The most important thing to do when making fried chicken is to try and keep the oil at a consistent temperature. In our dutch oven, we start to bring the Crisco to 350 degrees. While the shortening is heating, we combine the flour with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in another gallon size resealable plastic bag. Retrieving the chicken from the fridge, we use tongs to drop a piece of chicken into the flour mixture, seal, and shake to combine.
After removing the coated chicken from the flour mixture, we park it on a plate and continue with half of the pieces of chicken. The remainder of the buttermilk chicken goes back in the fridge, and the 4 flour-coated pieces are put into the dutch oven when the temperature is right.
After carefully placing the pieces into the hot shortening with tongs, we cover it partially (the candy thermometer is in the way) and cook for 5 minutes (adjusting the heat as necessary although the temperature will surely go down at first with the cold chicken). We then rearrange the chicken if necessary to ensure even browning, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. At this point, the chicken is nicely browned. We flip each pieces over and cook uncovered for an additional 12 minutes.
We remove the pieces to a wire rack set over a cookie sheet and test with a meat thermometer for doneness. White meat should be at least 170 degrees and dark meat at least 180 degrees before resting for about 5 minutes. While we dine on the first batch, we repeat the procedure with the rest of the chicken.
Of course, we don’t forget to make the gravy!