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.