Themigrants from Scotlandfrom the southern states of Us had a custom of deep-frying poultry in fat and even before this 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 extra seasonings to the mix andproducingtheir own interpretationof crispy deep-fried chicken. These Africans later evolved to be thechefsin many a Southern American house where crispy deep-fried chicken became a regular staple. They also observed that it transported well inhotconditions prior to refrigeration was prevalent so was eaten on almost an every day basis as they travelled to the cotton fields to labor. Since, it has become the southern state's best choicefor just about any occasion.
This is said to have come from a man named James Boswell who wrote ajournalin 1773 known as “journal of a Tour to the Hebrides”. In his journal he noted that at mealtime the local folks would eat fricassee of fowl which he went on to say “crispy fried chicken or something like that”. What he actually 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 deep-fried chicken we will probably never know but the earliest known recipe for deep-fried chicken in English is stashed in one of the most celebrated culinary books of the 18th century by Hannah Glasse called The Art of cookery Made Plain and Easy. Her food had a strange name called “To Marinate Chickens” which was first published in 1747. The book was a success in the United kingdom and more importantly in the American Colonies.
Here is the original mix...
Cut 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 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 good quality deal of pork lardwhich must boil first before you put your fowl in. Let them be of golden incolour and set them on your plate with a garnish of fried parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and a excellent gravy. These days, we have replaced 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 procedure has went worldwide and how different cultures have adopted their own versions.