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The Origin of Fried Chicken (History & Background)


Whenever someone asks us Americans about our favorite meal, we cannot stop ourselves from mentioning crispy fried chicken. It is the ultimate comfort food for us. Whether we are binge-watching movies, hosting a birthday party, or having a romantic dinner with our special ones, crispy fried chicken has to be on the food table.

Many say munching on piping-hot crispy fried chicken is a joy like no other. Fried chicken does not come in one form. Instead, it comes in many forms - legs, wings, breasts, and others. When it comes to fried chicken, everyone has their own preference.

Some want to stick their teeth on wings, while others want a meatier one - breasts or legs. However, have you wondered who invented this yummy and crunchy goodness? Fried chicken does not have only one inventor, and it is much older than you think. Over the years, every country has come up with its own version of crispy fried chicken.

 However, do you want to know the origin of your favorite meal - the crispy fried chicken? Then, read on to know the fried chicken history!

The origin of fried chicken

Do you think that crispy fried chicken was introduced to the Americans by Colonel Sander? You're highly mistaken. The first recipe for fried chicken was published in 1747 by English cook Hannah Glasse. "The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy" by Hannah Glasse had the first written recipe for the now-famous crispy fried chicken. Moreover, it had clear instructions on marinating the chicken with which people of the past were not familiar.

The recipe from the past states: "Cut two chickens into quarters, lay them in vinegar, for three or four hours, with pepper, salt, a bay leaf, and a few cloves, make a very thick batter, first with half a pint of wine and flour, then the yolks of two eggs, a little melted butter, some grated nutmeg, and chopped parsley; beat very well together, dip your fowls in the batter, and fry them in a good deal of hog's lard, which must first boil before you put your chickens in."

After its launch, the book made a great success worldwide. Therefore, it will be not wrong to assume that it was this recipe that made its way into the Americans' homes. However, the earliest stories of fried chicken are almost thousands of years old. According to many sources on the origin of fried chicken, it is believed that fried chicken was invented by the Scots, who were known for frying various foods without seasoning and called them fritters.

Is fried chicken the iconic chicken of American slavery?

In the past, many slaveholders used to allow their slaves to raise chickens and sell or barter eggs. However, whenever the chicken got sick or dead, the slaves were left with no choice but to consume it somehow. Therefore, they came up with the idea to clean the meat and season it with paprika and other spices imported from West Africa. Later, the meat was fried in hot palm oil. 

The result was a much tastier chicken than the one prepared by the Scots. However, preparing it was a very labor-intensive task as someone had to pluck a chicken, clean it thoroughly, cut it into small pieces, season it with many spices and fry it in small batches. Therefore, at that time, fried chicken was only eaten by people on special occasions. This delicious meal undoubtedly made their special occasions more special and memorable.

Fried chicken history with a timeline

We know fried chicken lovers want to know everything about the origin of this delicious meal. As mentioned above, the first written recipe was published in 1747. However, many sources indicate that it is a thousand years old dish. The fried chicken had definitely changed a lot over the years. Let's start from the earliest version of crispy fried chicken:

9500 years ago

People in Southeast Asia were the first ones that raised the wild ancestors of today's chicken. However, it is still being debated whether they were the first ones to eat them or not. People at that time had various religious beliefs and treated chickens along with many animals with huge respect and admiration. Therefore, killing them for consumption can be a huge deal for them.

However, later, the fried chicken started to appear on the royal tables in West Africa, China, and the Middle East often as a twice-cooked approach. In the past, people used to fry the chicken quickly and then braise it for more tender and juicy meat. It was the earliest version of now-crispy-fried chicken!

The 1700s - 1900s

Here comes the advent of the famous American-styled fried chicken. The first recipe for crispy fried chicken appeared in Hannah Glasse's "The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy" in 1747. According to the recipe, the seasoned and floured chicken needs to be fried in lard.

 However, soon the Americans started experimenting and came up with their own versions of crispy fried chicken. In the Southern US, fried chicken became an Americans' go-to dish for a communal meal after church. When the church pastor went to a congregant's house for dinner, he was served the best pieces of the bird (usually the breasts).

 

1950s - 1980s

Here comes the advent of fast-food fried chicken. Many fast food entrepreneurs took Americans' love for fried chicken seriously. They started brainstorming ways to quickly cook a massive amount of fried chicken and keep them crunchy and juicy enough for the customers.

It is how Kentucky chicken, the Chicken Shack, Popeyes, and Chick-fil-A started. They undoubtedly transformed the national American-styled chicken into an international dish.

The 2000s

Whether it's food, science, or entertainment, people love to experiment. Therefore, soon the expert Chefs began to try out different preparation techniques for crispy fried chicken. Every fast-food chain or restaurant was on the mission to develop a unique and delicious version of classic fried chicken.

Chickens were then fried in champagne or seasoned with different spices and sauces for unique flavors. Soon, the Japanese, Korean, Caribbean, or Jamaican-styled fried chicken made a huge buzz on the Internet. Now, every country has its own version of crispy fried chicken. Right now, someone in some part of the world would be munching on crispy fried chicken! That's how popular this is.

Different versions of crispy fried chicken around the globe

Fried chicken is undoubtedly the best comfort food for people living in all parts of the world. It's juicy, crunchy, delicious, and healthy. Therefore, people have no reason not to love this yummy and crunchy goodness - the crispy fried chicken.

Here are a few popular versions of crispy fried chicken available in different parts of the world: 

  • Kentucky fried chicken: It is undoubtedly the most famous example of crispy fried chicken. No one does crispy fried chicken better than KFC!
  • Korean fried chicken: Korean fried chicken is another popular version of crispy fried chicken. It is double-fried for extra crispy skin and is sometimes coated with sweet and spicy sauce.
  • Japanese chicken karaage: Chicken wings or other pieces are marinated in soy sauce and a few other seasonings and then coated in potato starch and deep-fried. It is quite different from classic fried chicken, but it is worth trying!
  • Southern-styled fried chicken: Another popular version that is close to classic fried chicken and has unique flavors is Southern-styled fried chicken. It is marinated in buttermilk for a tangy flavor and then fried in a skillet instead of deep-frying. A perfect choice for health-conscious individuals!
  • Malaysian fried chicken (Ayam Goreng): Chicken is coated in garlic, lemongrass, and turmeric and fried in coconut oil.

Do you need a fried chicken fix?

After all the crispy fried chicken talk, it is no surprise if you have got a little hungry. But why order crispy fried chicken from the restaurant if you can make it right at home only by following a few simple steps? So grab a Southern Fry King's Chicken Fry and make the crunchiest and juiciest fried chicken at your home!

Here is a simple recipe you need to follow:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Kings Chicken Fry
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 8 pieces of chicken or more
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oil on medium to high heat.
  2. Whisk together buttermilk and egg in a bowl.
  3. Take a medium-sized bowl and add Kings Chicken Fry to another bowl. You can add more Kings Chicken Fry to your bowl if needed.
  4. Dip your chicken pieces in the wet mixture properly and then into the dry fry mix.
  5. Repeat step 4 again if you want extra-crunchy fried chicken.
  6. Deep fry in a skillet until golden brown.
  7. Serve with your favorite sauce. Enjoy!

 

 



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