Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Sixteen – Tennessee – Nashville Hot Chicken and Tennessee Peach Pudding

Welcome to week 16 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome the state of Tennessee, who joined the union on June 1st, 1796.

What is now Tennessee was initially part of North Carolina, and later part of the Southwest Territory. It was the last state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy at the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War in 1861. Occupied by Union forces from 1862, it was the first state to be readmitted to the Union at the end of the war.

More interesting, at least to me, is the importance that this state has played on American music. The roots of rockabilly, blues, country and even rock ‘n roll can be found in its two major cities, Memphis and Nashville. It is home to Graceland, Dollywood and the Grand Ole Opry. For its size, it packs a huge musical punch!

But we are exploring food here! So off I went in search of what dishes make this state stand out. And what I found was that they love Hot Chicken. Not in the sense of heat, but spice. It is generally accepted that the originator of hot chicken is the family of Andre Prince Jeffries, owner of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville. Jeffries says the development of hot chicken was an accident. Her great-uncle Thornton was purportedly a womanizer, and after a particularly late night out, his girlfriend at the time cooked him a fried chicken breakfast with extra pepper as revenge. Thornton liked it so much that by the mid-1930s, he and his brothers had created their own recipe and the rest they say, is history.

The dish is made by brining chicken in a hot sauce brine, then frying it. And then a hot cayenne pepper oil is brushed on to give it real heat. It is spicy, I will give you that. I cooked mine in my new deep fryer, and since this is the first time I have ever fried chicken, I would say that I need to work on it more than the recipe. I think I over cooked the chicken a bit, but it was still crispy coated and I generally liked it. I can’t say that I loved it though. Perhaps if I ever make it to Nashville, I will give theirs a try. The recipe is below.

And of course, it seems that I can’t do just one recipe from a state, so I also decided to try another one! I stumbled upon a dessert recipe that calls itself Tennessee Peach Pudding. I searched high and low to try to determine its origin, but found nothing more than that it appeared under that name in a magazine, with no explanation as to why it was called that. Nonetheless, I decided it looked yummy and gave it a try. I would describe this as a peach cobbler that has been “gooey-ed”. After making the batter with the fruit, you then make a sort of simple syrup and pour that over everything before baking. The magic of the oven raises the batter to the top and forms a crust and the peaches get all soft and pudding like. Since peaches are not in season, I used frozen ones and they worked beautifully. I give this one an A+, and I don’t care if I ever find out why its named after Tennessee. I just know that it was simple and really delicious!

50 States of New Recipe Tuesday - Tennessee
Nashville Hot Chicken and Tennessee Peach Pudding

Here are the two recipes:

Tennessee Hot Chicken (adapted from Epicurious)

BRINE

2 quarts water
1/2 cup hot sauce
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 (3 1/2-to 4-pound) whole chicken, quartered

COATING

3 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon pepper

Preparation

Whisk water, hot sauce, salt, and sugar in large bowl until salt and sugar dissolve. Add chicken and refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add cayenne, paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, garlic powder, and sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to small bowl.

IMG_1506
Spicy oil

Remove chicken from refrigerator and pour off brine. Combine flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper in large bowl. Dredge chicken pieces 2 at a time in flour mixture. Shake excess flour from chicken and transfer to wire rack. (Do not discard seasoned flour)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat remaining oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees (or use a deep fryer). Return chicken pieces to flour mixture and turn to coat. Fry half of chicken, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 300 and 325 degrees, until deep golden brown and white meat registers 160 degrees (175 degrees for dark meat), 20 to 25 minutes. Drain chicken on clean wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Bring oil back to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken.

Stir spicy oil mixture to recombine and brush over both sides of chicken.

Serve on white bread with pickles.

50 States of New Recipe Tuesday - Tenessee
Nashville Hot Chicken

 

Tennessee Peach Pudding (adapted from Taste of Home)

Filling:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup milk
3 cups sliced, peeled fresh or frozen peaches

Topping:
1 ½ cups water
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter
¼ tsp nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the milk until just combined. Fold in the peaches. Spread in a greased 8 inch pan.

IMG_1499
Peach batter

In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugars, butter, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugars are dissolved.

Pour over the top of the peach mixture.

IMG_1505
The whole dish will look very wet. Don’t worry, the magic happens in the oven!

Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until filling is bubbling and a toothpick inserted in the topping comes out clean. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream and/or ice cream.

IMG_0943

Tennessee Peach Pudding

Enjoy! See you next week in Ohio!

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