(The fried chicken we all know and love)
Have you guys seen a more satisfying picture of fried chicken? Honestly, I think I’m finally getting the hang of this whole food photography thing, which is PERFECT timing since today we are talking about one of my all-time favorite foods. It’s very difficult for me to encapsulate how I feel about fried chicken in a single 300 word post, but I think that sentiment should speak for itself. Though every culture seems to have their own personal interpretation of this timeless meal, southern fried chicken, as its enjoyed here, goes far beyond the reaches of a simple dish to acting as a live, historical record of America’s dynamic history.
Making its formal appearance during the 18th century in deep-south America, the true roots of the dish stem back even further, and couple traditions from two geographically distinct cultures. Scottish immigrants can be credited for bringing the concept of pan-frying chicken to the proverbial American plate in a time when baking and boiling meats was the norm. Without the modern luxury of refrigerators, fried chicken began to gain popularity as a food that kept well in the searing, Southern heat. The burgeoning following for the dish, however, coincided with the peak of institutionalized slavery in America, and steadily became a meal that was relegated to being prepared by African slaves.
Though the harrowing conditions allowed little in the way of cultural crossover between African slaves and their white masters, food was the one common medium that reflected back on the time. Yearning for food as it was consumed back in their homelands, slaves began to incorporate spices and seasonings into the crispy outer layer, transforming the bland dish into the iconic food we enjoy today.
Tenderized in buttermilk and encased in a flavorful, crackling crust, fried chicken has an all but universal appeal (which pretty much explains why KFC is in 118 countries worldwide…). I personally always need a good biscuit on the side, and am particularly partial to the honey butter ones from Krispy Krunchy Chicken.