Since I’m from the south, I automatically assume I’ll never find a fried chicken as delicious as one served south of the Mason-Dixon line.
But all my preconceived notions were thrown into the deep fryer after eating the Nashville-style hot chicken at Peaches HotHouse in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
An order of chicken — served “hot” style, I didn’t have the courage ramp it up to “extra hot” — costs only $12 for three pieces of bird, cornbread, pickles and a side of collard greens.
The sides were great and all, but the star of the show was the chicken.
The crust is covered in cayenne, pepper, and other tongue-teasing tastes before the bird is fried hard — a style unique to Tennessee.
That means the skin packs some real crunch to go along with spice.
Indeed, the chicken is fried so hard that it isn’t too greasy. The white bread slice that sits under the bird — it’s a Southern think, folks — is barely wet after the meal.
But that doesn’t mean the chicken is dry, quite the contrary. It’s juicy and delicious, beckoning you to put out the fire in your mouth by eating more.
I also took advantage of the joint’s in-house hot sauce, and after one drumstick I was wiping my brow from the heat.
This HotHouse isn’t blowing hot air: it has quickly leaped to the top of the soul food scene, right alongside Mitchell’s on Vanderbilt Avenue and Ruthie’s on DeKalb Avenue.
The more fried chicken the merrier, we say.
Peaches HotHouse [415 Tompkins Ave. at Hancock Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, (718) 483-9111].