Tag Archives: hot chicken

Nashville-style Hot Chicken

To keep the oil at just the right temperature for frying the chicken, you should have a candy / deep fry thermometer, or a deep fryer with adjustable temperature settings. To check chicken for doneness during/after frying, you will need an instant-read meat thermometer as well.

INGREDIENTS

Two 3-1/2 or 4-pound chickens, cut up and breasts halved
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp plus 4 tsp kosher salt
4 large eggs
2 Cups buttermilk or whole milk
2 Tbsp vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
4 Cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil (for frying; up to about 10 Cups)
4 Tbsp Nashville Hot Chicken Seasoning

White bread and sliced pickles (for serving)

STEPS

Rinse and pat dry the pieces of chicken, then sprinkle pieces with pepper and 1 Tbsp salt. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for three hours (or take this step and chill the chicken up to one day ahead of cooking).

Whisk together four eggs, buttermilk, and Tabasco (or other vinegary hot) sauce in a large (broad) bowl until thoroughly combined. In another wide bowl, season the four Cups flour with the remaining 4 tsp kosher salt.

Using a Dutch oven, deep cast iron skillet, or deep fryer, pour in enough vegetable oil so that it is 2″ deep. (A narrower pan will require less oil to reach 2″ depth; a broader pan requires more oil, but can fry more pieces of chicken at a single time). Secure deep fry / candy thermometer on the pan and heat oil over medium-high heat, checking thermometer frequently until oil measures 325°F.

Once again, pat the chicken pieces dry. Take one piece of chicken at a time, and prepare for frying: roll in the flour, tapping to remove excess, then dip in the egg-buttermilk mixture, holding above the bowl to let extra liquid drip off. Repeat the dredging in flour, and set aside the breaded piece of chicken on a rimmed baking sheet.

Depending on the width of your Dutch oven, frying pan, or deep fryer, and using long heatproof tongs, place one or several pieces of chicken in the hot oil. Fry the chicken, turning every several minutes, until the breading outside looks golden brown and crispy.

Use the meat thermometer to make certain white meat pieces have an internal temp of at least 160°F, and dark meat pieces of chicken are at least 165°F. Each batch of chicken should take 15 – 18 min to cook.  Allow vegetable oil to reheat to 325°F between batches. Remove chicken from the fryer to a clean wire cooling rack, set inside a rimmed baking sheet to allow the excess oil to drip off. When you have finished cooking the chicken, turn off heat and allow the vegetable oil to cool slightly.

In a heatproof bowl, whisk the Nashville Hot Chicken Seasoning with 1 Cup of the slightly-cooled frying oil to make a spicy paste. Brush each piece of fried chicken generously with spicy oil.

Serve fried chicken on white bread, topped with sliced pickles.
Do ahead: Chicken can be seasoned 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

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How Hot Is It? Nashville Hot Chicken Is *Really* Hot (and delicious)

hot-chicken-sign-Big-Shakes-Franklin-TennesseeWhen it comes to fried chicken, some like it hot. Really hot.

Hot chicken, aka Nashville hot chicken, is Music City’s culinary specialty, spicy fried chicken, served on slices of squishy white bread. A staple for the hungry late-night crowd, Nashville hot chicken has a crispy outer coating of sweet sugar, garlic, and fiery cayenne (and other) chiles.

Just how popular is hot chicken? Well, it has become such a hit that for the past 10+ years, Nashville citizens have created the annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival that takes place every Independence Day. The festival features a fire truck parade, live music, a hot chicken cookout, and lots and lots of hot chicken. And the craze has spread to cities far from the Grand Ol Opry, with national news organizations reporting on hot chicken joints in LA so popular, your carry-out order has to be placed up to one month in advance.

Love the hot chicken, but don’t have time to organize a fire truck parade, or the forethought to order takeout a month ahead of time?
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