Recently, someone mentioned a “hot chicken” place had opened in Krog Street Market and I was on it like, well, hot sauce on chicken. I couldn’t work out the right time to get to Richard’s Southern Fried, which is from chef Todd Richards (executive chef at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails), for a while, but today the stars aligned for us to be in the Old 4th Ward around lunch and we found a parking space.
Hot chicken may be my favorite dish in the world. Maybe it’s because I always have to drive to Nashville to get it, but I’m always on the prowl for some fowl near home. The chicken comes in three heat levels (from their website):
- Classic is well-seasoned without heat – a delicious option for anyone!
- Hot introduces you to the slow-burn heat that is the hallmark of the Richards’ Southern Fried spice mix.
- Richards’ Hot is an experience that everyone should try – at least once – thanks to the masterful balance of heat and flavor, with neither dominating the other
Today’s waffle was pumpkin, so that set the mood for fall. She really enjoyed the waffle and ordered her chicken “Hot”, which was an overstatement. It was slightly spicy, but with no serious burn. To get their chicken the way the want, they marinate the chicken in a spiced brine for 24-48 hours (depending on the size of the bird), then air dried, before pressure-frying it – to get a crispy, crunchy skin that is not heavy. I ordered a breast and wing, “Richard’s hot”, with a side of mac-n-cheese.
This was good (kind of) hot chicken, but the highest heat level here only hits medium at a good Nashville hot chicken place. The skin was crisp and the chicken underneath was moist. The corn had jalapenos in it and had almost as much heat as the chicken. The corn muffin, as opposed to traditional white bread, was a pleasant surprise and just slightly sweet.
I enjoyed it and will go back. Probably for the chicken sandwich, topped with pimento cheese and chow-chow. I could go for one of those right now, now that I mention it…