Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches

I saw these somewhere – it might have been on a Hannah Dasher video, but if not, it’s probably safe to say I saw it on Tiktok. Tiktok is amazing – I’m always impressed at how much information cooks can get into a one minute video. The editing is excellent, also. Record the whole process and cut it down to one minute, but get across enough information that the techniques are shown and the recipe is there.

Youtube is nice, you can follow along, almost in real time, depending on the presenter, but Tiktok is a whole other level.

I think, when I saw the video of the Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, my eye was really caught by the oiled spices. I was pretty enthralled when I did it tonight, also. It bubbles up, the spices bloom, the aroma is amazing and the colour is instant.

I was, I must confess, quite nervous about the heat of these sandwiches, though. I like spicy, but I don’t enjoy painfully spicy, if that makes sense. A little burn but a lot of flavour is my ideal level, so I was hoping this was that. I was reassured that people were using Frank’s hot sauce, because that is my preferred hot sauce. I was a little intimidated by the cayenne, though. I find it’s often got a little more kick than I enjoy, so, while I used some cayenne, I didn’t use as much as some people do or would.

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts (mine still had the tender), cut into pieces of about equal size & thickness (you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs as well, you’ll just need about 2 per person)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk and 2 TB vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 3 TB Frank’s hot sauce

Mix the buttermilk and hot sauce together and submerge the chicken pieces for as long as you have time. Mine only marinated for about half an hour-they were good, but longer would have been better.

Cut up chicken, happily marinating.

Breading Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch (I used rice flour)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup pickle juice
  • ½ cup marinade from above

Mix the flour and cornstarch together with some salt and pepper (I used seasoned salt) in a shallow bowl.

There is seasoned salt & pepper in with the flour mixture

Mix the egg, pickle juice and marinate in another shallow bowl.

Buttermilk, hot sauce & egg

Chili Oil Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp cayenne (add more if you like more heat or if you don’t have the Buffalo ranch seasoning)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Frank’s Buffalo Ranch Seasoning (it’s a powdered seasoning)
  • ½ cup hot cooking oil

Put all the spices in a bowl big enough to hold the oil and at least 1 piece of chicken at a time.

The star of the show – the spices

When you are ready to cook your chicken, take the chicken out of the container you’re marinating them in and get that ½ cup of marinade in with the egg mixture (if you haven’t already).

Dip each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, and thoroughly coat it, then dip it in the egg mixture, then back to the flour mixture and press the flour into the chicken. Set each piece on plate.

These don’t look very exciting, but just you wait

While you are dipping, if you feel confident about it, put an inch or so of oil in a deep sided frying pan and set it on a burner on about medium heat to get up to temperature for frying. You can absolutely wait until your chicken is all dipped and waiting before you do this. Safety first.

Once you’ve dipped all your chicken and your oil is up to temperature (put a piece of flour in the oil – if it bubbles up, you’re good to go), place a single, uncrowded layer of chicken in the pan and cook for 4-1/2 minutes. Flip and cook for another 4-1/2 minutes on side two.

Looking a little more exciting.

Remove when done and put in another batch of chicken. Repeat until all your chicken is cooked.

Now the fun part. Get your bowl of spices and add ½ a cup of the hot cooking oil to it. BE CAREFUL!

My favourite part of the whole thing

Mix the spices in and grab your tongs (which you probably used to flip and maneuver your chicken while frying it). Grab a piece of chicken and dip it in the spice/oil mixture. Make sure you coat all sides and that you stir up the mixture because the spices will sink.

These are perfectly yummy just as they are – lovely & crispy, too

Do this to all the pieces of chicken. As I finished dipping mine, I placed the pieces on a clean plate to wait.

But this! Oh, this is the payload and these would be perfectly all right with no bread – just a salad or other side dish and winner, winner.

Get some fairly sturdy buns (brioche or ciabatta, which is what I used), put on some mayonnaise (helps cut that heat), add some finely shredded lettuce and some pickles. Apparently, the ideal pickle for this is bread & butter – I only have dill or watermelon rind in the house, so I went with dill cut into rounds. Pop your chicken pieces onto your sandwich and enjoy!

On a side note: no, the oil on the spices does not make your chicken oily. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know. There’s no film or oily feeling, either.

The oil coating also does not make the chicken soggy. It’s cooking magic – trust me. (It’s actually something to do with how hot the oil is – the chicken coming out of the cooking oil isn’t greasy if the temperature is hot enough and the chicken won’t get oily from the spiced oil because the oil is still cooking temperature hot.)

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