The Scottish may have invented fried chicken, being the first to deep fry chicken inside fat, rather than baking or broiling it - and then bringing the sumptuous dish to America.
Before World War 2, fried chicken was a meal for special occasions, due to the rarity of spring chickens and the expense of buying fat to fry it in - as well as it’s long preparation time. It was rarely found on restaurant menus, instead being a specialty of home preparation.
Fried chicken became more popular in America during the years of slavery and the post slavery antebellum years. Slaves in the United States kept chickens, and due to the segregation of many black people in America from restaurants due to society’s racist strictures, fried chicken became a popular home-prepared dish that traveled well in the heat without the need for refrigeration.
Not all chickens can be fried. Older birds have tougher meat and should be cooked for longer at lower temperatures - younger chickens like pullets or cockerels are ideal for the fast and hot cooking of fried chicken. These birds are usually more available in spring and summer, increasing the rarity of this dish in the early days.
There’s variations of fried chicken recipes around the world including Korea, where it’s twice fried and immersed in spicy sauce, Japan where it’s fried in tempura and known as karaage, Thailand where it’s marinated and served with sticky rice, and Senegal, where it’s coated in peanut flower.
Fried chicken is either deep fried, which fries it evenly and easily, pressure frying (or broasting) which is faster than traditional deep frying and leads to a juicier chicken, and pan frying in cast iron, which is the most traditional and known as the best method for its high level of control and browning levels.
Pressure frying is much faster than pan frying, and arguably just as delicious - not to mention allowing for the fast turnouts of fast food restaurants like Texas Chicken & Burger!
A salted and spiced buttermilk brine is one of the most important tips for tenderizing chicken for frying while also keeping it moist. Shhh, don’t tell anyone our secret!
You can get a craggy fried chicken crust by adding extra buttermilk mixture into the dry breading mix, allowing the batter to clump up creating a crunchy layer of extra crust.
Nine Things you Didn’t Know about Fried Chicken
Fried chicken is arguably one of the world’s most delicious dishes, verging on the level of being divine. Here’s 9 delectable factoids about the food to which we dedicate our live’s passion to, here at Texas Chicken & Burgers. Enjoy, and learn!