Nashville Hot Chicken Style Fried Quail and Waffles

Prep:

Cook:

Serves: 5-7

Printer Friendly Recipe By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes

Unless you have been eating under a rock for the past year or two, you have probably heard about Nashville Hot Chicken. Stretching far beyond its Tennessee home place, hot chicken is taking the country by storm. One of the originals, and still one of the best, is Hattie B’s on 19th Avenue in downtown Nashville. This recipe is loosely based on Hattie's.

Try a couple of whole quail for a full entree.

The secret to Hattie B’s chicken is the spicy coating. The original recipe calls for mixing three tablespoons of cayenne pepper into the hot lard that coats the fried bird. I recommend starting out with one tablespoon if you have folks unaccustomed to high heat levels. Another change from the original recipe is the buttermilk soak instead of a dry brine. The quail are a little more delicate than chicken, and the buttermilk both adds a touch of flavor and prevents the meat from drying out as the quail fry.

Try a breast on a quarter of a waffle for a crowd pleasing appetizer.

You might have noticed that I said hot lard. It might sound odd, but it really does pack the flavor. Try heating it in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. Mix the seasonings in and immediately drizzle the hot oil over the fried quail. The hot oil will coat every inch of the crust, making the quail just spicy enough to make you remember it.

Try whole quail on a waffle or two for an entrée, or place a breast on a waffle quarter for a rib-sticking appetizer or Superbowl snack Give the spicy quail a drizzle of honey or real maple syrup over the quail to counter the heat from the cayenne pepper for a balanced flavor.

If you don’t want to make your own waffles, there are several usable frozen varieties available that aren’t bad. Around here, we turn to our daughter Michaela. She has a recipe that turns out a mean waffle and I never pass up a chance at them.

 

Ingredients

The soak

3 cups of buttermilk

3 tablespoons hot sauce

 

The dredge

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

 

The Spicy coating

½ cup melted lard

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon garlic powder

 


Cooking Instructions

Mix the hot sauce into the buttermilk and add the quail. Marinate, refrigerated, for four to eight hours. Remove the quail from the buttermilk, leaving the meat coated with the soak. Drop the quail into the flour dredge and toss to coat.

After marinating in buttermilk, toss the quail gently in seasoned flour.

Fry the quail for six to 10 minutes in a cast iron skillet in one-half inch of vegetable oil or lard, turning two or three times to evenly brown. As each batch is finished, transfer the quail to a glass bowl. Once all of the quail are finished frying, drizzle over the spicy coating and toss gently.

Fry the quail in hot oil, turning two to three times to evenly brown.

For an appetizer, place a quail breast onto a waffle quarter. For a full entrée, use whole waffles and either three or four breast or a couple of whole quail.

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