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CrazyFruits » WORLD NEWS AND SPORTS FROM SKY » Nashville's hot fried chicken

Nashville's hot fried chicken

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1OH Nashville's hot fried chicken on Sat 6 Apr 2013 - 3:10



Bolton Matthews fries chicken at Bolton's Spicy Chicken and Fish restaurant in Nashville, Tennesse.

Hot chicken — fried chicken with varied amounts of seasoning that make the heat level run from mild to extra hot. - AP photos

Keith Graham sprinkles hot seasoning on an order of chicken at Bolton's Spicy Chicken and Fish restaurant in Nashville - AP

Nashville's signature dish - hot fried chicken.
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AP:Memphis is known for its barbecue and Philly for its cheesesteaks, but how about Nashville and its hot chicken?
If you're not sure, you've never tried this fried chicken so fiery it will leave your mouth in shock. It's a flavour you don't soon forget.
Born as a cheap, flavourful fare for Nashville's working-class community, and offered late into the night for its partygoers, hot chicken has long been a staple in town. But its reputation has grown in recent years. Taylor Swift and B.o.B even featured one of the city's best-known hot chicken shops in a video they did together.
At heart, it's fried chicken that gets finished with a potent - and nearly always secret - blend of dry, peppery seasonings (paprika and cayenne are common, though that's just the start). But that oversimplifies things.
"I don't know," James McNew, hot chicken fan and bassist for New Jersey indie rock band Yo La Tengo, says of the recipe. "Some kind of combination of love and hate. I'm not sure of the measurements, whether it's half and half or not."
McNew and husband-wife bandmates Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, have been coming to Nashville for almost two decades. For the music, of course. And the chicken.
They sing its praises to anyone who will listen. They even named two songs in honour of their love for Prince's Hot Chicken Shack, which has been serving up searing hot chicken since sometime during the 1940s.
"It's something different," said André Prince Jeffries, second-generation owner of Prince's. "It's not a boring chicken. I mean, you wake up on this chicken. You're gonna talk about it."
And talk about it they do. The members of Yo La Tengo heard about hot chicken from another band that had already fallen for it. They visited the humble strip-mall home of Prince's in north Nashville, far from the trendy districts, and were immediately enchanted.
"It really was love at first sight," Kaplan said during a recent interview at Prince's. "Even before we tasted it. It was obviously unique."
Prince's is the most popular of Nashville's growing roster of hot-chicken restaurants. Over the years, it has moved several times and its owners have missed a few bills, but Jeffries, with the help of her daughter, niece, brother and cousins, has managed to keep it in her family.
As the story goes, it all began with Jeffries' great-uncle Thornton Prince, a bit of a man about town whose girlfriend had put up with enough and wanted a bit of spicy retribution. So she made him a special chicken for breakfast with a fiery kick.
word got around
"But he liked it, I'm sure after he kind of startled himself on it,'" Jeffries said. "He had her make some more, whatever stuff she put on it. And word got around. People started coming out to the house for chicken. My great-uncle started it, but of course I give credit to his lady friend," Jeffries said.
Sixty-odd years later, the family will be honoured in May with a prestigious James Beard Foundation America's Classics Award. It's a proud moment for Jeffries, but one born out of a simple idea.
"I just wanted something to stay in the family," she said. "Mom and pop places, they are phasing out. Big business is taking over, and so I think there's very few mom and pop places open that's been going for as long as we have. That was my goal. But it's nothing that I've done. I'm standing on the shoulders of somebody else."
Many of Nashville's hot-chicken restaurants are family run. Like Prince's, the chicken recipe at Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish - the restaurant that made the appearance in the B.o.B Swift video for Both of Us - has been handed down from one generation to the next.

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