Nashville Hot Fried Chicken

Ingredients:
½ cup Bellisari's Barista Sauce
2-3½ 4-pound chickens, each cut into 10 pieces (breasts halved)
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. plus 4 teaspoons kosher salt
4 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
2 Tbsp. vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Texas Pete)
4 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil (for frying; about 10 cups)
6 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
White bread and sliced pickles (for serving)

Special equipment:
A deep-fry thermometer

Directions:
Toss chicken with black pepper and 2 Tbsp. salt in a large bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Whisk eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce in a large bowl. Whisk flour and remaining 4 tsp. salt in another large bowl. Fit a Dutch oven with thermometer; pour in oil to measure 2". Heat over medium-high heat until the thermometer registers 325°F. Pat chicken dry. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess, then dip in buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl. Dredge again in flour mixture and place on a baking sheet.

Working in four batches and returning oil to 325°F between batches, fry chicken, turning occasionally, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of pieces registers 160° for white meat and 165° for dark, 15-18 minutes. Transfer to a clean wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Let oil cool slightly.

Whisk cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder and paprika in a medium bowl; carefully whisk in 1 cup frying oil. Brush fried chicken with spicy oil. Drizzle with warm Bellisari’s Barista Sauce and serve with bread and pickles.

Do ahead: Chicken can be seasoned 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.


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