Fried chicken is traditionally thought of as an American classic. Many Americans have put their spin on the popular food dish. From fast food chains like KFC to fancy restaurants, everyone has their version of fried chicken. But Jonathan Townsend dug up a recipe for fried chicken that dates back from before America was a country. He found the recipe in an old English cookbook dating back to the 18th century – Nathan Bailey’s 1736 cookbook, Dictionarium Domesticum.
The recipe has many of the ingredients for modern fried chicken. It all starts with the marinating the chicken for three hours in a mixture of lemon juice, malt vinegar, salt, pepper, ground clove, green onions, and bay leaves.
The batter includes flour, white wine, egg yolks, and salt. Once the chicken is done marinating, it is coated in the thin batter and fried until a light brown color. The last touch is to add some fried parsley.
As for frying oil, the recipe doesn’t specify what kind, although it was probably lard. But Townsend says you can use the oil of your choice.
Next time you cook fried chicken, you might want to try this “old-fashioned” recipe from the 18th century a try! It looks delicious!
The 280-year-old recipe didn’t outline exact measurements, so the amounts listed below are approximates:
Whole chicken, quartered
Lemon juice from 2 large lemons
Distilled vinegar, equal amount to lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups flour
White wine, as needed (can also use cider or water)
3 egg yolks
Parsley, for garnish
Mix lemon juice, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, cloves and green onion together in bowl to make marinade.
Marinate chicken in mixture for 3 hours.
In a separate bowl, add flour and mix in a little bit of wine until batter reaches consistency of thin pancake batter.
Add in egg yolks and 1 teaspoon salt until batter is smooth and even.
Remove chicken from marinade and coat in batter. Heat pot of oil to 350F.
Carefully place chicken in oil and cook until crisp and golden mahogany brown. After the chicken is cooked, add parsley into hot oil until crisp. Sprinkle parsley over chicken as garnish.
Share this authentic and historic recipe with your friends and family!