The roots of fried chicken
Fried chicken originated out of the fusion of two cultural cuisines – Scottish plain fat-fried chicken and West African battered, seasoned chicken cooked in palm oil.
These came together in the American South, as African slaves adopted the deep-frying techniques of immigrant Scottish landowners and staff, and then spiced up and improved on the traditional fried chicken dish.
This irresistible combination provided a little independent income for oppressed African-American women, who became famous for the delicacy early as the 1730s.
Not every day beginnings
Far from being a cheap fast-food then, the cost of the ingredients originally made it a feast dish for high days and holidays amongst the African-American community. Since only young ‘spring’ chickens were suitable for the high heat and rapid cooking involved, fried chicken tended to be a spring/summer treat. This might be one reason why it’s a particular feature of
Independence Day celebrations
As the American working class grew, and chicken farming became an industry in itself, the price came down, and the favourite dish proliferated to become a staple that fuelled a nation. The original Kentucky-style fried chicken started out at Sanders Court & Café in 1930. Then in 1952 the first franchise opened, and a consistent experience of the southern-fried treat began to cross continents.
The magic of buttermilk-fried chicken
Today, versions of southern fried-chicken abound, but our classic favourite, buttermilk fried chicken, hearkens back to the earlier traditions. The buttermilk tenderises the chicken, whilst the seasoned coating keeps it juicy, crispy and absolutely delicious.
But don’t take our word for it, why not try making it yourself using our proven recipe. It’s become part of our cookbook by popular demand, after sell-out response during our Independence Day offer.
Not as naughty as you might think
Fast-food versions of southern-fried chicken can be pretty greasy, so the dish gets a bad reputation as being an unhealthy treat, rather than great "soul food".
But the average whole fried chicken contains only around 12% fat, or 12 grams per every 100 grams, meaning that 100 grams of fried chicken generally contains around 240 calories.
Reprising the all-American classic
In September, as days get shorter and we all need a lift, we’re responding to customer demand and featuring our buttermilk-fried chicken in our restaurants across the nation.
So look out for it in a workplace near you, or cook up the treat yourself and feed your soul with a dish rooted in the Deep South.
Our recipe for Buttermilk Chicken Burgers (4 Portions)
For the chicken coating:
100g Plain Flour
30g Flour Polenta Cornmeal
5g Cajun Seasoning
5g Garlic Powder
5g Onion Powder
3g Black Pepper
1g Table Salt
Method: Mix all of the ingredients together and put aside to use later
For the brining liquor
2 Tea Bags
350ml Tap Water
20g Granulated Sugar
1 Fresh Lemon
2g Table Salt
Method: Peel the lemon zest (using a vegetable peeler) and cut in half. Boil the water with the lemon zest and lemon halves then remove from the heat and add the tea bags, salt and sugar. Stir well and leave to steep for 5 minutes. Strain and allow to go completely cold before using.
For the chicken, bun and salad
2 Chicken Breast Fillet
1g Crushed Chilli
50g Iceberg Lettuce
20g BBQ Sauce
4 Burger Brioche Buns
4ml Tabasco Sauce
80ml Light Mayonnaise
4 Wooden Skewers
Method: Cut the chicken fillets as if you are butterflying, then cut in half. Place in the cold brining liquid, cover and place in the fridge overnight. Drain the chicken fillets from the brining liquor. Mix the buttermilk with the tabasco sauce and then place the drained chicken fillets in the buttermilk mix, cover and leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Pre-heat the fryer to 160 Celsius.
Place a cooling rack on a tray, remove the chicken fillets from the buttermilk mix and place in the coating and toss well, then place on the cooling rack and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes coat the chicken again and carefully place in the fryer and cook for approximately 5-6 minutes until thoroughly cooked through (alternatively the chicken fillets can be cooked through the oven 170-180 Celsius for 15-20 minutes.
Tear the iceberg in to smaller pieces, wash and drain well. Wash the tomatoes and cut into 6 slices.
Mix the mayonnaise, chilli flakes and BBQ sauce together.
Cut the brioche bun in half and toast lightly both sides lightly.
Spread the BBQ and chilli mayo on the bottom of the bun then top with the iceberg, followed by the cooked buttermilk chicken and 3 slices of tomato secure the bun with a skewer and serve.