This Nashville hot chicken is to die for

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Bring some spice back into your life when you re-create the famous original Nashville "hot chicken" legs. Juicy chicken drumsticks marinate in a mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce, and receive a coating of spicy cayenne-infused sauce after deep frying to golden brown perfection. This meal or snack will satisfy all spice enthusiasts.
Although Nashville hot chicken can be made equally well using a chicken breast or thigh, the recipe that follows uses only the chicken legs, making it easier to eat by hand. Don't overcrowd the skillet when frying the chicken or the temperature of the oil will drop, and the crust will become soggy. This dish would delight guests at a sport night or game night, and you can alter the level of spice to your specifications, satisfying those who like it mild or those who want to kick it up a notch.
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Cooktop Cove
Nashville Hot Chicken Drumsticks
4 to 6
50 minutes
30 minutes
1 hour 20 minutes
2 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken legs (drumsticks)
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup red hot sauce
1 1/2 cups flour
3 cups vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons ground cayenne
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Put the chicken legs in a large zip-top bag.
Add the buttermilk and hot sauce, and mix together, massaging the chicken until it's fully coated with the mixture.
Place the bag in the refrigerator, and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the refrigerator.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, black pepper and 2 tablespoons of salt.
Use tongs to remove each chicken leg from the bag, shaking off any excess marinade.
Dip the chicken legs in the flour mixture, coating the chicken on all sides.
Shake off any excess flour mixture, transfer onto a tray, and allow chicken to sit for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is sitting, heat 3 cups of vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom pan, over medium-high heat. (Oil temp should reach 350 F).
Pick up each chicken leg and dip it again in the flour mixture, giving each a double coating.
Shake off excess flour, and carefully place each drumstick in the skillet, in a single layer.
Reduce heat to medium-low, and allow the chicken to fry until the crust is golden brown and the meat is cooked all the way through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Turn over the drumsticks halfway during cooking.
When chicken is done cooking, remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to drain.
While the chicken is frying, prepare the hot sauce. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, cayenne, garlic powder and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. Mix until fully blended.
Pour or brush the hot sauce directly onto the chicken once it is out of the skillet. The more sauce you use, the hotter the chicken will be.
Serve the chicken legs on individual plates or place them all on a large serving dish.
Make the chicken ever hotter by drizzling hot sauce on top right before serving (optional).
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