Category Archives: Tennessee

Nashville Hot Chicken – Tennessee

Nashville is a fun town, boasting more than 160 live music venues, giving Music City its well-earned moniker. Hot chicken hails from these parts and was born from revenge. Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack

Nashville Hot Chicken - Tennesseemay be the oldest establishment to make this dish, dating back to the 1930s. The story is that Thorton Prince III was a womanizer. His girlfriend found out about his philandering and added spicy cayenne pepper to his chicken to punish him. However, Prince liked it so much, he decided to open a chicken joint with it on the menu.

You can make Nashville Hot Chicken yourself with a little bit of patience as fried chicken takes a bit of time. Two tablespoons of cayenne pepper is not a typo and is unbelievably the amount called for if you want the chicken “mild.” Reduce to one tablespoon if you are really spice-adverse and increase to 6 tablespoons for “hot” ― if you dare.

Want to see the recording studio where Elvis recorded more than 250 hits? Check out Historic RCA Studio B, an unassuming beige brick building sometimes called the “Home of a Thousand Hits.” Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, and many others recorded here.

Nashville Hot Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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  • 1 3-4 lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the egg dredge:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Frank’s Red Hot sauce

For the flour dredge:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For finishing:

  • Vegetable oil (for frying), 6 cups
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup used frying oil


At least 3 hours before cooking, generously salt and pepper the chicken pieces. Let marinate in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, heat oil in a large pot with deep sides. Prepare egg dredge by combining eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce in a shallow baking dish. In another shallow dish, prepare flour dredge by combining flour and salt. One at a time, dip chicken pieces first in egg dredge, then in flour dredge. When oil is 325 degrees, fry chicken, working in batches, frying a few pieces at a time. Turn pieces occasionally to achieve consistent color. When chicken is deep golden brown or reaches 160 degrees internally, remove to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet lined with newspaper or paper towels. Let oil temperature return to 325 between batches.

To finish: In a small bowl, combine cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Take ½ cup of the used cooking oil, and add to bowl. Stir well. With a brush, baste pieces of chicken with hot oil mixture. Serve chicken while still warm.


Lunar and Luscious: Homemade Moon Shaped Moon Pies – Tennessee

Nothing is more Southern than a moon pie and a RC cola. If you’ve never indulged, a moon pie is a graham cookie marshmallow sandwich enveloped in chocolate. Invented in 1917 as a snack for

Homemade moon pie

coal miners, the Chattanooga Bakery has been producing this beloved snack for close to 100 years. They are also closely associated with Mardi Gras as moon pies are a throw (a giveaway thrown from a parade into the crowd) at Mardi Gras celebrations across the South.

With a little bit of effort and time, you can make moon pies at home. We had fun with our moon-shaped cookie cutter. Check out the (very quick – 15 seconds!) Instagram video at right if you want to see us making them in action.

If you planning on checking out the Great Smoky Mountains, consider the Smoky Mountain Wine Fest, April 9, 2016, in Gatlinburg.

Homemade moon pie

Homemade Moon Shaped Moon Pies

  • Servings: 18 pies
  • Difficulty: moderate
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For cookies:

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For marshmallow filling:

  • 1 envelope Knox gelatin
  • 2/3 cup cold water, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For chocolate coating:

  • 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons shortening


For cookies:

With the paddle attachment of the electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add two types of flour, salt, baking powder, honey and vanilla. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap well and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. When ready to make cookies, turn half the dough to a well-floured surface. Return other half of dough to fridge. Roll out until 1/8 to ¼ inch. Cut out cookies and lift with a spatula onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining half of dough. (If you use a 3-inch round cookie cutter, it will yield about 18 cookies, a half moon or smaller round cutter will yield about 36 cookies). Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

For marshmallow filling:

In the meantime, add 1/3 cup cold water to the bowl of the electric mixer. Add one package of gelatin. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/3 cup water. Heat on medium-high, stirring occasionally until the mixture comes to the soft ball stage, 234 degrees with a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and let cool a few moments.

Using the whisk attachment of the mixer set on low, slowly add the hot sugar mixture to the gelatin mixture. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until marshmallow forms and is light and fluffy, about 15 minutes. Set aside if marshmallow is still warm.

Once the mixing bowl is room temperature, gently spread marshmallow on half of cookies and top with remaining cookies, being careful not to break cookies (you can also use a pastry bag and pipe the marshmallow on). Return cookies to refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until marshmallow sets.

For chocolate coating:

Add chopped chocolate and shortening to a microwave save bowl. Heat in one minute bursts until chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the moon pies in the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip off. Don’t worry about covering all the edges with chocolate.

Transfer moon pies to a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Continue until all moon pies are dipped. Return to fridge until set, then transfer to an airtight container.

Hunka Hunka Pan-Fried Love: Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches – Tennessee

Tennessee is known for many Southern specialty foods, but being rabid Elvis fans, we turned our attention to Memphis – the River City – and its most famous house, Graceland, for inspiration. The King lived life large and is said to have enjoyed a special treat that

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana - TN

has become his signature dish – the Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich. Similar to a grilled cheese in construction and cooking, the sandwich has a number of variations. We used an artisan Italian bread as the basis for our recipe, as it held up a little better in the skillet, and we mixed the PB with honey for a sweeter, smoother spread. As for the banana, you can mash it and spread it – although we prefer slices. Add crispy bacon if you want that little extra salty crunch.

Celebrate Elvis’ birthday (January 8th!) with weekend-long festivities at Graceland and other Memphis venues including a dance party, movie screenings, concerts and Elvis bingo.

Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 4 slices Italian bread, toasted
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter (or to taste)
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 2 slices cooked bacon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine


Smooth peanut butter (mixed with honey, if you prefer) onto two slices of bread. Place sliced banana on top of peanut butter. Place remaining two slices of bread on top of bananas and spread outsides of sandwich with butter or margarine. Place in pre-heated fry pan or griddle. Cook until toasty brown and heated through.