Theimmigrants from Scotlandfrom the southern states of Us had a custom of deep-frying poultry in fat and even previously they used to fry fritters in the middle ages. The Scottish immigrants would often labor, live and dine with the African slaves and this lead to the Africans adding some more flavorings to the mix andcreatingtheir own interpretationof deep-fried chicken. These Africans later went on to become thefood preparersin many a Southern American household where fried chicken became a frequent staple. They also discovered that it travelled well inwarmweather before refrigeration was commonplace so was eaten on almost an every day basis as they journeyed to the cotton fields to labor. Since, it has become the southern state's go-tofor just about any occasion.
This is said to have come from a fellow named James Boswell who wrote arecordin 1773 known as “log of a Tour to the Hebrides”. In his record he noted that at dinner the local folks would eat fricassee of fowl which he went on to say “crispy fried chicken or something like that”. What he in reality 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 deep-fried chicken we will probably never know but the earliest known formula for crispy fried chicken in English is obscured in one of the most well-known culinary books of the 18th century by Hannah Glasse named The Art of cookery Made Plain and Easy. Her process had a strange name called “To Marinate Chickens” which was first in print in 1747. The book was a hit in the United kingdom and more importantly in the American Colonies.
Here is the original procedure...
Joint 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 2 eeg yolksa little melted butter and nutmeg. Beat it all together thoroughly, 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 dish with a garnish of fried parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and a good quality gravy. Today, 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 food has journeyed worldwide and how different cultures have adopted their own versions.