Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
This was the most requested recipe of one of the most important people in my life. Very crispy and juicy, not at all soggy or greasy. Wonderful served with biscuits and coleslaw. Prep time does not include chilling or standing.
- 1 (3 1/2-3 3/4 lb) chicken
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon red pepper sauce (such as "Frank's" or "Louisiana" brands)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups vegetable shortening
- Cut up chicken in 8 pieces, then cut each chicken breast in half crosswise.
- Combine buttermilk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and red pepper sauce in a large 2-gallon resealable plastic storage bag; add chicken. Seal bag and turn chicken with buttermilk mixture to coat. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, turning bag over once.
- Combine flour, paprika, pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a pie plate or shallow dish. Work with several pieces of chicken at a time: Remove chicken from buttermilk, shaking off excess. Add to the flour mixture, turning to coat evenly. Transfer pieces, skin side up, to a wire rack. Repeat this process with remaining chicken; let stand 30 minutes (if you do this the crunchy coating sticks, even after cooking).
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 250°F.
- Line a jelly-roll pan with double layer of paper towels. Heat shortening in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, until temperature reaches 360° on a deep-fry thermometer. Add several pieces of chicken (but only as many pieces that will fit without crowding), skin side down. Cover skillet and cook until bottoms of pieces are lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Turn pieces and cook, covered (adjusting heat to medium-low to maintain a 275° to 300° temperature), 7-10 minutes for white meat, 12-15 minutes for dark meat, turning pieces every 4 to 5 minutes until deep-golden and cooked through.
- Drain pieces on paper towels; transfer to baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Repeat process, cooking remaining chicken.