Natalie Duprée's New Southern cuisine is a kind of down-home-meets-up-market combination. Her tips on frying chicken include using shortening instead of oil, coating the chicken twice to give a thicker crust, and partly covering the chicken to keep it moist. Use the old-fashioned electric frying pan if you have one.
1 3-lb. chicken cut in 8 pieces
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups (approx.) shortening
1 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Rinse chicken and toss with buttermilk. Place in colander to drain. Melt shortening in 12-inch skillet, making sure skillet is no more than half full.
Salt and pepper chicken. Place flour in plastic bag or on a baking sheet. Coat the still damp chicken with flour. Knock off excess. Coat again and knock off excess.
Heat shortening to 360 F on a frying thermometer or until a cube of bread turns brown in 30 seconds. Add chicken, skin side down. Add dark meat first in centre of skillet and surround with white meat. The pieces can touch, but don't crowd them. Cover partially.
Reduce heat to medium and cook 9 to 10 minutes or until golden. Turn and cook, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes longer or until juices run clear. Drain on paper towels.