Nashville hot chicken

Fried chicken is ubiquitous across the southern states but Nashville is particularly proud of its fiery variety – brushed with a glowing, ember-red peppery sauce. 

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus overnight dry-brining
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes, plus overnight dry-brining

Serves: 6

Ingredients

 

1.5kg chicken
1 tbsp sea salt
½ tbsp ground black pepper
150g plain flour
2 eggs
284ml tub buttermilk (or whole milk)
1 tbsp Tabasco pepper sauce
about 1.5 litres vegetable oil, for deep-frying
pickled cucumber, to serve

SPICY OIL
1½ tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dark brown soft sugar
¼ tsp garlic granules
¼ tsp ground paprika
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
5 tbsp olive oil 

Method

1 Joint the chicken into 8 pieces and toss with the salt and pepper in a bowl. Cover and chill, allowing to dry-brine overnight.

2 When you’re ready to cook, preheat a deep-fat fryer to 160˚C (or use a deep saucepan filled 1/3 full with oil). Put the flour in a shallow bowl and season. Beat the eggs, buttermilk and Tabasco in another shallow bowl. One at a time, dust the chicken pieces with flour, dip in the buttermilk, shaking off the excess, then dust with another coating of flour. Deep-fry, in batches, for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the spicy oil in a separate bowl.

3 Drain the fried chicken on a wire rack set over kitchen paper and brush with the spicy oil. Allow to cool a little before serving with pickled cucumber, slaw, sliced bread and baked beans, if liked.