4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 1/2-pound each
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
1 teaspoon sweet paprika, divided
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1. Trim chicken thighs of excess fat and skin. In a large measuring cup, combine buttermilk and one half of the thyme, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well. Place the chicken thighs in a large, zippered plastic bag. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken and seal the bag, making sure the chicken is evenly coated. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight, turning the bag a time or two.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place a flat baking rack on it. In a large, straight-sided skillet, melt the vegetable shortening (creepy, I know) over medium-high heat. Combine the remaining spices (and the herb, thyme) in a ramekin. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off excess. Season chicken generously on both sides with spice mixture.
3. Combine flour, baking powder and any of the spice mixture you couldn’t bring yourself to put on the chicken in a shallow bowl. When the shortening is quite hot (it should be shimmering), dredge chicken pieces in flour, being careful to coat completely, and place in the skillet skin side down. Cook chicken, turning occasionally, until deep golden, 7 to 8 minutes.
4. Transfer to rack on baking sheet and bake until a quick-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F., when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest on rack for about 5 minutes before serving. Chicken may also be served room temperature.