Tuesday, March 18, 2014

NY Times: 'Brooklyn Provides the Secret to Nashville-Style Hot Chicken'

Posted By on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Bwahaha!

Really, New York Times? You think you've given away the secret to Nashville-style hot chicken? I'm guessing André Prince Jeffries of Prince's Hot Chicken Shack might have a thing or two to say. Not to mention the exclusive recipe Bites passed along.

Now, I've never had chicken from Peaches HotHouse, and I've heard it's quite good. But still.

Do we cut the, ahem, paper of record some slack for inserting the word "style" in there? I guess that's kind of the food writer's equivalent of the word "alleged" in an investigative story. Sort of gets you off the hook. I can just hear the reporter on the phone with Jeffries now: "No, ma'am, we didn't say, 'the secret to Nashville hot chicken.' We said, 'the secret to Nashville-style hot chicken.' "

Also, how about this piece of advice from the Times story: "And when they say extra hot — well, you’ve been warned. Have a handkerchief and an ice-cold beer ready, then pick up a drumstick and take a bite."

Any, um, seasoned Nashville hot-chicken eater knows you stay away from anything carbonated. At least, if said chicken is genuinely hot. Kay West offered the definitive hot-chicken eating guide nearly 18 years ago, for crying out loud (which is what some of us do after eating Prince's extra-hot):

1. Be careful what you wear. I dropped a sliver of chicken skin on my nice black-and-white-checked summer frock. Within seconds, a red, greasy stain the size of Rhode Island was spreading across my lap.

2. Be careful what you drink. According to Shelley Davis, it’s best to stay away from the carbonated beverages, because “the fizz will kick up that heat again, and you might explode.” Try lemonade instead.

3. Wash your hands thoroughly after eating. If any speck of spice gets in your eye, it could render you sightless.

4. If you must travel any distance by car, train or plane after eating Prince’s Hot Chicken, start the trip immediately after finishing the chicken. Otherwise, wait 24 hours.

5. Don’t eat hot chicken and drive at the same time.

Also, anyone who's stood at Prince's order window and had a chance to peer into the kitchen — WARNING: this can put you on the receiving end of a major evil eye — knows there's a lot more going on than could be reproduced in Peaches' recipe. I mean, sure, I can throw in a bunch of ghost pepper and make it hot as hell, but it wouldn't be Prince's.

Furthermore, I'm guessing Prince's will never be owned by a restaurant group that describes it as "an urban 'country cafe.' " Just sayin'.

C'mon, folks! Grab your pitchforks — well, toothpicks, anyway — put some pickle slices and white bread on 'em, and let's head east!

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