Ask A Chef: Hattie B’s Famous Hot Chicken Recipe

Recipe By:  John Lasater
hot chicken

Chef John Lasater of Hattie B’s shares his recipe for Hot Chicken.

IMG_6400_HH_MY17_34Q: While travelling through Nashville, Tennessee, I stopped at Hattie B’s for their Hot Chicken. I didn’t think you could pack that much heat into fried chicken and still have it taste so delicious! I’d kill for the recipe. — James, Winnipeg

A: Hattie B’s famous Hot Chicken is a must when visiting Nashville. Their menu includes spice levels ranging from “mild” and “medium” to “damn hot” and “shut the cluck up!” The key to their recipe is a double breading that makes a nice crispy skin, and using the spicy cooking oil to baste the chicken before serving.

Ingredients
  • 1 4 lb chicken
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce, preferably Louisiana-style
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying, about 10 cups
  • 1⁄2 cup lard
  • 1-3 tbsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp paprika
Directions
  1. Separate the chicken into thighs, drumsticks and breasts, and cut breasts in half (you should have 6 pieces). Combine Kosher salt and 1 tsp black pepper in large bowl. Add chicken pieces and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
  2. Whisk milk with eggs and hot sauce in large bowl. Set aside. Combine flour and 2 tsp sea salt in a separate bowl. Dip each chicken piece into flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in egg mixture then in flour mixture again, shaking off excess.
  3. Arrange wire rack on paper towel-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Heat oil and lard in 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy gauge pot to between 325°F-340°F.
  4. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, fry chicken for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally or until deep golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the deepest part reads 160°F. Smaller pieces may take less time. Remove to wire rack. Return oil to 325°F-340°F and repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
  5. Carefully ladle 1⁄2 cup frying oil into large, heat-safe bowl. Whisk in cayenne, brown sugar, garlic powder and paprika along with remaining salt and pepper. Baste hot chicken with spiced oil and serve immediately.

NOTE: This recipe calls for 1-3 tbsp cayenne pepper. Using 1 tbsp will make hot chicken, 2 tbsp will make very hot chicken and 3 tbsp will be over-the-top hot.


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Photographer:
Joseph Woodley
Source:
House & Home May 2017
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