Our take on the Nashville specialty relies on spicy paprika and hot sauce for its fiery kick. Tame the heat with sweetened pickles sandwiched between thick slices of crispy toast and a simple, lightly dressed coleslaw on the side.

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Ingredients

Coleslaw
Hot Chicken Sauce
Sandwich

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Coleslaw: Whisk together mayonnaise, Dijon, and vinegar. Pour over cabbage and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Coleslaw will keep in the refrigerator, covered, up to 3 days.

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  • Hot Chicken Sauce: Stir together Frank's RedHot sauce, melted unsalted butter, hot paprika, and brown sugar.

  • Sandwich: Remove oyster from chicken thigh and set aside. Working one at a time, pound each thigh between two pieces of plastic to an even 1/8-inch thickness. Let sit, covered with plastic, at room temperature while preparing remaining ingredients, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fill a medium heavy pot, preferably cast-iron, about halfway with oil. Heat oil over medium-high to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, whisk together buttermilk and Old Bay or hot sauce in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. In a shallow dish, season 1 cup flour with salt and pepper; whisk to combine. In a separate shallow dish, season remaining 1 1/2 cups flour with baking soda, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Add 1/3 cup buttermilk mixture and stir together to create ragged clumps. Working with two pieces at a time, dredge chicken in plain flour mixture, then buttermilk mixture. Let excess drip off, then dip in clumpy flour mixture, pressing firmly to adhere and making sure chicken is completely coated. If wet spots are visible, press in more coating.

  • Fry until golden brown and cooked through, adjusting heat as needed to keep oil between 360 and 380 degrees, about 3 minutes. Drain on a rimmed baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Repeat with remaining chicken. To serve, lightly butter both sides of roll and place in the oven to lightly toast. Brush chicken with hot chicken sauce, then place on white or Texas toast with pickles and coleslaw.

Cook's Notes

The Secret to Perfectly Crispy Fried Chicken
Adding a small amount of liquid to half the dry mixture will create craggy pieces that cling to the chicken and fry up extra crispy. Also important for crisp, not soggy chicken: bring ingredients to room temperature at least 30 minutes before cooking to keep the oil temperature from dropping too much.

Bonus Fried Chicken Snack
After frying chicken thighs, toss the removed oysters (the small tender piece of meat that hangs from the inside of each thigh) in remaining flour and buttermilk mixtures and fry until golden and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Serve as a side snack.

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