PNG images: Fried Chicken
Fried chicken (also referred to as Southern fried chicken for the variant in the United States) is a dish consisting of chicken pieces usually from broiler chickens which have been floured or battered and then pan-fried, deep fried, or pressure fried. The breading adds a crisp coating or crust to the exterior. What separates fried chicken from other fried forms of chicken is that generally the chicken is cut at the joints, and the bones and skin are left intact. Crisp well-seasoned skin, rendered of excess fat, is a hallmark of well made fried chicken.
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The first dish known to have been deep fried was fritters, which were popular in the Middle Ages. However, it was the Scottish who were the first Europeans to deep fry their chicken in fat (though without seasoning). Meanwhile, a number of West African peoples had traditions of seasoned fried chicken (though battering and cooking the chicken in palm oil). Scottish frying techniques and West African seasoning techniques were combined by enslaved Africans and African-Americans in the American South. Prior to the Second World War, fried chicken was often very expensive and was only enjoyed on special occasions. In the late 1900s and early 2000s, however, fried chicken has been mass-produced and the price of the dish has gone down significantly.
When being cooked, fried chicken is often divided into smaller pieces. The chicken is then generally covered in a batter, often consisting of ingredients such as eggs or milk, and a thickener such as flour. This is used to create a crust on the exterior of the meat. In addition, seasoning is often added at this stage. Once the chicken is ready to be cooked, it is placed in a deep fryer, frying pan or pressure cooker (depending on the method used) and fried in lard or a type of oil.
The dish has created a large number of spin-off recipes which are commonly used around the world. For example, Korean fried chicken, a dish which is commonly served as fast food in Korea and is known for being crispier than normal fried chicken. There is also a racial stereotype surrounding fried chicken and African-American people, mostly because it was popular among slaves in the American Civil War.
Fried chicken has been described as being "crunchy" and "juicy", as well as "crispy". In addition, the dish has also been called "spicy" and "salty". Occasionally, fried chicken is also topped with a chili like paprika, or hot sauce to give it a spicy taste. This is especially common in fast food restaurants and chains such as KFC. The dish is traditionally served with mashed potato, gravy, coleslaw and biscuits.
The dish is renowned for being greasy and unhealthy, especially when coming from fast food outlets. It has even been reported that some of those who enjoy eating the food limit themselves to eating it only a certain number of times a year, to keep their fat intake reasonably low. Out of the various parts of the animal used in fried chicken, the wings generally tend to contain the most fat, with almost 40 grams (0.088 lb) of fat for every 100 grams (0.22 lb). However, the average whole fried chicken contains only around 12% fat, or 12 grams (0.026 lb) per every 100 grams (0.22 lb). As well as this, 100 grams (0.22 lb) grams of fried chicken generally contains around 240 calories of energy.
One of the main causes of the large amounts of fat which can be found in fried chicken is the oil which is used to cook it.