My default recipe over the years has been a buttermilk and flour batter. These days, my go to has been the recipe in Donald Link's book "Real Cajun" (which also has a spectacular German chocolate cake recipe).
Additionally, I have been going to the Czech Catholic church picnics in Central Texas for many years now and have put videos up on YouTube of the events.
When my wife and I were in Memphis a few years back, several people recommended Gus's Fried Chicken. It had a very thin and a very crisp crust. I was very interested in this batter. When I peeked into the kitchen, I saw stainless steel containers with the chicken pieces sitting in a very red bath (I spied big bottles of Louisiana hot sauce on the shelves). To me it didn't look like they were flouring the chicken before it went into the fryers. Now I suspect they were working with a slurry instead of a dredge in flour.
I have been all over the 'net searching for a recipe. There isn't one. There are some purported copycat recipes showing up from Saveur and also there is a Nora Jones recipe that is supposed to be similar. But these are buttermilk/flour recipes. And as time will prove, neither is like Gus's. Gus's is doing something different.
And so, my research begins. With the trusty Internet, a copy of John T's "Fried Chicken", and the anticipation that comes every year when the church picnics begin in Texas, I hope to test out as many variations as possible and report on them. Many of these will be good.
(Update Note: See my recipe for Gus's style fried chicken later on in this blog)