1. Using a sharp knife, cut the bird into 8 pieces, leaving about one third of the breast attached to each wing so the wing portion will be more substantial. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot pepper sauce. Add the chicken and mix well. Cover and refrigerate, stirring the chicken occasionally, for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
3. Drain the chicken. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper in a large paper bag or large bowl. A few pieces at a time, toss the chicken in the flour mixture to coat. Place on waxed paper and let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature to set the coating.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a large wire cake rack over a jelly roll pan. In a deep, large skillet, melt vegetable shortening to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 375°F. Add the chicken and deep-fry, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer to the wire racks and bake until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced at the bone, about 15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. (Fried chicken is best served within 2 hours of frying, and shouldn't be refrigerated, as refrigeration gives the chicken breasts a cottony texture.)
This Double-Cooked Fried Chicken recipe is from the Fried & True: Crispy and Delicious Dishes from Appetizers to Desserts Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.
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