Themigrants from Scotlandfrom the southern states of Us had a tradition of deep-frying poultry in fat and even previously 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 supplementary flavorings to the procedure andgeneratingtheir own presentationof crispy fried chicken. These Africans later evolved to be thechefsin many a Southern American household where crispy fried chicken became a prevalent staple. They also observed that it lasted well well inwarmconditions before refrigeration was common so was consumed on almost a daily basis as they went to the cotton fields to work. Since, it has become the region’s most suitable choicefor just about any occasion.
This is said to have come from a gentleman named James Boswell who wrote adiaryin 1773 named “journal of a Tour to the Hebrides”. In his log he noted that at an evening meal the locals would eat fricassee of poultry which he went on to say “deep-fried chicken or something like that”. What he actually heard was the Scottish dish Friars Chicken, not crispy 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 recipe for crispy fried chicken in English is hidden away in one of the most celebrated cooking books of the 18th century by Hannah Glasse known as The Art of cookery Made Plain and Easy. Her formula had a strange name known as “To Marinate Chickens” which was first in print in 1747. The book was a success in the UK and more importantly in the US Colonies.
Here is the original mix...
Joint 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 2 eeg yolkssome melted butter and nutmeg. Beat it all together very well, dip yourfowlsin the batter and fry them in a superior deal of pork shorteningwhich must boil first before you put your fowl in. Let them be of light golden incolour and set them on your plate with a garnish of fried parsley. Serve with cut lemon and a good quality gravy. Now, we have swapped out 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 mix has travelled worldwide and how different cultures have adopted their own versions.