According to the internet and the magazine this is a very popular chicken dish in Nashville. I thought it looked good and given my new confidence in eating spicy foods I thought this would be great. Well it should have come with a warning about just how spicy this dish is. I made the not so hot version and my lips were still burning 48 hours later. I only had one bite and it was enough. No way could I let the kids eat this dish. Everyone else, except for me, loved the food. If you like really really spicy food this dish is for you.
Nashville Hot Chicken
Cooks Country June/July 2010
2 quarts water
1/2 cup hot sauce
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) whole chicken, quartered
3 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Whisk water, hot sauce, salt, and sugar in large bowl until salt and sugar dissolve. Add chicken and refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes or up to one hour.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add cayenne pepper, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, and sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to small bowl.
Remove chicken from refrigerator and pour off brine. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl. Dredge chicken pieces 2 at a time in flour mixture. Shake excess flour from chicken and transfer to wire rack.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat remaining oil in large Dutch oven over medium high heat to 350 degrees. Return chicken pieces to flour mixture and turn to coat. Fry half of chicken, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 300 and 325 degrees, until deep golden brown and white meat registers 160 degrees (175 for dark meat), 20 to 25 minutes. Drain chicken on clean wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Bring oil back to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken. Stir spicy oil mixture to recombine and brush over both sides of chicken. Serve on white bread with pickles.
If you think you handle it hotter:
Prepare Nashville Hot Chicken. For spiced oil in step 2, increase oil to 1/4 cup, cayenne to 3 1/2 tablespoons, and sugar to 3/4 teaspoon and add 1 teaspoon dry mustard. Continue with recipe as directed.