Serves 4

Use a whole fryer, cut up, or parts of your choice. It takes about 2 minutes over medium high heat for oil to get hot enough for frying. If it smokes or pops when the chicken touches it, the oil is too hot.

Chicken parts
1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups shortening
In a bowl, mix 2 teaspoons salt with 2 cups water. Put in the chicken parts and let soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. Mix together the flour, pepper, and salt and batter the chicken by dipping the pieces in the flour mixture until they are coated on all sides, shaking off excess flour.
In a skillet, over medium heat, let the shortening get hot. It should be at 350: on a thermometer, or you can test it by taking a piece of chicken and letting the corner touch the shortening: if it begins to fry, the shortening is ready. If the shortening appears too hot, remove the skillet from the heat and let it cool a little.
Brown the chicken on all sides, reducing the heat if needed as it cooks. It takes about 20 minutes to fry chicken well-done. If you are afraid that the chicken is not done even though the batter is browned, put it in a baking pan and place it in the oven at 350: for 15 minutes.

From MAMA DIP’S KITCHEN by Mildred Council. Copyright ) 1999 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher and the author. Visit the publisher’s website at