If you like really crunchy flavorful fried chicken, make this recipe. It is really quite simple.
First make a brine. I forgot to take pics...sorry! Mix 1 1/2 gallons water with 10 bay leaves, 3 lemons cut in half, 2 heads of garlic cut in half, 1 bunch of fresh thyme, 1 bunch fresh parsley, 1/3 cup honey, 3 T. peppercorns and 1/4 cup kosher salt . Bring this to a boil and let boil 5 minutes. Set it aside to cool completely. When it is completely cool, strain the brine from the solids. Discard solids. Place 8 legs and 4 thighs in a zip lock bag and add the brine. Squeeze the air out of the bag and place it in a bowl. Place this in the fridge and turn the bag a couple times during a 24 hour period.
Remove chicken from the liquid and discard the brine. Dry the chicken on paper towels. In a small bowl mix together, 1 T. granulated garlic, 2 T. granulated onion, 1 T. paprika, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper and 2 T. ground black pepper Sprinkle all of this over the chicken pieces and let them sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Melt enough Crisco and bacon fat in a heavy large pot to reach 3/4 inch.
Put a rack over a cookie sheet.
Add a fry/candy thermometer and bring it to 350 degrees.
While the grease is heating, place 3 cups of flour in a bowl and 2 cups of buttermilk in a second bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in the buttermilk. Coat it all over and shake to knock off extra drips. Place it directly into the flour and turn to coat. Tap off excess flour.
Fry the chicken 4 pieces at a time.
Maintain the heat at about 340 degrees.
Fry until golden brown all over. It will take about 5-6 minutes on each side.
I like to fry the legs together. And then the thighs together. This way they cook uniformly. Place the chicken on the rack and put the cookie sheet in a 325 degree oven. Bake for 1 hour.
Crispy on the outside and moist and flavorful on the inside. Perfect fried chicken!