- vegetable oil, lard or a mixture of both
- 1 large free-range chicken , jointed into 8 (ask your butcher to do it)
- plain flour
- cayenne pepper
- In a large, deep cast-iron frying pan, add the fats until about one-third full.
- Heat it until a haze rises, or a cube of bread browns in a minute or less.
- Place some flour in a brown paper bag – this is not optional, the best bags come from Wholefoods, but two greengrocers’ bags doubled-up will do. Plastic bags make the coating claggy.
- Season with a pinch of sea salt, a sprinkling of cayenne and lots of black pepper.
- Shake the chicken parts in the bag. The chicken parts should be dry when tossed in the flour – to soak them in buttermilk, or use batter, is heresy.
- Shake off the excess flour, then fry the chicken in batches, so as not to crowd the pan. Do the dark meat first, skin-side down, turning. When the chicken is golden all over, cooked through and perfectly juicy with a crunchy crust, it's done.
- Drain the chicken on kitchen paper and serve quickly – though some prefer it cool, at room temperature.
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