Nashville-Style Hot Chicken

Try this Nashville-Style Hot Chicken recipe for supper tonight
Nashville-Style Hot Chicken

Photo Modified: Flickr/Jessica Dillree / CC by 2.0

It’s fiery. It overtakes your taste buds and burns your mouth in just the right way. Nashville hot chicken allegedly born out of infidelity is nothing less than a Music City tradition — spicy, greasy, and indulgent.

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 4  Pounds  chicken, quartered
  • 1  Tablespoon  plus one teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2  Teaspoon  black pepper
  • 2  Cups  buttermilk
  • eggs
  • 1 1/2  Tablespoon  vinegar-based hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 4  Cups  all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, shortening, or lard for frying

For the spicy glaze:

  • 5  Tablespoons  cayenne pepper
  • 3  Tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1 1/2  Teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1  Teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1 1/2  Teaspoon  paprika
  • White bread, for serving
  • Pickles, for garnish

Directions

For the chicken:

Combine the chicken, salt, and pepper in a bowl, cover and chill for at least 3 hours to overnight.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, combine the buttermilk, eggs, and hot sauce in a bowl and whisk together. Then, combine the flour and leftover teaspoon of salt in another bowl and whisk to combine.

Dry the chicken off with paper towels, and dredge in the flour mixture. Tap off any excess flour back into the bowl, and dip into the buttermilk mixture. Then, dredge again in the flour, and set aside the chicken on a baking sheet.

While you are finishing coating the chicken, heat about 2 inches of frying oil, shortening, or lard in a heavy pan or Dutch oven. Over medium-high heat, monitor the oil until it reaches 325 degrees F. Then, add the chicken pieces to the oil in batches, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook the chicken until cooked through (white meat registers 160 degrees F and dark meat registers 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer) and golden brown on both sides. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Set the chicken aside to cool slightly while you prepare the glaze.

For the spicy glaze:

While the chicken is resting, carefully combine a cup of the frying oil with the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Whisk gently to combine. Then, pour the hot sauce over the chicken, and serve on white bread with pickles for garnish.

Chicken Shopping Tip

Buy whole chickens and ask the butcher to quarter them for you. You will save an average of $5 per pound, or more.

Chicken Cooking Tip

Allow meat to rest for at least ten minutes before slicing into it; otherwise, the juices will leak out.

Chicken Wine Pairing

Pinot noir, gamay, merlot, zinfandel, carménère, pinotage, or grenache with grilled, roasted, or other simply cooked chicken; chardonnay, pinot gris/grigio, pinot blanc, or chenin blanc with chicken in cream or light tomato sauce or with chicken crêpes or croquettes; sauvignon blanc or sémillon with fried chicken; viognier with spiced chicken dishes.

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