Themigrants from Scotlandfrom the southern states of America had a tradition of deep-frying chicken pieces in lard and even before this they used to fry fritters in the middle ages.
The Scottish immigrants would often work, live and dine with the African Americans and this lead to the Africans adding some other seasonings to the formula andcreatingtheir own versionof crispy deep-fried chicken.
These Africans later became thecooksin many a Southern American household where deep-fried chicken became a ordinary staple.
This is said to have come from a gentleman called James Boswell who wrote alogin 1773 known as “log of a Tour to the Hebrides”.
In his journal he noted that at an evening meal the locals would eat fricassee of fowl which he went on to say “deep-fried chicken or something like that”.
What he in actual fact heard was the Scottish dish Friars Chicken, not fried chicken but you could say that where it was first named.They also observed that it travelled well inwarmweather conditions prior to refrigeration was common so was consumed on almost every day basis as they travelled to the cotton fields to labor.
Since then it has become the south's most suitable choicefor just about any occasion.
The very true origins of crispy deep-fried chicken we will probably never know but the earliest known mix for deep-fried chicken in English is stashed in one of the most eminent cookery books of the 18th century by Hannah Glasse called The Art of culinary Made Plain and Easy.
Her recipe had a strange name called “To Marinate Chickens” which was first released in 1747. The book was a hit in the United kingdom and more importantly in the American Colonies.
Here is the original process...
Cut two chickens into pieces; 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 eggssome melted butter and nutmeg. Beat it all together very well, dip yourchicken piecesin the batter and fry them in a fine 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-class gravy. These days, we have replaced 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 procedure has travelled worldwide and how different cultures have adopted their own versions.