embrace the level of my flawed thinking. I know, in my heart of hearts, that if hot bar fried chicken is wrong, I don’t want to be right.



  1. The challenge with hot bar fried chicken is not that it will get soggy, it is getting to the hot bar in time to get some before it is all snatched up. This will be my mission tomorrow at 11:30 sharp!

  2. […] Fried Chicken was a bone of contention when it was initially discussed. (Yes, the pun was very much intended.) I didn’t think it would be worth the effort, that it wouldn’t sell, that it was not strictly healthy food. I didn’t think it was right for the hot bar. […]

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