*Soak chicken 24 hours in advance!
12 chicken drumsticks, with skin on
4 cups (1 quart) low fat buttermilk
2 Tbs. sea salt
2 Tbs. dried paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried cayenne pepper
Whole wheat flour, for dredging
Vegetable shortening, for frying (not vegetable oil)
Place drumsticks in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and pour buttermilk over; enough to cover chicken. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
When ready to cook, melt enough shortening over low heat, to come 1/4-inch up the side of a large pot or a cast iron skillet (using a large pot helps against splattering grease). Once shortening liquefies, raise the heat to 325 degrees F (using a cooking thermometer). Do not allow oil to go over that temperature. Be sure to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.
In a bowl, combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Working in batches, drain chicken. Sprinkle seasonings onto chicken, evenly coating each piece. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Only prepare as many drumsticks as you have room to fry at one time.
Place chicken skin side down into the hot oil. The oil should come half way up the chicken pieces. Cook until golden brown on each side, approximately 10-12 minutes per side. Internal temperature of chicken should be around 180 degrees F.
Once cooked, drain chicken on a cooling rack, over a sheet pan. Do not use paper towels, as it will make your drumstick coating soggy.
Tip: If using thighs and breasts, be sure to cook the thigh in the center of the pan and the breasts and legs around the edge of the pan.