holeman & finch nashville hot chicken

September 27, 2011 · 3 comments

in atlanta, dining out

It was announced that Holeman & Finch would be serving Nashville style hot fried chicken for the first time yesterday, possibly starting a Monday tradition at the popular watering hole.

To be candid, I’ve never had true Nashville hot chicken, mostly famously vended by Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. (Image below by Bruce Bilmes via RoadFood.com)

However, my friend Rowdy has created a Sichuan variation of fried chicken playing off the Nashville hot method, which includes an insane amount of cayenne. I’ve since attempted to replicate it in my own kitchen on multiple occasions, so I know a thing or two about chicken that tears apart one’s insides, in a good way. (One of my attempts photographed below)

After a wine/sports (they go together, right?) get-together last night, Rowdy decided on the way home that some research was in order. We called in four orders of hot chicken, each including one thigh, pickles, and white bread, for $8.

Unfortunately the person taking our order wasn’t aware they were out of all but one thigh, so they quickly got to work on some wings as a substitution. The thigh is clearly the best part on the bird, but the wings would still give us a chance to sample the burn. The photos below are the best I could do in my kitchen at 12:30AM.

Quick analysis:

Color: good, maybe go for a bit more orange-ish cayenne
Grease level: high; messy, but I rate that a positive
Heat: more heat than expected, I had persistent lip burn for thirty minutes; maybe not spicy enough for extreme hot heads, but hot enough to inspire a few dares with many I think
Chicken flavor: Tasted like chicken wings.
Seasoning: They used sugar in an attempt to balance the heat, and I think this was a big mistake. The chicken was way too sweet. In addition, the sugar added an unpleasant crunch to the otherwise spot-on texture of the chicken. 

This chicken isn’t about balance, you want an intense shot of heat, and if it’s unbalanced that’s OK. I hope the sugar is removed from the seasoning.

If they want a way to offer some balance, Rowdy likes pairings his crazy hot chicken with ice cream.

How cool would it be if they provided a single scoop of vanilla ice cream with each order and said, “you’re gonna need this”. That might make the $8 for a single chicken thigh easier to swallow.

  • Shawn

    Great news that the Hot Chicken movement is getting respect in Atlanta!  I was back in Nashville visiting some buddies a few months ago and we decided to do a Hot Chicken tour of Nashville.  We got chicken from Princes, Bolton’s, and Pepper Fire (our favorite) and took it back to my buddies place for a Hot Chicken feast.  Here’s a crappy iPhone photo of the spread:  http://yfrog.com/ki11bxpj

    The chicken was delicious but caused me some serious pain.

  • http://www.eatitatlanta.com jimmy

    Wow, that does look like some serious hurtin’! Nice work!!

  • Pingback: A few more HF photos… | Eat It, Atlanta()

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