Fried Chicken - A Brief History
Fried chicken has a dual origin in the rural American South. The Scots had a tradition of deep frying chicken in fat, unlike their English counterparts who baked or boiled chicken.
Later, as African slaves were introduced to households as cooks, seasonings and spices were added that are absent in traditional Scottish cuisine, improving the flavor. Since slaves were often allowed to keep only chickens, frying chicken as a special occasion spread through the African American community.
After slavery, poor rural southern blacks continued the tradition since chickens were often the only animals they could afford to raise. Since fried chicken could keep for several days, it travelled well, and also gained favor during segregation when blacks normally could not find places to eat and had to carry their own food.
Southern whites also continued the tradition of frying chicken. While not limited like blacks socially, poor whites were no better off economically. Therefore, fried chicken continued to dominate as "Sunday dinner" or on other special occasions.