July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day. Scottish immigrants brought their tradition of deep-frying chicken in fat to the southern United States. After its introduction to the American South, fried chicken soon became a staple. Over time, cooks added seasonings and spices to enrich the flavor of the chicken. "The best comfort food will always be greens, cornbread and friend chicken." Poet, Maya Angelou
Friend chicken is basically chicken pieces floured or battered, then pan fried, deep-fried or pressure-fried. The breading adds a crisp coating to the exterior of the chicken. Some of the best cooks will tell you the keys to achieving the crispiest fried chicken involves seasoning well and early in the process, adding starch to your flour and frying your chicken at the right temperature. The oil should be 300F. Finally, let the chicken rest before serving allowing the juices to be absorbed back into the meat.
Traditionally the chicken is fried in lard. However, corn oil, peanut oil, canola oil or vegetable oil are also frequently used.