When Did Fried Chicken Get So Hard?

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"When Did Fried Chicken Get So Hard?"

I’ll admit that I don’t exactly hail from a robust fried chicken culture or family tradition, but like Ta-Nehisi Coates I’m a bit confused as to how this bit of home cooking has managed to get so complicated in current telling:

[W]hen I was kid and first learned my way around the kitchen, the sense was that part of the beauty of fried chicken was its simplicity–some flour, egg, salt, pepper, and maybe some kind of herbalism. If you were fancy you had thyme, but most negroes were fine with Season-All. Hook up some potato salad real quick, and you were on.

These days, when I look up a fried chicken recipe it tends to be a 48-hour affair including brining, buttermilk, bay-leaves, and double-binding. When did this happen?

I feel like as time-pressure leads people to cook less in practice, the culture has started putting more and more emphasis on maximally time-intensive ways of doing things. This from Paula Deen seems to me to do a good job of combining a desire for interesting seasoning with a desire for a feasible timeline. But what do I know?

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