Themigrants from Scotlandfrom the southern states of Usa had a custom of deep-frying chicken in lard and even previously they used to fry fritters in the middle ages. The immigrants from Scotland would often labor, live and eat with the indentured Africans and this lead to the Africans adding some supplementary flavorings to the formula andcreatingtheir own versionof crispy deep-fried chicken. These Africans later became thecaterersin many a Southern American home where crispy deep-fried chicken became a universal staple.
They also found out that it lasted well well inhotweather prior to refrigeration was seen everyday so was consumed on almost a daily basis as they walked to the cotton fields to work. Since then it has become the region’s preferred choicefor just about any occasion.
This is said to have come from a gentleman named James Boswell who wrote ajournalin 1773 called “log of a Tour to the Hebrides”. In his diary he noted that at mealtime the local people would eat fricassee of fowl which he went on to say “deep-fried chicken or something like that”. What he in fact heard was the Scottish dish Friars Chicken, not crispy fried chicken but you could say that where it was first named.
The very true origins of fried chicken we will probably never know but the earliest known recipe for crispy deep-fried chicken in English is hidden away in one of the most recognized cooking books of the 18th century by Hannah Glasse known as The Art of cookery Made Plain and Easy. Her recipe had a strange name named “To Marinate Chickens” which was first released in 1747. The book was a hit in the United kingdom and more importantly in the American Colonies.
Here is the original dish...
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 yolkssome melted butter and nutmeg. Beat it all together very well, dip yourfowlsin the batter and fry them in a good quality deal of hogs lardwhich must boil first before you put your fowl in. Let them be of golden incolour and serve them on your plate with a garnish of fried parsley. Serve with cut lemon and a fine gravy. Now, we have swapped out 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 dish has went worldwide and how different cultures have adopted their own versions.