2 qts. water, divided (heat 2 cups and chill the rest)
1/2 cup table salt …………………………. 3-4 lbs. chicken pieces
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4-6 cups Crisco shortening (You can use vegetable oil if you like)
2-4 cups flour ………………………………. 1 to 1-1/2 tsp salt
1 to 1-1/2 TB coarse black pepper………. 1-2 cups milk
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper (OPTIONAL)
In medium saucepan, heat 2 cups water to boiling; add 1/2 cup salt. Stir until all dissolved; add rest of the 2 quarts of water that has been chilled. Set salt water solution in refrigerator until it’s very cold. Remove from refrigerator; put large resealable bag in large bowl and pour solution in bag.
Rinse chicken pieces with cold water and place in brine. Seal bag and put in refrigerator for 24-36 hours. Turn bag side over to mix the water around the chicken every 8 hours.
When ready to fry, put shortening into iron skillet or heavy fry pan and heat on medium high. In paper bag or large dish, mix flour, salt, and pepper. Drain and rinse chicken (laying each piece on wax paper). In a medium bowl, mix milk, salt, pepper & cayenne; set aside. Do one piece of chicken at a time: coat in flour mixture & lay on clean baking sheet until each piece has been coated. Then, start with first coated piece, & dip again in milk mixture and then again in flour mixture, laying them on the same baking sheet.
Place coated chicken in hot grease one at a time. Fry each side for approximately 6-8 minutes or until golden brown in color. (The total cooking time for each piece will be about 12-15 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 165). Place chicken on a cooking rack and place in a warm oven until all the chicken has been fried.
Note: Make more of the brine if there is not enough. It will depend on how big your chicken pieces are as to how much you will need.