TheScottish immigrantsfrom the southern states of America had a custom of deep frying chicken pieces in fat and even before this they used to fry fritters in the middle ages. The migrants from Scotland would often labor, live and dine with the African slaves and this lead to the Africans adding some more flavorings to the procedure andcreatingtheir own presentationof fried chicken. These Africans later went on to become thecaterersin many a Southern American home where crispy deep-fried chicken became a regular staple. They also found that it transported well inwarmtemperatures prior to refrigeration was seen everyday so was enjoyed on almost every day basis as they went to the cotton fields to labor. Since then it has become the southern state's preferred choicefor just about any occasion.
This is said to have come from a guy known as James Boswell who wrote adiaryin 1773 called “diary of a Tour to the Hebrides”. In his diary he noted that at dinner the local folks would eat fricassee of pullet which he went on to say “crispy deep-fried chicken or something like that”. What he in reality heard was the Scottish dish Friars Chicken, not 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 formula for crispy deep-fried chicken in English is hidden away in one of the most famed cooking books of the 18th century by Hannah Glasse known as The Art of cookery Made Plain and Easy. Her mix had a strange name named “To Marinate Chickens” which was first published in 1747. The book was a success in the UK and more importantly in the American Colonies.
Here is the original dish...
Cut two chickens into quarters; steep 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 the yolks of two eggsa little melted butter and nutmeg. Beat it all together very well, dip yourfowlsin the batter and fry them in a high-quality deal of pork lardwhich must boil first before you put your fowl in. Let them be of bronze incolour and set them on your bowl with a garnish of fried parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and a first-rate gravy. Nowadays, we have swapped out the hog fat with Rapeseed oil which has 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 went worldwide and how different cultures have adopted their own versions.