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Hot Chicken Bites

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Hot Chicken Bites
  • Prep Time 15 min
  • Total Time 40 min
  • Servings 4
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Hot Chicken Bites

A bite-sized take on the popular Nashville hot chicken.

Ingredients

2
pounds boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes
1
cup milk
2
large eggs
1
tablespoon hot sauce
2
cups all-purpose flour
2
teaspoons kosher salt
2
teaspoons chili powder
2
teaspoons garlic powder
2
quarts vegetable oil, for frying
White bread, for serving
Pickles, for serving

Chili oil:

1/2
cup neutral oil (I like sunflower)
2
tablespoons cayenne pepper
1
tablespoon sugar
1
teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper

Directions

  • 1 Cube chicken into 1-inch cubes. Trim off any large pieces of fat.
  • 2 In a medium bowl, whisk together milk with eggs and hot sauce. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, chili powder and garlic powder.
  • 3 Transfer chicken to milk mixture and coat. Then transfer to flour mixture and coat well. I recommend coating all the chicken pieces before you start frying.
  • 4 Heat frying oil to 350º F. Fry chicken bites for about 6-7 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and crust is nice and crispy. When chicken is fried perfectly, remove it and let the bites drain on a wire rack.
  • 5 Meanwhile, stir together chili oil ingredients in a small pan over low heat. Keep warm, but don’t get it too hot or you’ll burn the spices.
  • 6 When chicken is fried, pour chili oil over the bites. Really coat them well.
  • 7 Serve hot chicken bites on white bread with pickle slices.
See Step By Step

Step By Step  

Can you handle the heat?

As prepared by Macheesmo,

The word on the street is that Nashville hot chicken started as a prank.

The goal was to make the fried chicken so hot that it was not only inedible, but painful. Well, it turns out that really hot is really delicious!

The first time I had Nashville hot chicken I waited an hour in a strip mall and ordered it as hot as I could get it. It was definitely hot, but I loved it!

Instead of frying a whole chicken though, I decided to make a bite-sized version. This makes it a fun appetizer, but you do have to be careful with the heat. There’s more surface area with the bite-sized version so it can actually end uphotter than if you were frying a larger piece of chicken.

To start these, cube your chicken into 1-inch chunks and season them with a little salt and pepper.

southern hot popcorn chicken

 

Then you need to bread it for frying. While there is some spice in the breading, this actually isn’t where most of the spice in the recipe comes from. The goal here is just to get a crispy crust and some good base flavors.

southern hot popcorn chicken

 

Dunk the chicken bites in the milk mixture and then coat them well with the flour. I recommend doing all of the bites before you start frying.

Fry the bites at 350ºF in a neutral oil. They should only need 6-7 minutes to fry since they’re on the small side. It’s always a good idea to test one to make sure they are cooked through.

southern hot popcorn chicken

 

Before the chicken fries (or while it’s frying, if you’re a good multitasker), you need to make the real star of the recipe: the chili oil. This is the part of the recipe that will look like a mistake when you read it. Yes… it’s two TABLESPOONS of cayenne pepper. That’s spicy!

Combine that with a neutral oil and all the other ingredients in a small pan over low heat.

southern hot popcorn chicken

 

You want this to be hot, but not too hot or you’ll burn the spices. So just keep it on low heat; it’ll warm slowly.

southern hot popcorn chicken

 

This was my finished chili oil—it even smelled spicy!

southern hot popcorn chicken

 

When the chicken comes out of the fryer, let the pieces drain on wire racks and then drizzle them with the chili oil.

This step is where you can control the heat. I would make the chili oil full-strength. If you just want a little heat, you can drizzle a tinier amount of oil on the chicken bites.

I went big and used almost all of the chili oil for my bites. I was sweatin’!

southern hot popcorn chicken

 

Serve the chicken bites on white bread and with a big mound of pickles to help kill the heat a bit.

 

Nick thinks this hot chicken is no prank! Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon profile.

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Nutrition Information 
No nutrition information available for this recipe
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