Theimmigrants from Scotlandfrom the southern states of Usa had a custom of deep frying chicken in lard and even further back they used to fry fritters in the middle ages.
The Scottish immigrants would often work, live and dine with the indentured Africans and this lead to the Africans adding some supplementary flavorings to the recipe andgeneratingtheir own interpretationof fried chicken.
These Africans later evolved to be thechefsin many a Southern American home where deep-fried chicken became a common staple.
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 mealtime the locals would eat fricassee of hen 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 crispy fried chicken but you could say that where it was first named.They also discovered that it travelled well inhotweather before refrigeration was prevalent so was eaten on almost every day basis as they travelled to the cotton fields to work.
Since then it has become the south's go-tofor just about any occasion.
The very true origins of fried chicken we will probably never know but the earliest known procedure for crispy deep-fried chicken in English is stashed in one of the most famous cooking books of the 18th century by Hannah Glasse called The Art of cookery Made Plain and Easy.
Her process 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 formula...
Joint two chickens into quarters; marinate 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 eggsa little melted butter and nutmeg. Beat it all together very well, dip yourchicken piecesin the batter and fry them in a first-class deal of pork shorteningwhich must boil first before you put your fowl in. Let them be of bronze incolour and arrange them on your bowl with a garnish of fried parsley. Serve with cut lemon and a first-class gravy. In the present day, we have exchanged 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 formula has travelled worldwide and how different cultures have adopted their own versions.