Nashville-Style Hot Chicken Sandwich

March 19, 2018


Author Notes: This was inspired by a visit to Nashville, when I ate at Hattie B's and wept with joy (and, okay, cayenne). Hot chicken is fried chicken, re-dipped in fry oil that has been very generously spiced. I adapted this method from the Hattie B's recipe on the Food Network website. And to tame the signature burn, I turned it into a sandwich, with a squishy bun, sweet pickles, iceberg lettuce, and lots of mayo. Emma Laperruque

Makes: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

Fried chicken

  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ground cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sandwich

  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Mayonnaise
  • 4 soft sesame seed buns
  • Bread-and-butter pickle chips
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Add a scant 1/2 inch of peanut oil to a cast-iron skillet. Set that over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, set up your dredging station: flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a shallow bowl; buttermilk, hot sauce, egg, and a pinch of salt in another shallow bowl. Whisk each mixture with a fork until well combined.
  2. Bread the chicken thighs: First, season the chicken with salt. Now, dredge in the dry mixture, then dunk in the buttermilk, then back into the dry. Transfer to a plate to hang out while the oil reaches temperature—figure 360° F to 375° F. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a piece of flour mixture into the pan. It should instantly sizzle but not burn.
  3. When the oil is hot, gingerly add the breaded chicken thighs. (If there isn’t enough space for all of them, do this in batches—overcrowding is not worth it!) Fry for about 4 1/2 minutes per side. Sprinkle with salt when done.
  4. While they’re frying, combine the cayenne, brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper in a heatproof bowl. When you’re done frying the chicken, add about 1/2 cup hot frying oil to the bowl with the spices and whisk until smooth. Dunk the fried chicken in the spiced oil. (If it gets too thick at any point, just thin out with a little more hot oil.)
  5. Build the sandwiches! Toss the lettuce with a little mayo and a pinch of salt. Slather a bottom bun half with mayo, then layer with pickles. Top with chicken, then lettuce. Slather a top bun half with more mayo, then close the sandwich. Repeat. Eat immediately.

More Great Recipes:
Sandwich|American|Lettuce|Paprika|Chicken|Buttermilk|Chicken Thigh|Pickle|Cast Iron|Fry

Reviews (7) Questions (0)

7 Reviews

knittingbaker May 3, 2018
Thanks for the fantastic recipe! It's such a crowd pleaser. I made broccoli slaw and chipotle hot sauce for sandwich fixings; they added the perfect amount of crunch and additional spice. I'll be making this again!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. May 3, 2018
Oo love a broc slaw!
 
Hana A. March 26, 2018
What a crowd-pleaser! So, so good, and you can personalize the heat level to everyone's preference in the last step (coating in spiced fry oil). Soft seeded bun with a generous slather of mayo is key! Don't let the frying aspect intimidate you: The shallow fry makes quick, clean work out of the whole ordeal. YUM. Thanks, Emma!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. May 3, 2018
Yay, Hana!
 
gandalf March 21, 2018
(1) What is the approximate weight of the 4 boneless chicken thighs? <br /><br />(2) Can other boneless chicken parts be used? (I'm thinking specifically of chicken breasts.)
 
Author Comment
Emma L. March 21, 2018
Hi gandalf! The weights vary: Ideally, each thigh would be 3 to 4 ounces. And you can totally substitute boneless, skillet chicken breasts. I'd pound them slightly, so they're thinner and more manageable to cook, and adjust the cook time accordingly.
 
gandalf March 21, 2018
Thanks!