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Rack M Nation: Nashville Hot Chicken

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Listen up y'all. Spicy fried chicken does not suck. I think we all know that. It goes without saying. But the Nashville style of "Hot Chicken" just takes it to another level. Its beautifully golden brown deep fried chicken thats then basted with the same used fry oil and spices to just take it to a whole other level. Not gonna like, I'm more than slightly aroused just thinking about it again.

Much like BBQ in KC, there are dozens of different hot chicken spots to check out in Nashvegas and I, unfortunately, only had time to visit 1. Party Fowl is one of the newer spots in town but it already had a good reputation and a very solid local beer list so we decided to check it out as we were in that part of town already. As soon as we were sat a table next to us was led back and one bro had on a legit SEC belt on with all 14 current teams on it (I checked). I knew this was the place to be. I had a mild half chicken and the wife had a HOT po-boy. Holy crap was it amazing.

Anywho, heres how I "replicated" this gift from the gods:

I started with this recipe from epicurouis.

Ingredients

  • Chicken: I used 4lbs of boneless skinless breasts, you can use what ever you like.
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
  • 8 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Texas Pete)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 10 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Prep

Trim and cut chicken breasts into "fingers" if you are working with breasts (my preferred method always).

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Salt and pepper yo chicken, preferably with some of that fresh cracked goodness. Cover and chill for a few hours

Get your 4 eggs

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Buttermlik

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And 2 tablespoons of preferred vinegar based hot sauce

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And whisk them mothas up all good like.

In a baking dish (I used a 9x9 square cake pan) mix up your flour and remaining salt.

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At this point, you are all ready to get your fryer going. I used a basket style deep fryer which I find much easier than a dutch oven or cast iron skillet, but you can use what ever you like. Just make sure and get that oil up to a solid 325 degrees.

While the oil is heating you can start to bread yo chicken. I worked in batches and laid the strips out on a baking sheet to help keep things moderately clean and make them easier to transport over to the fryer. You'll wanna get your station set up like so to make it easier to work:

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Once your assembly line is ready, get your chicken patted dry and dredge in the flower, then dip them suckers in the buttermlik mixture (I used tongs for this to keep my hands cleaner and it was just easier). Shake the excess milk bath off the chicken and then dredge in flower again. Toss around a bit to get a good coating this second time. Once coated fully set aside on baking sheet and start with your next strip/piece. After I had 8-10 pieces set aside and ready for the fryer, I dredged each piece in flower again. This helped to cover the wet spots that weren't hit well before or where some flower may not have stuck properly.

These babies have been dredged 3 times and are just begging to be dropped in that hot oil:

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I worked in batches of 5-6 in the fryer. Thats about all the basket could hold and keep the chicken covered in oil the entire time. It took about 15 minutes for me to get a good golden brown crust developed. The browned a tiny bit more as they rested, so don't go too long.

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As your chicken is resting and cooling down a bit, you wanna grab about a cup - cup and a half of your hot fry oil, but it in a small sauce pan and mix in your remaining spices. I also added the other 6 tablespoons of tabasco at this point. This won't fully mix until your oil has cooled down to just hot and not still "fry hot".

Once your spice bath is good and mixed and your chicken is cooled down, take a basting brush and give those tenders/pieces a good once over.

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This recipe is awesome for po-boys, regular fried chicken or a straight off the hook chicken salad. Let me know how it goes for you guys and as always, enjoy with a delicious cold beverage.