Soak chicken overnight (at least 8 hours) in buttermilk with onions, herbs, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Drain in colander, leaving some herbs on chicken. In a large sturdy paper or plastic bag, mix flour with seasonings.
Heat 2 cups oil in a large, heavy- bottomed skillet on medium high heat until a pinch of flour starts to sizzle when dropped in hot oil (but not so hot that the pan is smoking). Remember when working with hot oil, always have a pan lid close by.
Place chicken pieces in bag of flour mixture and shake until thoroughly coated. Add chicken to hot pan and fry on 1 side for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown, and then use tongs to turn the pieces over and fry another 10-12 minutes, again until golden brown.
Use tongs to remove chicken from pan. Place on rack over a cookie sheet or broiling pan for the excess oil to drain. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.
Appeared in print 9/23/09