PHOTO BY R.J. HINKLE.

Kentucky Hot Chicken

Executive chef John Williams of the Bluegrass Yacht & Country Club in Hendersonville, Tenn., shares his take on trendy “hot chicken” with this crispy fried bird that has been brined for extra juiciness and doused in a cayenne-infused glaze. He kicks it up another notch with his ginger-iced Maker’s Base Burner.

2 cups white vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup premium hot sauce
peanut oil, for frying
Chicken Glaze (recipe follows)
bread-and-butter pickles

To make the brine, combine vinegars with water, salt, mustard seeds, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a large stockpot. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add dill, shallots, garlic, and chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Combine flour and the other dry ingredients in a large bowl or a shallow pan and mix well. In a second large bowl or shallow pan, combine buttermilk and hot sauce.

Remove chicken from brine. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels. Dip chicken in the seasoned flour to coat, then in the buttermilk mixture, and then in the flour again. Shake off excess flour and place chicken on a rack.

To fry the chicken, fill a Dutch oven or a large, deep-sided cast-iron skillet with 2 inches of oil. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the oil to 350 degrees. Fry 3 or 4 pieces at a time for 8 minutes per side. When the chicken is golden brown and registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, remove it to a rack set over a paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain.

Let the chicken cool for 15 minutes. While reheating the Chicken Glaze, plate the chicken. Pour the warm glaze over the chicken, fully covering each piece. Serve immediately with sliced pickles.

Yield: 6 servings

CHICKEN GLAZE

3/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons ketchup
4 tablespoons premium
hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer on medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened. Stir occasionally. Cool to room temperature and then place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

CHEF’S PAIRING: Maker’s Base Burner

Ginger ice cubes (recipe follows)
3 ounces Maker’s Mark bourbon
2 ounces soda water
2 slices fresh ripe peach

Place ginger ice cubes in a highball glass and add bourbon. Top off with soda water and garnish with peach slices.

Yield: 1 serving

GINGER ICE CUBES

8 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup water

Puree ginger with the water. Strain the liquid and pour the ginger mixture into a mini ice cube tray. Freeze and serve.

WHAT TO READ NEXT

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This