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Basting Nashville hot chicken with cayenne oil

Nashville Hot Chicken recipe


Description

Based on Bon Appétit‘s rendition of the hot chicken from Hattie B’s.


Ingredients

  • 1 3½–4-lb chicken, cut into 10 pieces (halve the breasts)
  • 1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar-based hot sauce (Frank’s, Crystal, etc.)
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 10 cups)
  • 6 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • White bread and sliced pickles (for serving)

Nashville hot chicken ingredients


Instructions

  • A few hours before cooking, toss the chicken with 1 Tbsp salt and the black pepper. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to overnight. 
  • Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining salt and the flour. 
  • Whisk together the cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and brown sugar in a heat-safe bowl. It needs to be big enough to add a cup of hot oil to later on. 
  • Fill a Dutch oven to a depth of 2 inches with oil. Attach the probe of a ChefAlarm tot he side of the pt using the included pot clip. Set the high-temp alarm to 325°F (163°C) and the low-temp alarm to 300°F (149°C). Also, set your oven to warm. 
  • While the oil heats, bread the chicken. Coat each piece in the flour, then dip it in the buttermilk mixture. Then return it to the flour and re-coat it more heavily. Set each coated piece aside.
  • When the oil comes to temp, cook 3 pieces of chicken at one time, lowering each very carefully into the oil. Adjust the heat as necessary to try to maintain the temperature near 325°F (163°C). 
  • Cook the chicken until each piece is done. Check the doneness with your Thermapen: dark meat should be cooked to 175°F (79°C) and light meat should be cooked to 160°F (71°C). As each piece reaches its pull temp, remove it from the oil and place it on a rack set inside a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven.  (Some pieces may take up to 15 minutes or even more to cook.)
  • Return the oil temp to 325°F (163°C) and cook the next batch, following the same procedure. (There will be two batches of 3 and one batch of 4, I suggest putting both wings in the batch of 4.)
  • When all the chicken is cooked, ladle 1 cup of hot oil into the cayenne mixture, and stir to combine. 
  • Use a brush to baste the hot chili oil onto the chicken, scooping more cayenne into the brush for more heat. 
  • Dig in while it’s still hot! Your face will forgive you eventually. 

Notes

You can have your butcher cut up the chicken for you, If you don’t have a full-service butcher and don’t want to cut up the chicken yourself, by all means just buy a package of thighs and use 10 of those!