PULLUM FRONTONIANUM (Chicken a la Fronto) [Ancient Rome]

(Apicius. 6, 9, 13)
1 fresh chicken (approx. 1-1.5kg)
100ml oil
200ml Liquamen, or 200ml wine + 2 tsp salt
1 branch of leek
fresh dill, Saturei, coriander, pepper to taste
a little bit of Defritum

Start to fry chicken and season with a mixture of Liquamen and oil, together with bunches of dill, leek, Saturei and fresh coriander. Then cook approximately 1 hour with 220 deg C in the oven. When the chicken is done, moisten a plate with Defritum, put chicken on it, sprinkle pepper on it, and serve.

“To Fry Chicken” [1596]

Take your chickens and let them boil in very good sweet broth a pretty while. Take the chickens out and quarter them out in pieces. Then put them into a frying pan with sweet butter, and let them stew in the pan. But you must not let them be brown with frying. They put out the butter out of the pan, and then take a little sweet broth, and as much verjuice, and the yolks of two eggs and beat them together. Put in a little nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper into the sauce. Then put them all into the pan to the chickens, and stir them together in the pan. Put them into a dish and serve them up.

The Good Housewife’s Jewel, Thomas Dawson, 1596, with an introduction by Maggie Black [Southover Press: East Sussex] 1996 (p. 41)

“Pullets fried” [1651]

After they are dressed, cut into peeces and well washed, boile them in good broth, and when they are almost sodden drain them, and fry them. After five or six turns, season them with salt and good herbs, as parsely, chibols, &c. Allay some yolks of eggs for to thicken the sauce, and serve.

The French Cook, Francoise Pierre, La Varenne, Englished by I.D.G. 1653, Introduced by Philip and Mary Hyman [Southover Press: East Sussex] 2001 (p. 52)

“Fricassee of Small Chickens” [1824]

Take off the legs and wings of four chickens, separate the breasts from the backs, cut off the necks and divide the backs across, clean the gizzards nicely, put them with the livers and other parts of the chicken, after being washed clean, into a sauce pan, add pepper, salt, and a little mace, cover them with water, and stew them till tender, then take them out, thicken half a pint of the water with two table spoonfuls of flour rubbed into four ounces of butter, add half a pint of new milk, boil all together a few minutes, then add a gill of white wine, stirring it in carefully that it may not curdle, put the chickens in and continue to shake the pan until they are sufficiently hot, and serve them up.

“Fried Chickens” [1824]

Cut them up as for the fricassee, dredge them well with flour, sprinkle them with salt, put them into a good quantity of boiling lard, and fry them a light brown, fry them a light brown, fry small pieces of mush and a quantity of parsley nicely picked to be served in the dish with the chickens, take half a pint of rich milk, add to it a small bit of butter with pepper, salt, and chopped parsley, stew it a little, and pour it over the chickens, and then garnish with the fried parsley.

The Virginia House-Wife, Mary Randolph, Facsimile 1824 edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina: Columbia] 1984 (p. 252-3)

“Fried Chicken” [1881]

Cut the chicken up, separating every joint, and wash clean. Salt and pepper it, and roll into flour well. Have your fat very hot, and drop the pieces into it, and let them cook brown. The chicken is done when the fork passes easily into it. After the chicken is all cooked, leave a little of the hot fat in the skillet; then take a tablespoonful of dry flour and brown it in the fat, stirring it around, then pour water in and stir till the gravy is as thin as soup.

What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, Abby Fisher, In Facsimile (1881) with historical notes by Karen Hess [Applewood Books: Bedford MA] 1995 (p. 20)
[NOTE: This book is considered to be the first published cookbook written by an African American.]

“Fried Chicken” [1904]

Prepare young chicken and sprinkle it with salt and lay on ice 12 hours before cooking. Cut the chicken in pieces and dredge with flour and drop in hot boiling lard and butter–equal parts–salt and pepper, and cover tightly and cook rather slowly–if it cooks too quickly it will burn. Cook both sides to a rich brown. Remove chicken and make a gravy by adding milk, flour, butter, salt, and pepper. Cook till thick, and serve in a separate bowl.

The Blue Grass Cook Book, compiled by Minnie C. Fox, facsimile reprint 1904 edition [University Of Kentucky Press: Lexington KY] 2005 (p. 88)