Recipe: Nashville Hot Fried Chicken
For the brine:
- 2 quarts water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Kosher Salt
- 1 (5 oz.) bottle Cajun Cayenne Hot Sauce or similar
- 3 lbs. to 4 lbs. fryer chicken, cut into parts
For the coating:
- 2 1/4 quarts plus 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 4 Tbsp. Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Spices, divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, whisk together water, sugar, salt and hot sauce until sugar and salt dissolve. Add chicken, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Heat 6 Tbsp. oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, stir in 2 Tbsp. Fried Chicken Spices and cook for 30 to 60 seconds to bloom spices. Remove pan from heat and set aside. Thoroughly combine flour and remaining 2 Tbsp. Fried Chicken Spices in a separate bowl. Remove chicken from brine. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture and place on a wire rack. Do not discard flour mixture. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a large Dutch oven on the stovetop, heat remaining oil to 325 degrees. Dredge each piece of chicken through flour mixture one more time, turning to coat. Carefully place half of the chicken pieces into oil and fry until deep golden brown, about 20 to 25 min. Place cooked chicken pieces on a clean wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and place in preheated oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining chicken. Meanwhile, stir and reheat bloomed spices over low heat. Brush cooked chicken on all sides with the spiced oil just before serving.
For a spicier version, increase amount of spices using the same 6 tbsp. of oil. Try serving in the traditional manner with chicken pieces on white bread topped with dill pickles.