Fried chicken may be a Southern classic, but it is enjoyed around the world.
You’d probably have a hard time finding someone who doesn’t like fried chicken. Even the most health conscious person is bound to enjoy it as an occasional treat. The comfort food classic is synonymous with American cuisine, and has long been a dish served in diners and enjoyed at picnics, family gatherings and Sunday dinners. The combination of juicy chicken and crispy seasoned breading has captured the heart of our country and restaurants dedicated to the dish always seem to claim that they have the best around.
The method of frying food has been practiced in Europe since the Middle Ages. The English traditionally baked or broiled their chicken, but the Scots were known for deep frying chicken in fat. Scottish immigrants first brought this tradition of frying chicken to the American South. There are also many West African cuisines that fried chicken, sometimes it was battered first. The Slave trade in the South brought the dish to plantations where it became very popular. The chicken was cooked in lard which was abundant because pigs were easy and economical to raise. Plantation cooks used their own seasonings and spices, which the Scottish method did not include.
Not only is fried chicken popular in America, other countries have their own version of the dish. Japanese bread chicken with tempura batter and also make karaage where the chicken is marinated first before frying. Indonesians and Malaysians make ayam goreng which is not battered but features heavier spices and is fried in coconut oil.