Tangy and tender fried chicken

cs Southern fried chicken is the object of this recipe. It's my homage to the Colonel and the South. With a bit of patience and practice, you can produce perfect, world-class shallow-fried chicken.

1 frying chicken
2 cups buttermilk
16-20 oz Crisco shortening or peanut oil
12 inch cast-iron skillet
herbs and spices
1 Tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tsp onion powder
1/2 Tsp black pepper
1/2 Tsp ground thyme
1/2 Tsp rubbed sage
1/4 Tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 Tsp ground cayenne pepper
Carve the chicken into 8 pieces. Freeze the wings for later use. Place the chicken and buttermilk in a gallon zip-lock bag. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Turn the bag periodically.

Drain the chicken in a colander for a few minutes. Lay the pieces out on a flat surface. Dust one side with salt and the above herbs and spices - to your preference. Turn them over then dust the remaining side.

Find a 12 inch cast-iron skillet. Heat the oil or Crisco in the skillet to 340-350 degress F. In the meantime, dredge the chicken pieces in flour. Shake off some of the excess flour. Allow them to rest until the shortening comes up to heat.

Carefully, position the chicken in the pan. Put the half breasts, skin side down, near the sides of the pan. The dark meat goes towards the center. Monitor the heat. Keep the temperature at 330-350 F. Watch the progress. Peer under the chicken, especially the breasts. Do not allow the chicken to over-brown. Turn once. Fry for a total of 19-23 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan, and place it on paper towels. Salt it down. Additional herbs and spices may be sprinkled on the chicken at this point.

A large electric skillet can substituted for the frying pan. It's trivial to keep the heat constant with the thermostat control.

In contrast to deep-fried, shallow fried chicken is an art. The heat and the chicken need to be monitored carefully, lest the chicken soak up too much oil or burn. Deep-frying is trivial. Drop the chicken, turn over once or so and wait for ~10 minutes until the pieces float to the surface. Shallow fried takes care, concern and practice to make perfectly. In an important sense, the Colonel was a god (perhaps the only one ever), turning the world on to Southern fried chicken.