The most popular food of the Southern cuisine, fried chicken is the theme of many arguments where everyone involved seems to have a favorite, be it what their mothers used to make, a cult roadside eatery, or a bygone restaurant. However, it is universally agreed that the meat must be moist, succulent, and tender, coated with a crunchy, golden-brown crust.
It all started during the colonization period, when Scottish immigrants settled in the South, bringing their fried chicken recipes along. The African slaves then introduced new seasonings and spices, and the dish quickly gained popularity. Typical seasonings include salt, pepper, and hot chiles, and the pieces of meat should be edible by hand so that the consumer can bite both the crust and the meat at the same time.
The birds must be fresh and smaller in size, as the meat will be much more tender and the proportion of crust to meat will be perfectly balanced. Once the chicken parts are hot, crispy, and ready to be consumed, they are traditionally accompanied by buttered biscuits, Southern potato salad, mashed potatoes, or cream gravy on the side.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The first documented instructions for preparing fried chicken date back to antiquity - they were issued in the Roman cookbook Apicius, published in the 1st century. The recipe included pan-frying a whole chicken seasoned with olive oil, wine, chopped leek, dill, rose petals, and coriander mixture, then baking it in the oven and serving it on a fig syrup-moistened plate. The dish was allegedly brought to the American South by Scottish settlers, who had been preparing their chicken with lard, without the use of any spices. The flavorings were added by African slaves, hired as cooks on southern plantations, who fried their meat in palm oil. Ever since small-scale hog production increased in the 18th and 19th century, lard became a fundamental ingredient in kitchens all across the country, accompanied by the appearance of cast iron frying pans. The fusion of chicken meat, frying pans, and lard resulted in the crusty and juicy fried chicken. Southern fried chicken is a typical staple dish of the American cuisine, often served on holidays and other kinds of get-togethers and special occasions.