TH contributor Gerald McLeod says his mother, Carol McLeod, who lives in Burleson, makes fried chicken that no chef has ever been able to duplicate. Two of her secrets: Crisco shortening and a large cast-iron skillet.
1 (2- to 3-lb.) broiler-fryer, cut up
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. salt
1 T. pepper
1 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. Crisco shortening Mix
flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish; set aside.
Pour buttermilk into a bowl. Dip chicken pieces in buttermilk, shake off excess liquid, and dredge in flour mixture, coating well. Heat shortening in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet until shortening melts and oil is hot; add chicken, and cook over medium heat (reduce heat if chicken is cooking too quickly), turning pieces often until light brown, about 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat, add 2 T. of water, cover tightly, and simmer, turning two or three times, until thickest pieces are done, about 30-40 minutes. Yield: 8-10 pieces fried chicken.
From the November 1999 issue.