1. You can absolutely get crispy chicken shallow frying. Your mother was more than likely putting in too much chicken and lowering the temp to below 300 when you should be frying it at 350-375
2. Don't ever leave hot oil unattended, even if the phone rings. If it's important they'll call back
3. There are no good home deep frying units. They just don't exist as far as I've seen. I have heard good things about pressure fryers but never seen one in operation.
4. The best...