(via Southern Living’s Best Fried Chicken - Recipes - The New York Times)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 chicken with skin, about 2 1/2 pounds, cut up into 8 pieces (see note)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable oil, like grapeseed, peanut or canola (do not use olive oil)
1/4 cup bacon drippings (or use more oil)
1. Combine 1 tablespoon salt with 3 quarts water in a large bowl or container. Add chicken, cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse with cold water and pat dry.
2. Stir together remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Sprinkle half the mixture evenly over chicken.
3. In a large sealable plastic bag, combine remaining pepper mixture and flour. Add 2 pieces chicken to bag and shake well to coat. Remove chicken pieces, shaking off extra flour, and set aside. Repeat with remaining chicken.
4. Take a large (10- or 12-inch) cast-iron skillet or chicken fryer, for which you have a lid, and fit with a candy or deep-frying thermometer. Add oil and bacon drippings and heat to 360 degrees over medium heat; the oil will ripple and possibly give off a few wisps of smoke.
5. Using tongs, immediately add chicken pieces, skin side down (work in batches if necessary to avoid crowding pan). The oil will drop to about 325 degrees, where it should stay; adjust heat so that oil is bubbling gently around the pieces. Cover and cook 6 minutes; uncover and cook 9 minutes. Turn chicken pieces; cover and cook 6 minutes. Uncover and cook another 5 to 9 minutes, depending on size of pieces. If necessary for even browning, turn pieces over a few times toward the end.
6. Drain on paper towels or paper bags. Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.