I keep a chart of all my fried chicken recipes.
Keep the heat to about 4-7, depending upon your stove’s settings. Since you’re a first timer, for breading, keep it simple:
Get a tupperware bowl, with lid.
1 cup flour
1-2 tbs salt
1 tbs pepper
1-2 tsp garlic powder
Put the lid on, shake so everything is mixed. Open it up, smell it, taste it. Needs more salt, pepper, garlic? Put some in. Too much? Add a bit more flour. But the above should be fine.
Wash pieces, put one-by-one into tupperware, close lid, shake. Pull out, shake excess flour off, put on plate, repeat for rest of chicken.
By now, the temperature should be close to being hot enough for the chicken. Everybody tells you not to do this, but I do it anyway: flick a small drop of water in the oil to see how it reacts. Violently, and you want to turn the heat down. Not at all, turn it up. A couple of pops… it’s almost there.
I put the chicken in skin-side up - I don’t want to risk having the crust get stuck to the pan, as can happen when you first put a piece in and the oil is too hot. Move the pieces around a bit to make sure they don’t stick. Wait 10 minutes, turn, wait 10 minutes, turn, start flipping for “brownness” every 4-6 minutes, finally pull out a piece and use your thermometer on the thickest part of the meat that is the furthest from the heat.
As a general rule, pieces get finished in this order:
Breasts can be a pain as their shape may keep part of the meat constantly out of the oil - I’ve had to press them down like a hamburger to make sure they’re cooked.
Don’t worry about overcooking your food - chicken is one of those meats where you’d much rather have it 10 degrees over than 10 degrees under.
If you have thighs with two bones in them, you may wish to separate the thigh bone from the “hip” by bending it back, away from the side with the skin. This will help the dark meat cook more evenly and remove some excess blood and stuff from the meat.
Probably too late but there it is.