Food And Football – Make A Delicious Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich While The Seahawks Face The Titans

For our game of the week here at Food and Football, we turn our attention to the Seattle Seahawks home opener versus the Tennessee Titans.

To properly understand this matchup, let’s look at what these two franchises did last week during their first games of the 2021 NFL season.

Seattle looked powerful in their resounding road victory over the Indianapolis Colts. On the flip side, Tennessee looked downright pedestrian in their at-home loss to the Arizona Cardinals. (As an aside, is there a better division than the NFC West this year, given how good all four teams looked last week?)

Seattle has more to lose in this game against the Titans, mainly because most people have higher expectations for the Seahawks this year. Nobody is expecting much from any of the teams in the Titans’ division, the AFC South, though you could argue that Tennessee has a golden opportunity to be the best team in their division and go to the playoffs. Therefore, a win at Seattle this weekend would give them the credibility to believe that such things are possible.

But let’s talk food! The Titans are based out of Nashville, one of the most delicious cities to eat your way through. Sure, Nashville has barbeque spots galore, but they also have their fried chicken brand, known as Nashville “hot” chicken.

The origin story of Nashville hot chicken is that a wife got sick of her husband’s philandering ways and thought she would teach him a lesson by dredging the fried chicken she made him for breakfast each day in cayenne pepper. Little did she know, not only did he love it, but he devoted the rest of his life to selling it to others. Hence, the rest of us get to enjoy this particularly spicy (and tasty!) concoction.

Now, if you go hunting it down in Nashville, your hot chicken will likely be served bone-in on top of a slice of bread.

Since this is a column about eating food in front of a football game, we have amended our recipe to reflect a sandwich. 

Here’s a great video tutorial on how to make a Nashville hot chicken sandwich. But the basic steps are this:

  • Get some boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Breasts are leaner, thighs are richer. Pick your poison.
  • If you like, brine your chicken in pickle juice, buttermilk, or yogurt.
  • From there, dredge your chicken in flour and buttermilk. If you like, dredge it twice for an extra-crispy outer layer. Make sure to make it spicy by adding your favorite hot pepper, either in powder or sauce form, to the flour, the buttermilk, or both.
  • Fry your chicken at 350 degrees until an internal temperature of 165 is reached.
  • If you want to be like the cool kids, make a “lacquer” by mixing more pepper powder with oil, and then brush it on your chicken after its fried, when you are making your sandwiches.
  • Build your sandwich with a toasted bun, and whichever condiments you choose. Mayonnaise and pickle slices are good choices.

Now, hot fried chicken sandwiches would most likely not fit into the rarefied diets of either Russell Wilson or Pete Carroll. But if Titans’ running back Derrick Henry starts running over Seattle’s formidable defense, then we should all be worried about what he might have had for breakfast. 

About Paul Redman 114 Articles
Paul Redman is a writer and chef in Seattle who grew up in the Midwest. His work has appeared in print and online, including San Francisco magazine, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Contrary. He eats too many chicken wings and cracks way too many dad jokes and food puns. Follow him on Twitter @predman.

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