Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

Nashville hot chicken sandwich has been quite popular in LA these past years. Thanks to the popularity of Howlin Rays’ hot chicken, more and more shops have been popping up all over.  I came across the addicting nashville hot chicken sandwich by hearing about the long lines at Chinatown in LA. Curbing my curiosity, I got up early in the morning to line up for 2 hours at Howlin Rays. There was no expectation, but I  was not disappointed, this was one of the best fried chicken I have ever had. 

The Beauty of Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

Nashville hot chicken sandwich is like any other fried chicken, but also unique and better in so many ways. It has its own unique spicy taste that’s aided with a crispy outer breading. Its not like KFC fried chicken where you can taste the soft breading when you bite in. I’m lucky I live in a place like LA that has hot chicken all over the place now. To me, nashville hot chicken sandwich is like the street tacos of tacos;  other fried chickens are good as well, but like street tacos, the nashville type is just on another level. 

Raymond Yip makes a Nashville Hot Chicken that’s in line with what you could expect when getting a hot chicken sandwich. Although he’s merely making a hot chicken and not a sandwich, the recipe is nearly identical with an amazing taste. All you have to do is replace the bone-in chicken with a boneless chicken and add another piece of bread on top. For those who don’t have the chance, you can always make your own. They might not be like Howlin Rays, but they’ll be pretty close. He breaks it down in simple steps so anyone can follow along. The best part of his recipe is the double dipping process. Most people new to making fried chicken don’t know about the double dipping process that gives the chicken a thicker and juicier outside crunch. The fried chicken is then placed on a piece of white bread and topped of pickles. 

Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
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Raymond Yip's Nashville Hot Chicken

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 5 pieces boneless chicken
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper on raw chicken
  • 2 liters cooking oil
  • 2-4 pieces pickles

Dry Mix

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 tbs salt

Wet Mix

Sauce Mix

  • 2 tbs cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbs hot chili pepper
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbs garlic powder
  • 3/4 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup hot cooking oil

Instructions

Prepping and Coating

  • Do a dry brine by heavily seasoning both sides of the chicken thigh with salt and pepper and place in fridge for at least one hour.
  • Create separate containers for a dry and wet mix.
  • Dip one chicken in the wet mix first and shake away any excess.
  • Then place that same chicken into the dry mix and throughly coat in the flour mix.
  • Repeat steps to create a double layer by dipping the same piece of chicken into the wet mix first then into the dry mix.
  • Finish coating all pieces of chicken.

Frying

  • Fill a medium pot halfway with oil (enough to submerge chicken) and heat up to 350 F and until it bubbles
  • Cook each piece of chicken for 8 to 13 minutes until golden fried. Move around inside every few minutes to ensure its cooked evenl.

Finishing Touches

  • Combine all ingredients for the nashville hot sauce in a small bowl.
  • Mix together with the hot cooking oil.
  • Place each piece of fried chicken on a slice of bread and pour in the Nashville hot sauce on top.
  • Top off with pickles and another slice of bread.

The Essence of the Nashville Chicken Sandwich

What I like about this the most is how concentrated the nashville spicy flavor is in each bite. Adding hot oil to the sauce helps brings out the taste. Its coated throughout and the crispy breading only adds to it. You can enjoy the Nashville hot chicken can itself,  but including bread and pickles to it only enhances the experience. The white bread is able to coat up any excess sauce and like a burger, makes it feel like a complete meal (that empty feeling of eating a meal without any carbs). In addition, the pickles matches well with most fried chicken. Its because the sweet and sour juices of the pickles adds a refreshing touch to fried chicken. A subtle relief from all the spiciness.  Needless to say, this is one of my favorite kind of fried chicken sandwiches. 

As mentioned, Raymond uses bone-in chicken, but all you have to do is get boneless pieces of chicken here. Boneless pieces of chicken are best here. We’re going to do a dry brine by seasoning both sides with salt and pepper. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour.

Then have two separate containers – one for a dry mixture and another for wet. Combine all the ingredients and mix well.

Start off by dipping one piece of chicken into the wet mix first enough to coat but leave out any excess.

Then dip it into the dry mix. Repeat the wet mix and dry mix dipping once more. This creates a double layer for extra crunch.

Wait till the oil in the pot begins to bubble then placing each chicken in the pot to fry. Remember not to crowd the pot with too much chicken or it won’t cook optimally.

nashville hot chicken sandwich

Remove each chicken when it becomes golden brown or about 8 to 13 minutes. Shake off any excess but don’t dump the oil just yet.

Use the hot cooking oil to mix together to create the sauce to pour over the fried chicken.

Mix well together. Since the cooking oil is already hot, all the ingredients will dissolve much easier.

nashville hot chicken sandwich

Place the fried chicken on top of a piece of fried and pour the hot sauce on top. 

nashville hot chicken sandwich

Garnish with some pickles and place another piece of bread on top to complete your Nashville hot chicken sandwich.

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