Friday, July 15, 2016

Nashville Hot Chicken – Yes Cayenne

It’s not often I reduce the amount of cayenne in a recipe, but that’s the case with this striking, and intensely spiced Nashville hot chicken. If you’ve never had it, we’re talking about an ultra-crispy fried chicken, doused with a cayenne-infused glaze, and by “glaze” I mean melted butter and lard.

It sounds crazy, but it's basically like being able to put lots of hot sauce on fried chicken, without it getting soggy. For the record, I’ve never been to Nashville, so I can’t tell you how authentic this is, but it works for me, and is fairly easy to pull off. 

By the way, do yourself a favor, and toss the chicken with a tablespoon of kosher salt the night before you fry, and you’ll get a nicely seasoned, moister bird.

You can cut up a whole chicken, or just buy a package of leg sections, which work great in this recipe. If you want to see how to cut up a chicken, check out this old buttermilk fried chicken video. I cut the breasts in half in that one, but the technique is the same. I really hope you give this amazing fried chicken recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for Nashville Hot Chicken:

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, tossed with 1 tablespoon kosher salt, and refrigerated overnight.
For the marinade:
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup pickle brine
2 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 large egg

For the flour:
2 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons fine table salt or 4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the sauce:
1/4 cup lard
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

- Heat oil to 350 F. and maintain temp of 325 F. during frying. Cook to at least 160 internal temp.

19 comments:

Michael Minasian said...

In addition to dunking it into the sauce, there is actually a dry rub that's applied afterwards on top of the wet sauce I believe. That's how they modulate the spice. It absorbs some of the liquid helping to keep it crispy.

Chef John - Next time you are in LA we have an excellent version called Howlin' Rays. The chef learned from the big boys in Nashville. Having had both, I think he does a great job.

This seems like a great version though. Never knew about the lard angle.

Hao said...

Should have gone for "Fried Chicken? Yes We Cayenne!"

roddie said...

I hate to be that guy, but I'm sure I won't be the only one wondering this: Can we omit the lard and just double the amount of butter for the sauce?

Vance Smith said...

I know what I'll be having for Sunday Dinner

Food Junkie said...

Oh man I have been wanting to try this stuff and now I can't have anything this crunchy for weeks while my mouth heals from surgery :-( Oh well, something to look forward to. This recipe looks pretty authentic from the reviews I have seen of the real Nashville stuff; although this is probably their mild-medium version. The stuff can be crazy hot with ghost peppers in play at some chicken joints. There seem to be a couple versions, this with the spice in lard and one where they just sprinkle (pour) the spice on dry after cooking. This sounds like the nicer spice delivery method but I may have to try it both ways just for research purposes. Thanks for breaking this recipe down for us, 5 stars.

Yakuzalizard said...

Chef what pickle brine did you use? Bread and butter or dill pickle brine?

MattSchwei said...

Seeing as you use cayenne so much, you must have done some quality control. Can you say what cayenne you use? Do you grind your own?

Curious about your choice of paprika(s) too.

Thanks!

Joe Eoj said...

Nice Butter.

Novonia said...

I doubt I have access to lard at my supermarket, what would you suggest to use as a substitution?? Bacon fat I keep whenever I cook bacon, or should I just double the butter?

Steven said...

What's your hot sauce of choice?

lumpy said...

Does everybody hug you when you walk down the street or what?

Scion said...

I had to look up 'T-bone Pickens'

Alicia said...

This was a great video! Will definitely be trying out this one!

Kay Rohde said...

Alton Brown is live right now on Facebook. Kinda pathetic. The questions rolled by too fast for him to read it, and he basically just yelled at the person on a motorcycle in the parking lot who revved his engine. And drank some dark liquid out of a glass. And called one person who said she burned water as having passive aggressive issues. And stated he didn't eat anything made at the Iron Chef competition because he couldn't afford to get sick. Yep. That's it in a nutshell. Makes me appreciate the quality of information you put out there every week. I've learned a lot from you, and your voice and wit have a magic that removes the fear from not just the cooking situation, but it has a calming effect on daily life. You should bottle that and sell it! LOL! Thank you, Chef John!

Salli Gillespie said...

Great recipe!! I will definitely make this. The video is excellent, your narration made me laugh till I cried. Thanks C.J. Needed that today.

Gian Densing said...

Wow, this stuff is spicy. If spicy is your thing you'll love this technique. I'm pretty sure any fat will work in the glaze. Hell, I used margarine.

Michael Johnson said...

This is honestly the best fried chicken I have ever made. It was a tick spicy for my wife, but normal reef hot is too spicy for her. I am going to make wings using this method every Sunday this football season. Go Pats! Thanks Chef!!

Unknown said...

@Hao

I think that's what he did phonetically...Your way would have one extra syllable..

That out of the way, I am getting this together as we speak!!! can't wait to try Chef's newest favourite fried chicken!

I absolutely love the Korean Fried Chicken on this site

aaron meade said...

Hello! Love the videos and I am attempting to recreate one of the recipes for the first time this weekend! I love the Nashville hot chicken but my only question is: would it be crazy to do this with a boneless skinless chicken breast? And if so, what would you do to maybe alter the recipe to work better with the chicken breast? Would love to hear feedback from anyone. Thanks so much!