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Grandma's Southern Fried Chicken

1 (2 1/2-3 lb) broiler-fryer chickens, cut up
buttermilk, enough to cover the bird
1 tablespoon hot sauce
butter flavor shortening (for frying)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
18 teaspoon chili powder
12 teaspoon sugar
3 teaspoons seasoning salt
18 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 14 teaspoons black pepper
14 teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper powder
14 teaspoon thyme, crush between your fingers when adding
14 teaspoon basil


Wash chicken pieces and place in a deep bowl. Cover with buttermilk and hot sauce, and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Melt shortening in a cast iron skillet to a depth of about 1 inch. Heat to about 370 degrees . (No thermometer needed, really. It'll get hot enough while chicken rests AFTER coating if you have your flame on about medium.) If it starts to smoke, turn it down immediately a bit. In a doubled brown paper lunch sack, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Remove chicken from bowl. Using additional seasoned salt and pepper, lightly coat to season chicken. Place chicken in bag, one piece at a time. Shake well until thoroughly coated. Dip each piece in the buttermilk and coat with flour once again. Shake off excess; place on waxed paper for 15 minutes or until dry. Place chicken, skin side down, in hot shortening. Do not crowd skillet. Brown until golden on bottom (good)(skin) side. When chicken pieces are golden on one side, turn pieces over, cover with tight fitting lid, and reduce heat to a simmer, turning chicken pieces ocaisionally, for 35 to 40 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken is tender. *When lid is placed on, and heat is reduced to a good simmer, the good side of pieces are the top sides. After about 10 minutes, turn back to skin-side down. After another 10 minutes or so, turn back to skin-side up for the last 10-15 minutes. ). Uncover and cook 5 minutes longer for "crispy on the outside" crust. Remove at once, skipping this step, if a softer outside is preferred. My grandma and great aunts always drained their fried chicken on brown paper grocery bags. This seems to work best for me, too. Paper towels work "ok", too. *If doubling or making alot of chicken, or just wanting to keep it warm til the rest of your side dishes are done and ready to serve, place chicken on brown paper bag-lined cookie sheet in very low oven. GREAT cold, too! 4-6 servings. To make chicken fingers:. Use 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips about a 1/2-3/4 " thick. I skipped the buttermilk and hot sauce part, and dipped them into the flour mixture first, then into 1 egg beaten with about a half of a cup of half and half cream and a little hot sauce. Then back into the flour mixture. Worked out PERFECTLY. I lightly browned them in hot oil on one side, turned them, then put a lid on them. I then only cooked them for 8 minutes. I removed the lid, turned them and cooked them another minute. Drained them on paper towel.YUM! *One extra tip: Don't ever turn chicken by piercing with a fork, all the juices will run out and the meat will be dry. Always use tongs and have a sharp spatula handy to get underneath just in case a little bit wants to stick. You don't want to lose that good breading! :).

Source: www.food.com