Recipes

Cook This: Nashville-Style Hot Chicken

January 6, 2017

The southern American dish has been making its rounds online, tempting chicken lovers to take a trip to Tennessee. It’s become so popular, that even KFC has started serving their own version. Hot Chicken traces its roots to the Prince family in Nashville, who reportedly serve the spiciest fowl around. But hold off on buying a plane ticket for now and make a batch at home instead.

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Soaking the chicken in the salty mixture overnight tenderizes the meat and helps retain moisture. Salt comes in the form of the pickle brine in this recipe—yes, the oft-neglected liquid your pickles come in. By adding a few key ingredients—in this case, a high proof alcohol like gin, baking powder, cornstarch, and lard—dream-like crispiness is well within your grasp. (Get your geek on by learning the science behind these alterations.)

Taking cues from traditional recipes, chili is incorporated in every step of this recipe: in the brine, the glaze, and even the breading. Adding chili and other spices in every step flavors the chicken thoroughly. Now, stop staring at that photo of hot chicken and start cooking!


Nashville-Style Hot Chicken

Yield: 8 pieces
Time: 1 day

Ingredients

  • 1 pc chicken, whole
  • white bread
  • pickles of choice

Ingredients: Marinade

  • 4 pcs bird’s eye chili, cut across
  • ¼ cup pickle brine
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup gin
  • ¼ cup buttermilk powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • salt, to taste

Ingredients: Chili Oil

  • 2 pcs garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp hot sauce
  • ¼ cup lard
  • 3 tbsp vinegar

Ingredients: Frying

  • 3 cups lard, for frying; optional
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
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Procedure

  1. Cut chicken into 8 pieces.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Season to taste.
  3. Add chicken to marinade and massage well to coat the chicken.
  4. Cover and put in refrigerator overnight.
  5. Before cooking, heat the lard in a heavy bottomed cast iron pan until it reaches 350˚F/180˚C.
  6. To prepare the chili oil, fry the garlic in the heated lard and whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder and cayenne together.
  8. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry. Dredge into flour mixture, dip back in marinade and re-flour chicken.
  9. Fry in  until cooked through. You can check with an instant read thermometer making sure meat near the bone reaches 140˚F/ 60˚C.
  10. When chicken is cooked, dunk in glaze and serve with white bread and pickles.
Bernice Escobar SEE AUTHOR Bernice Escobar

Bernice loves to get nerdy about food and making people hungry. In her free time, she attempts to play with her anti-social cat and fantasizes about all things sweet.

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