Themigrants from Scotlandfrom the southern states of America had a custom of deep-frying chicken in lard and even further back they used to fry fritters in the middle ages. The migrants from Scotland would often work, live and dine with the indentured Africans and this lead to the Africans adding some new spices to the food andbuildingtheir own versionof deep-fried chicken. These Africans later went on to become thecaterersin many a Southern American family where crispy fried chicken became a regular staple.
They also found that it lasted well well inhottemperatures before refrigeration was everyday so was consumed on almost a daily basis as they travelled to the cotton fields to labor. Since then it has become the region’s top choicefor just about any occasion.
This is said to have come from a fellow named James Boswell who wrote alogin 1773 named “journal of a Tour to the Hebrides”. In his diary he noted that at meals the local people would eat fricassee of hen which he went on to say “fried chicken or something like that”. What he in reality heard was the Scottish dish Friars Chicken, not deep-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 procedure for fried chicken in English is obscured in one of the most recognized culinary books of the 18th century by Hannah Glasse known as The Art of culinary Made Plain and Easy. Her procedure had a strange name named “To Marinate Chickens” which was first published in 1747. The book was a success in the United kingdom and more importantly in the Usa Colonies.
Here is the original mix...
Joint two chickens into quarters; 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 the yolks of two eggssome melted butter and nutmeg. Beat it all together thoroughly, dip yourfowlsin the batter and fry them in a good quality deal of pork lardwhich must boil first before you put your fowl in. Let them be of golden incolour and arrange them on your platter with a garnish of fried parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and a fine gravy. These days, we have changed the hog fat with Rapeseed oil which features 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 process has went worldwide and how different cultures have adopted their own versions.