Nashville Hot Chicken

There are three things I absolutely love about Tennesse, the sweet & oaky Jack Denial whiskey, tender & juicy Memphis style BBQ, and the infamous Nashville hot chicken. As fried chicken goes, this is as good as it gets, a perfectly golden crispy crust hides the most tender & juiciest meat, smothered in a layer of hot & spicy butter/lard, served on top of the plainest white bread to soak up all its juicy goodness, creating a truly “finger-lickin’ good” fried chicken.

Even though in Nashville, the true originator and the populizer of this style of fried chicken, Prince’s and Hattie B’s, pretty much set the gold standard for all hot chicken, you can still find this signature dish of Tennesse almost on every street corner. However, if you don’t live in Tennessee and want to try this amazing dish, it’s actually not that hard to make at home since it’s based on traditional southern fried chicken, which the best of the best is almost always made at home.

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So, here’s how to make this.

You’ll need:

  • 1 whole chicken (or 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breasts & 2 wings)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup pickle brine
  • 3 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 egg
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp lard
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

How to make this:

  1. Mix together the buttermilk, pickle brine, egg, hot sauce, salt, and pepper using a whisk, then soak the chicken in the marinade for about 4 to 6 hours
  2. Combine the flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Dry the chicken using some paper towel, then coat the chicken with the flour, dip it in the buttermilk marinade again, then coat it with another layer of flour
  3. Heat the oil in a large heavy-duty pot (like a dutch oven), fill it half full and heat it till the oil reaches 150C or 300F degrees. Then fry them for about 10 to 13 min, and let them sit for about 10 min
  4. In a small pan, heat up the butter & lard over medium heat, then add the cayenne, paprika powder, and brown sugar, turn off the heat, then stir for about 2 min or until the sauce turns smooth
  5. Smother or brush on a layer of sauce, serve it over some white toasts or waffle, with some pickle chips
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