Themigrants from Scotlandfrom the southern states of Us had a custom of deep-frying poultry in lard and even previously they used to fry fritters in the middle ages. The immigrants from Scotland would often labor, live and dine with the indentured Africans and this lead to the Africans adding some new spices to the food anddevelopingtheir own presentationof deep-fried chicken. These Africans later went on to become thecooksin many a Southern American home where crispy deep-fried chicken became a universal staple. They also found that it travelled well inwarmconditions before refrigeration was commonplace so was consumed on almost a daily basis as they travelled to the cotton fields to labor. Since then it has become the southern state's best choicefor just about any occasion.
This is said to have come from a fellow called James Boswell who wrote arecordin 1773 known as “record of a Tour to the Hebrides”. In his journal he noted that at an evening meal the locals would eat fricassee of hen which he went on to say “fried chicken or something like that”. What he in fact heard was the Scottish dish Friars Chicken, not crispy fried chicken but you could say that where it was first named.
The very true origins of crispy fried chicken we will probably never know but the earliest known process for crispy deep-fried chicken in English is obscured in one of the most famous culinary books of the 18th century by Hannah Glasse named The Art of cookery Made Plain and Easy. Her food had a strange name called “To Marinate Chickens” which was first available in 1747. The book was a success in the UK and more importantly in the American Colonies.
Here is the original process...
Joint two chickens into pieces; lay them in vinegar for 3-4 hours with pepper, salt, bay and a few cloves. Make a very thick batter first with ½ pint of wine and flour then 2 eeg yolkssome melted butter and nutmeg. Beat it all together well, dip yourfowlsin the batter and fry them in a good quality deal of pork shorteningwhich must boil first before you put your fowl in. Let them be of golden incolour and lay them on your plate with a garnish of fried parsley. Serve with lemon slices and a good gravy. In the present day, we have changed the hog fat with Rapeseed oil which contains nearly zero trans fats and we use a brine of buttermilk and salt to season our chicken throughout. It’s amazing to think how far this mix has journeyed worldwide and how different cultures have adopted their own versions.