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Miss Ora's Fried Chicken

['1 3 to 4-pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces (breasts halved crosswise)', '1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning', '1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning', '2 cups all-purpose flour', '2 tablespoons cornstarch', 'Canola or vegetable oil (for frying; about 4 cups)', '2 ounces fatback, sliced 1/2" thick, rinsed (optional)', 'A deep-fry thermometer']

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cover; chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
Combine flour, cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoons pepper in a large bag. Working in batches, shake chicken in bag to coat well; transfer to a plate.
Fit a large deep heavy straight-sided skillet with a deep-fry thermometer; add oil to measure 3/4". Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer reads 350°F.
Working in batches and maintaining oil at 350°F, fry chicken and fatback (if using) until crisp and chicken is cooked through, 5-7 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

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