July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day! It’s the day to eat some delicious fried chicken – homemade or from the restaurant of your choice.
Let’s take a closer look at this national treasure. Who made the first fried chicken? Smithsonian Magazine tells us that the first published recipe for fried chicken can be found in Mary Randolph’s The Virginia Housewife, originally published in 1825. This book codified the recipes of Virginia at the time, and helped to establish a Southern cuisine.
The recipe was certainly older, and most likely not a Randolph original, but a reflection of the fused techniques of Scottish settlers who liked their proteins fried, and enslaved kitchen workers of West African origin. This is Randolph’s recipe. Not much has changed over the years. Once you get a good thing right, why change it?
Favorite Fried Chicken Recipes
Garden and Gun, the definitive magazine on the Southern lifestyle, recently published the fried chicken bucket list, a chef’s guide to the best places to enjoy this quintessentially Southern dish, state by state.
Making fried chicken at home? One of the most popular recipes for fried chicken comes from Chef Thomas Keller. His Ad Hoc restaurant is famous for its fried chicken, brined for 12 hours in an herb-and-lemon brine. The meat is seasoned, super juicy and the crust is perfectly crisp. Although it takes time to prepare, if you’re a fried chicken fan, it’s totally worth it.
Because everything is better fried in duck fat, we gave that a try in our Duck Fat Fried Chicken Drumsticks recipe. An overnight soak in seasoned buttermilk along with pan-frying in a blend of duck fat and peanut oil, makes this chicken extra flavorful, crispy, and browned. It’s equally delicious piping hot or served cold, picnic style.
What’s your favorite fried chicken? Is it your homemade chicken, or enjoyed at a restaurant? Share your fried chicken tales with us on social media.
Featured photo, Mini Duck Fat Fried Chicken & Bacon Waffles with Sriracha Honey