Nashville Hot Chicken Legs

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nashville hot chicken legs

Recipe by Matt and Ted Lee, authors of The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern

"A 3 1/2-pound chicken is the perfect size. Any larger and it won’t cook through by the time the skin is golden. If that happens, transfer it to a 300° oven to finish." – Matt and Ted Lee

  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 to 2 1/2 lbs. chicken legs
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable oil (or 2 lbs. lard), plus 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (or melted lard), for hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp. ground cayenne
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • White bread
  • Dill pickle slices

Preparation

1. In a resealable plastic bag, soak the chicken legs in the buttermilk for 30 minutes (or up to 12 hours). In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper.

2. Remove the chicken pieces and coat them evenly with the flour mixture; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and let stand for 15 minutes. Coat the chicken again in the flour mixture.

3. Meanwhile, in an extra-large, heavy skillet, heat 3 cups oil to 350°. Carefully add the chicken to the pan and partially cover. Lower the heat to medium-low and fry the chicken, turning occasionally, until the crust is gold-brown and the meat is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. (Lower the temperature if the chicken is browning too quickly.) Transfer to paper towels to drain.

4. Meanwhile, stir together remaining oil or melted lard, cayenne, garlic powder and kosher salt. Brush the mixture onto the chicken as it emerges from the skillet. Serve hot with white bread and dill pickle slices.

Try our Classic Fried Chicken