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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Annals of Fried Chicken

Nashville style hot chicken.  You hear this term, and you think it must refer to special fried chicken.  Peaches Hothouse, a cute restaurant in Bedford-Stuyvesant, offers up this style of chicken, apparently inspired by a road trip through the South which the owners took.

I was excited for Peaches.  The Dutch, where I had the best fried chicken I've tasted in New York, had a nice kick to it.  Perhaps a bit of hotness was what had been missing from the loads of mediocre fried chicken I've tasted?

At Peaches, you have options: regular, hot or extra hot.  My friend and I ordered extra hot, despite the admonishments of our waitress, who furrowed her brow and called the extra hot "unbearable."  Who do you think you're talking to, I retorted.  Now bring us the extra hot, or I will have your head on a plate!

The chicken arrives.  I start to eat.  As my fried chicken buddy states, it is a "slow burn."  It got to the point where it was so hot it wasn't particularly enjoyable. "Unbearable" might be too strong a word, but our waitress was probably right to try and dissuade us.

There are some dishes that I like incredibly hot, namely Thai dishes, because they'll have cooling elements or refreshing textures that offset the intense heat.  Extra hot Nashville fried chicken, though, felt like a demonic elf had sliced me repeatedly with shards of paper and then dragged me across vinegar acid for all eternity, or at least like a really bad rug-burn that's sprayed with a strong antiseptic (I have personal experience with the latter).

I got a bit used to the hotness.  Some pieces weren't as hot, allowing me to analyze the chicken.  All-in-all, it was an all right fried chicken.  It's a nice place if you're in the neighborhood, although it only warrants a trip for the fried chicken obsessed who must try every fried chicken possible due to some chemical imbalance/childhood trauma.

Peaches Hothouse
Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn