18th Century Fried Chicken
Based on a video adapted from Nathan Bailey’s 1736 "Dictionarium Domesticum", 18th century fried chicken is pleasantly tart, aromatic and beautifully textured.
- 3 chicken leg quarters cut into portions
- 4 tablespoons vinegar I used cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup sliced scallions
For the batter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup beer (see notes after the recipe)
- 1 egg (see notes after the recipe)
To complete the dish
- cooking oil for frying
Marinate the chicken
- Wipe the chicken with paper towels.
- In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, ground cloves, bay leaves and scallions.
- Add the chicken pieces and mix.
- Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for three hours (yes, the original recipe specified three hours).
Make the batter
- Mix the flour, salt and enough wine (or beer, in my case) to make a batter with the consistency of a slightly thin pancake batter.
Fry the chicken
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. If you have a deep fryer, I recommend you use it.
- Dip each piece of chicken in the batter.
- Fry over medium heat (too high heat will burn the batter before the chicken is cooked through!) until the chicken pieces are browned and cooked all the way through. If you’re not deep frying, you will need to flip the chicken over.
- Scoop out the chicken and move to a plate lined with paper towels.
Complete the dish
- Turn the heat down to medium-low.
- Fry the parsley until crisp.
- Scoop out and drain on paper towels.
- When cool enough to handle, crumble the leaves (discard the stalks).
- Serve the 18th century fried chicken sprinkled generously with fried parsley.
The original recipe uses white wine and two egg yolks. Updated from a recipe originally published in July 7, 2016.