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Nashville Hot Chicken: Fiery, Juicy, And Made At Home

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Nashville Hot Chicken: Fiery, Juicy, And Made At Home

By Meathead Goldwyn

Nashville hot chicken is officially a thing. It can be made anywhere from mild to extra hot and is both painful and addictive.

This zippy variation on fried chicken was created in Nashville at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack and is now served citywide and has caught on nationwide. Hattie B's is another famous hot chicken shack in Nashville. Some KFC restaurants are even serving a version.

 

If you like fried chicken and the tang of Buffalo chicken wings, this recipe is for you. Popularized in Nashville, this recipe puts some extra zip in your fried chicken. Variations include crispy fried chicken that is dipped, brushed, or showered with some kind of hot pepper mixture. Some even put hot pepper in the fry oil. Most places guard their recipe as carefully as KFC guards theirs, but here's my unguarded, improved version. Before you start, please read my background article on frying at home and how to do it best, on a gas grill.

Makes. About 3/4 cup, enough for 10 pieces of chicken (1 whole chicken with the breasts cut in half)

Takes.  20 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable oil

6 tablespoons dried hot chiles or chile flakes of your choice (I use chipotle powder and cayenne)

4 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons sweet American-style paprika or smoked paprika

2 tablespoons mustard powder

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons Morton's kosher salt

10 pieces Fried Chicken (1 whole chicken cut up with the breast lobes split in half)

About the oil. You can use just about any oil you want. Many restaurants use the oil they fried with. I have done it with a blend of butter and bacon. Duck fat anyone?

Method

1) Make the hot oil. Pour the oil in a small pot or pan over medium heat. Add the dry ingredients (everything but the chicken), turn the heat to its lowest setting, and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes or so to fully extract the flavors. Pour through a fine mess strainer and push down on the pulp with a large spoon to extract as much oil as possible.

2) Fry the chickenFollow the instructions for fried chicken here.

3) Season. After frying the chicken, paint the hot oil on the chicken with a basting brush.

4) Serve. Tradition says to serve with pickle slices on white bread.

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