“Korean Fried Chicken” & More Delicious Ways to Eat Fried Chicken
Unsplash: Shardar Tarikul Islam
Are you in the mood for some crispy-licious, oh-so-yummy fried deliciousness? If you’re wondering what I’m referring to, then brace yourself for this reveal… dun dun dun… I’m talking about the great and remarkable… FRIED CHICKEN.
Fried chicken is one of the many dishes that are known to be distinctly "American," especially when the legendary Colonel Sanders comes to mind. However, many of us don't know that the concept of this fried dish was actually brought to the Americas by Scottish immigrants centuries ago. Then, sometime between the 17th and the 19th centuries, enslaved African Americans learned the fried chicken recipe the Scottish provided. African American cooks incorporated the food into their cuisine, enhancing the flavor with seasonings and spices, as well as serving the meal with cornbread, black-eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, among other side dishes.
Before the US Civil War, fried chicken became a specially important food among whites and African Americans in the Southern parts of the United States. In fact, the dish became a staple Sunday dinner after church in African American communities, earning the name "Gospel Bird."
Sometime in the 1800s, a town in Virginia called Gordonsville became known as the “Fried Chicken Capital of the World,” where African American cooks sold fried chicken and other foods to incoming train passengers. For many of them, fried chicken wasn't just a random food to be sold and eaten, because fried chicken served as a significant source of income that allowed African Americans to build their own homes. In her book Building Houses out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food & Power, Dr. Psyche-Williams Forson names fried chicken as one of the foods that have greatly influenced African American culture.
Fast forward to the 20th century, Colonel Harland Sanders learned and used the fried chicken method, improved and perfected by African Americans. He popularized and produced his Kentucky Fried Chicken, which led to the growth of chain restaurants serving fried chicken.
Today, fried chicken plays an essential role on many kitchen tables, from family gatherings to summer social affairs, even on first dates *cough, talk about Chicken Shop Date*. This easy-to-eat, finger-licking goodness continues to circle the sun and delight many, many people 365 days a year. So, before you start debating the question of “Who came first: the chicken or the egg?”, get ready to discover the wide variety of fried chicken that is served all over the planet. Bok bok!
India: Chicken Lollipop
A chicken lollipop is a deep-fried, frenched chicken winglet with the meat pushed down to resemble a lollipop. The dish is a well-liked Indian appetizer that goes well with green chutney or schezwan sauce. This tasty finger food can be covered in a spicy red coating made of turmeric and red chili powder.
Flickr: Peiling Tan
China: Chongqing Chicken
Chongqing chicken, aka Laziji, is a type of Szechuan dish that consists of deep-fried pieces of chicken that have been marinated with ginger, garlic, dried Sichuan chili peppers, bean paste, and Chinese peppers. The chickens used in this dish are small free-range chickens from nearby farms.
Senegal: Poulet Yassa
This spicy cuisine is a specialty of the Casamance region of southern Senegal. Poulet Yassa or Yassa Au Poulet, is made with chicken marinated overnight with lots of onions, some lemon juice, and some mustard. This recipe can also be made using other meats like lamb or fish.
USA: Southern Fried Chicken
Southern Fried Chicken is an easy family favorite meal that is crispy, crunchy, and juicy. The chicken is typically marinated in buttermilk before being dredged in flour or a flour-and-cornstarch mixture, and of course deep-fried in hot oil. Southern Fried Chicken is traditionally served with mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, corn, fried okra, and biscuits.
Ukraine: Chicken Kiev or Chicken Kyiv
Even though the origins of this fine dish are still up for debate, Chicken Kiev or Chicken Kyiv is still a favorite in many post-Soviet countries. Chicken Kiev is a fried or baked chicken breast stuffed with butter sauce and covered in breadcrumbs.
Flickr: Jason Lam
Jamaica: Jamaican Fried Chicken
Jamaican fried chicken is a simple yet flavorful dish that can be served anytime of day. This particular style of fried chicken is marinated for a while with a variety of unique mixtures and spices before being fried. This golden-brown greasy goodness can be paired with brown rice, fried plantains, even steamed cabbage.
South Korea: Korean Fried Chicken
This scrumptious, irresistible version of crispy fried chicken is seasoned with salt, sugar, and other spices after it has been cooked. Korean fried chicken is a versatile food that can be served as an appetizer, a main course, or a side dish with beer. Korean fried chicken can be drenched in a variety of sauces, including soy sauce, honey sauce, and sweet chili sauce.
Thailand: Gai Tod
Throughout Thailand, people love these crispy, tender, juicy, and extremely rich golden wings sold from street carts. These Thai-style fried chicken wings (Gai Tod) are seasoned with several ingredients including rice flour, which gives the dish a unique crunch and flavor. This dish is typically served with sticky rice or rice, and maybe some sweet chili sauce on the side.
Brazil: Frango À Passarinho
The Brazilian style chicken wings, aka Frango à passarinho, are seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon (or lime), and garlic. The wings are then marinated for the entire night (or an hour for some). Before serving this garlicky and zesty finger food, a little sautéed garlic and olive oil can be drizzled on top of the wings for extra flavor. The food can be eaten with some rice and beans or salad.