Ticket to Ride CookbookAll aboard! We’re going to our next destination.

How was Washington D.C.? Did you enjoy those delectable Half-Smoke Sausage Bites? I bet they were absolutely delicious. Now, get settled and get your Destination Tickets ready, we’re heading to Nashville! As part of our sneak peek series to the Ticket to Ride™ The Official Cookbook, we’re loading the train and heading South! So, gather your ingredients, don your chef’s hat, and get ready to turn up the heat in your kitchen as we make this Southern classic… Hot Chicken!

Brace yourself for a fiery adventure with this Nashville Hot Chicken recipe from Ticket to Ride™ The Official Cookbook!

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Hot Chicken from— Ticket to Ride™ The Official Cookbook

Nashville’s best-known poultry is sweet, spicy, crispy, and juicy. After the chicken is fried to a perfect golden brown, it’s slathered in a coating made from leftover frying oil, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and brown sugar. This combo of sweet and spicy ingredients is sure to make things steamy as your route takes you through Tennessee.

Makes: 4 servings | Active time: 40 minutes | Total time: 2 hours 40 minutes


1½ cups dill pickle juice
8 or so bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (thighs, breasts, legs, wings)
2 cups flour
¼ cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons Creole seasoning
1½ cups buttermilk
⅓ cup Southern-style hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot
2 quarts neutral oil, such as peanut or vegetable
⅓ cup ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt


1. Pour the pickle juice into a large ziplock bag. Add the chicken pieces and let them sit in the brine in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.

2. Set out two shallow dishes. In the first, mix together the flour, cornstarch, and Creole seasoning. In the second, pour the buttermilk and hot sauce.

3. Dunk each chicken piece into the flour mixture, then the buttermilk mixture, then back in the flour mixture. Place the breaded pieces on a wire rack set on a baking sheet.

4. Pour the oil into a large pot—it should come about a third to halfway up the pot sides—and heat over high heat until the oil reaches 350°F. (To check the temperature, use a cooking thermometer dipped into the oil or clipped to the side of the pot.)

5. Use tongs to carefully place half the chicken pieces in the oil. Fry for 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces (small thighs will cook faster than large breasts). Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces, then turn off the heat.

6. To make the spicy oil for the chicken, transfer at least a cup of the used cooking oil into a heatproof bowl. Add the cayenne pepper, paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt, then mix everything together. Use a brush to coat the cooked chicken pieces with the spicy oil.