Hot dish born of passion

Photo: Jonno Clench
Photo: Jonno Clench

In today’s 101, Jonno Clench show us how to make Nashville fried chicken.

The history of country-style chicken is an interesting one, having its beginnings in the midst of a broken-down relationship and stemming from an angry girlfriend seeking revenge on her womanising partner, Thornton Prince.

Jonno Clench.
Jonno Clench.

The story goes that one morning, after one of Mr Prince’s regular nightly escapades, the girlfriend allegedly doused his fried chicken with a heap of cayenne pepper and chilli powder.

However, this completely backfired on the girlfriend, as Mr Prince took a liking to his punishment and became obsessed with the chicken and the flavours it possessed.

After inquiring into the blend of ingredients, he remade the chicken many times and shared it with his friends. It became so popular that he then decided to open a fried chicken shack.

These days, Mr Prince’s fried chicken is still highly sought-after in Nashville and Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack has become a must-visit culinary destination for foodies.

Here’s a step-by-step process of how to create this dish at home.

 

Nashville hot chicken marinade

Ingredients

1.5kg chicken wings, breast or drums
1 Tbsp salt
1 cup buttermilk 
¼ cup pickle brine, such as jalapeno or gherkin
2 Tbsp tabasco sauce
1 egg

Flour

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder

Sauce

¼ cup lard
¼ cup butter
2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

Photo: Jonno Clench
Photo: Jonno Clench

Method

Mix chicken pieces with 1 Tbsp salt. Transfer chicken to a bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, whisk the buttermilk, pickle brine, tabasco sauce and egg together in a mixing bowl.

Pour this marinade over chicken and stir to ensure each piece is thoroughly coated.

Cover and let chicken marinate in refrigerator 2 to 4 hours.

Photo: Jonno Clench
Photo: Jonno Clench

Flour

Mix flour and salt together in a shallow flat dish. Remove chicken from marinade and blot with paper towels. Reserve marinade.

Toss chicken in flour until thoroughly coated. Return chicken to marinade, coating all sides; remove chicken from marinade, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl.

Coat the chicken once again in flour mixture. Place on a rack. Repeat with all chicken pieces.

Allow to sit out about 15 minutes to allow coating to dry out a bit.

Photo: Jonno Clench
Photo: Jonno Clench

Sauce

Place butter and lard in a large pot. Add cayenne pepper, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper.

Place over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until fats melt. Remove from heat; keep sauce warm.

Fill a deep-fryer or saucepan about a third of the way with vegetable oil. Heat oil to 170degC over medium-high heat.

Carefully place chicken into hot oil, skin side down.

Maintain an oil temperature of 170degC, adjusting  as needed. Fry until the chicken is cooked through: about 8-10 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a rack to drain.

Brush with the sauce on both sides and serve hot.

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