No So Hot Nashville Hot Chicken
Recently I had two fried chicken dishes from two different local institutions (that will remain nameless) that were just underwhelming. Not bad, but they just didn’t live up to their potential. The first one was a Nashville hot chicken sandwich. It was made with a boneless, skinless, chicken breast which just seems wrong for Nashville hot chicken. I think that Nashville Hot chicken needs a bone in it, and therefore really doesn’t work in a sandwich. The spice level was a little weak, but I guess you if you are trying to appeal to a large crowd that is somewhat excusable. It was served with mayo based coleslaw in the sandwich. I am not a huge fan of coleslaw in general, and it makes for a messy sandwich.
Never Eat Soggy Waffles
The second dish was chicken and waffles. While the chicken was tasty and crispy, they used breaded white meat boneless strips which was just wrong. Fried chicken should be bone in, skin on, and and flour dredged. The waffle had good flavor, but got soggy instantly. They served it with a jalapeno maple syrup and a pareve honey “butter” that just seemed like an afterthought. For the maple syrup, it looked like they just added jarred pickled jalapenos to maple syrup right out of the bottle, and the flavors just clashed. The honey butter just tasted like low quality margarine with a little sweetness.
Making it Better With a Mash-up
After eating both of these dishes I knew I could do better. A little while ago I obtained a mini waffle maker, and decided it was going to stay pareve. This was my chance to take on these dishes, and put my own spin on them. I decided to combine and miniaturize them, because everything is cuter when it is smaller. Chicken wings worked perfectly for this application as they are small enough to pair with the mini waffle for an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre, and still provide that bone that adds so much flavor and interactivity that is crucial to the fried chicken eating experience.
If you don’t like heat you can leave off the Nashville sauce (although I don’t recommend it) or check out one of our other chicken wing recipes linked at the bottom of the post.
- 12 Chicken Wings
- 2 cups Nondairy Milk or Buttermilk
- 1 tbsp Louisiana Style Vinegar Based Hot Sauce Such as Crystal brand
- 2 Large Eggs Beaten
- 1½ Cup All Purpose Flour
- ½ Cup Corn Starch
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp Sweet Paprika
- 2 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
- Vegetable Oil For Frying
- 1 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tbsp Granulated Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Granulated Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
- ½ Cup Real Maple Syrup Don't you dare use "pancake" syrup
- ½ Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 Cup Honey
- 1 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
In a large bowl combine the flour, corn starch, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Wisk until thoroughly combined.
In another large bowl combine the nondairy milk or buttermilk, eggs, and the hot sauce. Whisk to combine.
Add a few tablespoons of the buttermilk to the flour mixture, distributing the buttermilk to create lumps of the flour mixture. This adds extra craggily bits to your chicken coating, for maximum crunch.
Dredge the chicken wings in the flour mixture, then dip in the milk mixture, and finally back in the flour mixture. Place on a wire rack.
Add 2 inches of frying oil to your skillet and place over medium heat. Bring your oil to 350°F. Fry your wings on both sides in 3 batches until golden brown.
Using a whisk, thoroughly combine the red pepper flakes, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, oil, and maple syrup in a bowl. Place in a saucepan over low heat , and stir to bring to the flavors together. Cook just until heated through.
In a small sauce pan combine the honey and red pepper flakes. Place over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until the honey is infused with the pepper flakes.
Brush the Nashville hot chicken sauce on the cooked wings, or dunk them in if you are feeling brave (You may need to double the recipe if you are going for the dunk). Serve on a waffle, or with a biscuit or cornbread, and drizzle with the hot honey.
A classic waffle recipe with the addition of brown sugar for a bit more sweetness, caramel notes, and color. Great for breakfast or chicken and waffles.
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
- 3 tbsp Granulated White Sugar
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 Cups (Nondairy) Milk
- 1 Stick Butter, Margarine, or Other Butter Substitute Melted in the microwave on low power
- 3 Large Eggs
- Cooking Spray
In a large bowl add the flour, salt, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, and baking soda and whisk to combine thoroughly.
In a separate bowl combine the (nondairy) milk with the eggs and whisk until the eggs are fully incorporated. Then whisk in the melted butter (or margarine/butter substitute).
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until you no longer see any dry flour. It is ok if there are still lumps. Allow the batter to rest for five minutes.
Spray your waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray and allow to get hot. Ladle the recommended amount of batter in to your waffle iron and cook until golden brown and delicious. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a single layer in a low oven.
Here are few more of my chicken recipes: