I have been so consistently disappointed in every attempt I've made to make fried chicken! I feel like this kind of thing should be in my DNA since I'm from Georgia (but now a transplanted Californian), but I grew up surrounded by places that served fried chicken so much better than anything we could make at home that my family never made our own.
I'm a better than average cook and I feel like I've tried dozens of supposedly awesome recipes (including Ad Hoc's recipe that I just made tonight) and I'm still disappointed. I know I'm my own worst critic (my guests seem to think it's fine), but I just can't seem to replicate the kind of chicken I love. What I find to be the biggest stumbling block is the crust. I've used many variations of a dry crust (not battered) and my complaint is that the crust is just too tough. I'm searching for that crispy, crunchy, but not heavy crust and I can't seem to get it right. It's not too greasy - that's not the issue. And the actual flavor of the meat is fine - I either brine it or pre-season it well.
I use peanut oil to fry, my oil temp is right on (according to whatever recipe I'm trying) and I just can't seem to get it right. I haven't tried a battered crust. Could that be the secret? I get on these kicks and think this time I'm going to get it right! THIS is the recipe that half the country is raving about - and then it ends up disappointing me again.