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Fried Chicken In The 18th Century? 300 Year old Recipe



We usually think of fried chicken as well, traditionally an American dish, but today I’m going to share with you an old English recipe from 1736 that I think will change the way you make fried chicken Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking

The recipe today comes from the little recipe book by Nathan Bailey called “Dictionarium Domesticum” from 1736 and it’s an odd little cookbook It’s set up like a dictionary so it’s in alphabetical order and this recipe you’ll find under marinade So that’s where we need to start with this recipe, with the marinade Now this one’s actually pretty simple It starts off with the liquid portion which is lemon juice and verjuice or vinegar

Verjuice is actually a very common ingredient you’ll find in early 18th century recipes It comes from the juice of unripe grapes, unfermented, and while it’s very sour, it actually has a very mild flavor If you’re going to use vinegar, the vinegar that would have been typical in an 18th century, especially English, setting would be malt vinegar In the time period, they called it wine vinegar, but it’s actually malt vinegar today If you can’t find that or you want to use something that doesn’t quite have that kind of a flavor, then you can use cider vinegar or even distilled vinegar

Lemons were available as well, depending on your location and your social position and interestingly enough, lemon zest or lemon peel was the second most common type of spice you’ll find in many of the 18th century cookbooks, so very common In this case I’m opting for the juice of two large lemons and an equal amount of distilled vinegar The recipe suggests salt, pepper, cloves and bay leaf, but no real amounts here, except for the number of bay leaves, two bay leaves, so we’re guessing maybe a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of black pepper, and a quarter of a teaspoon of cloves, and the last ingredient is something called chaebols and we had to look that one up That’s a spring onions or as we would call it, green onions I’ve got about a half a cup

Shallots are something that you could substitute in in this place as shallots were very common in the 18th century and it would probably make a very interesting flavor addition The recipe calls for quartering your chicken I’ve actually cut it up into individual pieces so that it’ll go a little farther The recipe suggests marinating this chicken for 3 hours and you should probably stick to that If you used some of the more powerful, like the malt vinegar, it can really enhance the flavor too much so 3 hours is a good time

We’re coming up on our 3 hour mark and it’s time to work on the batter portion and this is a little bit different than what I’m used to Like our marinade, the batter is also very easy to make I’m using about a cup and a half of flour, just regular all-purpose flour will work fine and enough white wine, like a Rhine wine, would be good, adding enough to make this into a thin pancake batter, and finally I’m going to add the yolks of 3 eggs You can top this off with a little more wine if you need to to get to the right batter consistency, and finally a teaspoon of salt will finish this off and mix it so that it’s nice and even If you don’t want to use wine, you could use cider instead or maybe just water

There was no suggestion of the particular kind of oil to fry it in In the 18th century, they would have used lard probably or even a clarified butter You can use the modern oil of your choice We are deep frying with oil right over an open fire Obviously you have to be very careful when you’re doing it like this

You want to heat your oil to about 350 degrees You should see a little shimmer in the top, definitely not smoking We’re going to fry this in batches of 3 or 4 pieces, maybe 5 pieces Really it depends on the size of your pot, and I’m not sure exactly how long you want to cook it, but you want to get to the point where the color is a nice light mahogany brown Now before we serve this, there’s just one more component that we need to do, fried parsley

Now you may think that’s strange, but trust me, you’ll love it Before you fry this parsley, make sure it is very, very dry Completely dry, blot it as much as possible, or the results can be disastrous Fry it in small batches for several minutes until it gets nice and crispy We’ll crumble this over the chicken as a tasty garnish

Well, there it is It looks wonderful, let’s find out just how it tastes Wow, 18th century fried chicken, and the flavors are definitely a little different than what you’re used to That marinade does something really special You get a little bit of that lemon flavor comes through just a little bit, a hint of that wonderful flavor and the crispiness, the fried parsley is really interesting

Mmm, I really love this recipe This one is great! Who would have thought 18th century fried chicken? It’s great If you give this one a try, I really hope you go down in the comments section and tell us how it works out I love this one and I think everyone should try it I want to thank you for coming along as we experiment

We try these really interesting things out, this food from history I want to thank you for joining me as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here, also check out our related videos Thanks so much for watching

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