You might know Carla Hall from Bravo’s Top Chef or The Chew on ABC, but until now it wasa challenge to get a taste of what she makes. After raising more than $250,000 through crowdsourcing last fall, however, Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen will launch in Manhattan in 2015. Featuring Nashville hot chicken straight outta Hall’s hometown (along with traditional Southern sides), the spot is sure to be jumpin’. In the meantime, savor some of her signature flavor for yourself with the recipe here.
Carla Hall’s Super-Fast Fried Chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 9)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 garlic cloves, minced and smashed to a paste
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup peanut oil, plus more as needed
1. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over the chicken, then toss in vinegar.
2. Make a paste with the garlic, chili flakes and salt. Rub the paste onto the chicken. Let sit for 20 minutes.
3. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, paprika, cayenne, and table salt. Add the chicken in batches and shake well until all the pieces are evenly coated. If you have time, let the pieces sit on a rack for 15 minutes.
4. Heat the oil in a cast iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat. The oil’s ready when a little flour dropped in bubbles and sizzles steadily.
5. Shake excess flour off a piece of chicken, then carefully place the chicken in the oil, skin side down. Repeat, adding just a few more pieces to the pan. You don’t want to crowd the pan. Keep adjusting the heat to keep a steady sizzle. Cover and cook until browned, about 7 minutes, then carefully turn each piece over. Cover and cook until browned and the meat is cooked through, about 8 minutes more.
6. Crumple up some paper towels and drain the chicken on them. Repeat with the remaining chicken, replenishing and reheating the oil between batches.
Photographed by Tristan Mosser