Melt shortening in large heavy, preferably cast-iron, skillet. Place chicken in medium hot shortening and fry on one side for 10 minutes. Lower heat; cover and cook 5 minutes. Turn chicken pieces and return heat to medium; fry on second side 10 minutes. Lower heat, cover and cook 5 minutes. Cook uncovered a few minutes more for crispy crust. Remove chicken and drain on paper towels
3 tablespoons fat from cooking chicken
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups water or 1 cup milk and 1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
Return fat to skillet and add flour. Stir and scrape crusts from sides and bottom of skillet. Cook over low heat 2-3 minutes. Add liquid, correct seasons, and cook over medium heat 3-4 minutes. Serve gravy over hot biscuits, mashed potatoes, or rice.
NOTE: The flavor of chicken is greatly improved if it is properly stored when purchased; that is, rinsed, drained, lightly salted, and stored in refrigerator overnight or soaked in cold salt water 1 hour before cooking.