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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Sate Ayam (Chicken Satay) with Peanut Sauce

Meat is always better when you put it on a stick! This Indonesian dish is easy and fast, you can make it into an appetizer, a quick and easy snack, or a full meal with rice and vegetable.

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You need:

  • 1 lb chicken thigh or tender
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • skewers
  • (OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter; 1 cloves garlic; 1 hot chili peppers; 1/2-inch gingerroot; 3 tbsp brown sugar; 1 cups unsweetened coconut milk; 1 tbsp soy sauce; 1/4 tbsp molasses; 2 tbsp fresh lime juice)

How to make this:

  1. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes, finely mince the garlic
  2. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, black pepper, and cumin. Place chicken into the mixture, marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, at most 3 hours
  3. Preheat the grill on high heat, this will quickly cook the chicken without burning it
  4. Place the chicken onto the skewers, and save marinade. Grill skewers about 3 minutes per side, then brush on a layer of the marinade and grill for another 3 to 4 min. Don’t use the marinate after.
  5. OPTIONAL: Heat up the coconut milk in a pan, then mix in the chunky peanut butter, minced garlic, chopped hot chili peppers, minced gingerroot, brown sugar, soy sauce, molasses and fresh lime juice, cook it on low until the peanut sauce thickens, sprinkle on some crushed peanut for better texture
  6. Serve it with some peanut sauce, rice or vegetable

Tavuk Şiş (Turkish Chicken Kebab)

If you like vibrant and distinct flavors, Middle Eastern food will definitely be one of your favorites. By combining and mixing different types of fresh or dried spices, you can create many amazing flavors. Tavuk Şiş is a Turkish chicken kebab, marinated in yogurt and spices, and go great with flatbread or rice.

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You need:

  • 2 lb Chicken Thigh (skinless & boneless)
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1/3 cup Turkish Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Dried Mint
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Paprika
  • 1/2 Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Cardamom Pods

How to make this:

  1. Finely chop the onion, mix with the Turkish yogurt, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, dried mint, dried oregano
  2. Lightly toast the paprika, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom pods on a pan, then crush them in a pestle & mortar, then mix them into the liquid
  3. Cut the chicken into 1 in wide strips, then place the meat into the marinade for 2 to 6 hours
  4. Place the chicken strips on 2 skewers, if you use wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 min before you use it
  5. Heat up a grill on high, then cook each side for about 5 min, or until the internal temperature reaches 75C or 165F degrees
  6. If you use an oven, heat up the oven to 175C or 350F degrees, then bake the chicken for about 25 min, or until the internal temperature reaches 75C or 165F degrees, then turn on broil for about 1 min
  7. Serve if on top of some flatbread, and some fresh vegetable or fruit, like pomegranate, sliced onion or sliced tomato on the side

Pho gà

Among all the cultures in the world, there are a couple dishes that no matter where you go, you can always find them in a form or another, dishes like the stuffed dumpling, grilled meat on skewers, meatballs, sandwiches with either bread or bun. But among them, one dish stands out, representing the essence of home cooking, and that is the chicken noodle soup. So today, we will be cooking the Vietnamese version of this classic, the Pho gà.

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You need:

  • 1 whole chicken, about 2 1/2 lb
  • 2 sweet onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 star anise
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 oz ginger
  • 1 lb bean sprouts
  • 3 stems green onions
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500g or 1 lb pho noodles

How to make this:

  1. Soak the rice noodle in some warm water for before cooking everything else
  2. Peel and quarter the onion, roughly chop the garlic and ginger, then place them in the bottom of a large baking tray and bake them at 220C or 430F degrees for 10 min
  3. Dry roast the star anise and coriander seeds in the pan on medium low for about 3 min
  4. Boil a large pot of water, cut off the extra fat off the chicken, then split it in half, and place it in the pot with the roast spices and vegetables (including 2 stems of green onion)
  5. Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and let the chickens cook for 1 hour
  6. Take out the chicken, vegetable, and spices, then add the fish sauce and sugar, then let it simmer for another 20 min
  7. Quickly cook the noodle in boiling water for 2 min
  8. Sever the noodle in the bowl with some chicken broth, pull the chicken apart with forks, place on top with some green chili peppers, limes slices, chopped shallots, green onion, fried garlic, mint, basil, hoisin sauce, and sriracha

Piri Piri Chicken

As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to start roasting whole birds again, and one of the best roast chicken dishes is the “Frango Piri Piri” or the Piri Piri Chicken, a Portuguese dish with a southwestern Africa root (that’s where the Piri Piri or Bird’s Eye Chili pepper is from). This dish is sweet and spicy, and super easy to make, it’s traditionally grilled, but you can bake it in an oven, or sear it on a pan.

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You need:

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 red chili peppers (Piri Piri or Bird’s Eye Chili pepper would be ideal)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 whole chicken or 3 lb chicken parts
  • 3 Yukon gold potato

How to make this:

  1. Roughly chop the garlic, shallot, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, red chili peppers and cilantro, then blend them in a food processor or blender with the smoked paprika, dried oregano, olive oil, and salt. You can use the marinade now, but for a proper Piri Piri sauce,  let the sauce sit in a sealed container for 5 to 7 days before use
  2. Mix the juice of one lemon and the red wine vinegar into the sauce, save 1/4 of the sauce for later, rub the rest on the chicken and let it marinate for at least 6 hours
  3. Slice the onion into 1/2 cm or 1/5 inch slices, toss them in some olive oil, salt, and pepper, then place them on the bottom of a baking tray or a cast iron pan, and place the marinated chicken on top
  4. If the Chicken is already cut into piece, you can grill it on hot grill for 5 min each, a whole chicken takes about 13 min per sides
  5. If you use an oven, heat to 220 C or 425 F degrees, let the chicken bake for 30 min, brush a layer of sauce, then bake for another 30 min or until the meat reaches 75 C or 165 F. Broil the chicken for 2 min at the end
  6. Sever it with some chopped fresh herbs

Chicken Souvlaki

This is a very popular Greek fast food dish, you can use almost any meat you want since we will use a very acidic marinade which tenderizes the meat. It is, like many recipes here, quick and easy, and is definitely the one dish to make before packing up the grill for the winter.

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You need:

  • 2 lbs of chicken (thigh or breast)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tbsp mint
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

How to make this:

  1. Soak the wood skewers in warm water for 30 min, you will need about 3-4 skewers per lb of meat
  2. Cut the chicken into 1 inch or 2 cm chunks, cut the onion into quarters, mix them with mint, oregano, rosemary, thyme, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and white wine vinegar and let it marinate for 30 min
  3. Put them on wooden skewers, separate each piece of meat with a slice of onion, this will keep the meat juicy
  4. Heat up a grill to medium-high (205C/400F – 230C/450F), cook them on each side for about 3 min
  5. If you don’t have a grill, cook them in a 205C/400F degree oven for 15 min, then turn on broil for 1 min on each side
  6. Serve it with some Pita bread and Tzatziki sauce

Chicken à la King

Another great sauce for almost anything! Chicken à la King is basically a variation of velouté, one of the 5 French mother sauces, and like it’s base sauce, it is creamy and delicious. This is also a very adaptable sauce, you can change it any way you want to, make them a little thicker if you want to put them on a slice of toast; or make it silky if you want to use it as a substitute for gravy when having mashed potatoes.

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You need:

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 2 lb cooked chicken
  • 1/2 sweet onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

How to make this:

  1. Melt the 8 tbsp unsalted butter in a pan over medium heat, slice the mushroom and onion and cook them in the butter for about 15 min
  2. When the mushroom and onion are fully cooked, put in the diced sweet bell peppers and peas, cook them till they soften
  3. Mix the flour into the vegetable and cook it slightly
  4. Deglaze the pan with white wine, then pour in the chicken broth and stir constantly to prevent clumps
  5. Let the sauce simmer for 10 min, mix in the thyme and parsley, then pour in the heavy cream
  6. Pour the chicken bits into the sauce to heat it up
  7. Serve it with pasta, bread or rice