Try this unusual fried chicken recipe from the 18th century. You may never look at fried chicken the same way again.
Here’s an unusual fried chicken recipe that comes from a 1736 cookbook titled “Dictionarium Domesticum” by Nathan Bailey. John Townsend takes us through the process of cooking this chicken outside, over an open campfire.
The first part of the recipe involves making a marinade for the chicken. The marinade consists of lemon juice and verjus. Verjus (pronounced vehr-JHOO) is the pressed juice of unripened grapes. It has a slightly milder taste than vinegar, although you could use malt or cider vinegar for the recipe.
You can also buy verjus, or if you are interested in making your own, you can follow Hank Shaw’s recipe here.
John uses the juice of two large lemons with an equal amount of distilled vinegar. To this he adds a teaspoon each of salt and pepper, a half-teaspoon of ground cloves, two bay leaves, and a half-cup of green onions. You could substitute shallots for the green onions.
Let the chicken soak in the marinade for three hours.
For the batter, he takes a cup-and-a-half of all-purpose flour, and adds enough white wine to make a thin pancake batter. Beat in three egg yolks and a teaspoon of salt. Mix well so that the batter is smooth and even.
John is cooking with oil over an open fire, which means be careful! You can of course use your stove, but still, be careful. You should heat the oil to around 350 degrees. Look for a shimmer on the surface of the oil.
Transfer the chicken from the marinade to the batter and coat well. Then gently add the battered chicken pieces to the oil. Fry in batches so that the chicken doesn’t crowd the kettle or pan you’re using. Fry until the chicken is, as John says, “a nice light, mahogany brown”.
Finally, when the chicken is done, you’re going to fry some parsley. Yes, that’s right, fried parsley. Make sure the parsley is dry before you add it to the oil. Fry until it becomes crispy. Let it cool a bit and crumble over the chicken.
John declares this recipe a winner. “That marinade does something really special,” he says. “I really love this recipe. This one is great!”
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.