Place chicken pieces in a gallon size zipper lock plastic bag. Mix buttermilk with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour buttermilk mixture over chicken, seal, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
Measure 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper into a large doubled brown paper bag; shake to combine. Drop half of chicken pieces into flour mixture and shake thoroughly to coat completely with flour. Remove chicken from bag, shaking excess flour from each piece. Place pieces onto a large wire rack set over a jelly roll pan until you are ready to fry. Coat remaining chicken pieces in the same manner.
Meanwhile, spoon enough shortening to measure 1/2-inch deep in a 12-inch skillet; heat to 350 degrees. Drop chicken pieces, skin side down, into hot oil, cover (you can use a cookie sheet) and cook for 5 minutes. Lift chicken pieces with tongs to make sure chicken is frying evenly; rearrange if some are browning faster than others. Cover again and continue cooking until pieces are evenly browned, about 5 minutes longer. Turn chicken over with tongs and cook, uncovered, until chicken is browned all over, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Remove chicken from skillet with tongs and place on wire rack set over jelly roll pan. Strain hot fat into a heat-safe container.
Recipe courtesy of Pam Anderson, "The Perfect Recipe"