Southern Fried Chicken and Chicken Gravy

1 three pound whole fryer chicken, cut into pieces          1 quart Crisco or other vegetable oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste                                   2 cups milk for the gravy

 Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Roll in flour. Heat oil in a heavy skillet, until a sprinkle of flour into the hot oil sizzles. Then add chicken pieces. (If the oil is not hot enough, the chicken will not get crisp.) Cover and fry until golden brown, turning once. Total cooking time about 15-20 minutes. If juices run clear when the piece is pierced close to a bone, the chicken is done. Drain on paper towels. Serve six people, warm or cold.

 For the gravy, pour most of the oil out of the pan, leaving 4 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Heat up the pan and oil, over low to medium low heat. Add 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Stir the oil and flour together, scraping up any chicken crispies from the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring and allow the mixture to brown for a few minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go. If it seems too thick add a bit more oil, or too thin add a bit more flour, but make sure the flour gets a bit browned. You want a smooth mixture here, something stirrable but smooth.

Pour in the 2 cups of milk, continue stirring, adding a little more milk if the mixture seems too thick. Add salt to taste. Leave the gravy over low heat stirring occasionally. Serve over the mashed potatoes. Pass the rest if someone wants some gravy over their biscuits.

Copyrighted, 2012 by Andrea Musgrove Perisho.