Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Fried chicken is famous for its roots in the rural American South. There is a dual origin. The Scots, and later Scottish immigrants to many southern states had a tradition of deep frying chicken in fat, unlike their English counterparts who baked or boiled chicken. [1] Later, as African slaves were introduced to households as cooks, seasonings and spices were added that are absent in traditional Scottish cuisine, improving the flavor. Since slaves were often only allowed to keep chickens, frying chicken as a special occasion spread through the African-American community. After slavery, poor rural southern blacks continued the tradition since chickens were often the only animals they could afford to raise. Since fried chicken could keep for several days, it travelled well, and also gained favor during segregation when blacks normally could not find places to eat and had to carry their own food.Southern whites also continued the tradition of frying chicken. While not limited like blacks socially, poor whites were no better off economically. Therefore, fried chicken countinued to dominate as "Sunday dinner" or on other special occasions.Another version of Fried Chicken is made by the Chinese, in which the chicken is seasoned and fried in oil. Because the Chicken is not breaded, the fat from the chicken skin is "fried out" into the oil creating a "paper thin skin" that is very light and crispy. Thus, the chicken dish is known by direct Chinese to English translation as "Paper Fried Chicken" ("zha zhi ji" "炸紙雞"). This version of the fried chicken probably supercedes the appearance of both its Scottish and American counterparts with respect to time in chronological history.

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