Lunch / Dinner
Nashville Hot Fried Hens
Elevate classic fried chicken by using game hens in a Tennessee favorite — Nashville Hot Fried Hens. To tenderize the meat, first marinate the game hens in a mixture of buttermilk and Tabasco. Then coat the marinated pieces in seasoned flour to add flavor and a crispy crust. Once fried, drizzle the chicken with the sweet and spicy sauce — it’s the cat’s meow! From the marinade to the seasonings to the sauce, the result is a chorus of flavor.
FOR THE CHICKEN, WHISK:
FOR THE HONEY HOT SAUCE, WHISK:
Good To Know
Rock Cornish game hens, despite their name, are not game hens at all, but young, immature chickens, four to six weeks old. Bred to have small bones and meatier breasts, they’re tender, delicious, and work great with many cooking methods.
For the chicken, whisk together buttermilk, Tabasco, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
Add hen pieces, tossing to coat; marinate at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
Combine flour, paprika, garlic powder, and 1 Tbsp. salt in a shallow dish. Remove hen pieces from marinade, allowing excess to drip off; dredge in seasoned flour.
Heat oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high to 360°.
Add hen pieces, skin sides down, reduce heat to medium, and fry until skin is brown and crispy, 3–4 minutes. Flip hen pieces, reduce heat to medium-low, and fry until a thermometer inserted into the pieces registers 165°, 6–10 minutes more. Transfer fried game hens to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.
For the honey hot sauce, whisk together melted butter, Tabasco sauce, and honey; season with kosher salt.
Serve fried game hens on Texas toast and drizzle with honey hot sauce.
To remove the backbone from the game hens, use kitchen shears to cut along each side of it.
Cutting through the breastbone takes some muscle, but a large, sharp knife helps ease the task.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 65g 100%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 315mg 105%
Sodium 2058mg 85%
Carbs 14g 4%
Fiber 1g 4%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.