When we were down in Austin, Texas a few months ago for the Formula 1 race we tried Gus’s Hot Fried Chicken for the first time. From the first bite, we were hooked. It was our dinner of choice on both Saturday and Sunday of the event. It was absolutely addictive! Once we returned to the Midwest, we started to search out other options that might take the place. There just hasn’t been anything that matches the deep, spicy flavor that you get in each bite of Gus’s chicken. When we went to Nashville a few weeks ago we thought for sure we would be able to enjoy some hot fried chicken but once again, nothing matched the flavor of Gus’s. Google maps fooled me into thinking there was a location in Nashville, but unfortunately that location has been closed.
I think I’m getting desperate, wondering if a trip north to a Gus’s location in Chicago or Michigan would be in the plans just to satisfy my taste buds. I started looking online for ideas on how to make the recipe, but the most common recipe from Saveur used only buttermilk marinade but Gus’s flavor and spiciness goes beyond just the outer skin of the chicken and seems to be more a part of the meat. If I tried the Saveur recipe, I knew I’d have to marinade with more than just buttermilk. I looked at the Nora Jones recipe and liked that the chicken is mixing with the spices prior to getting floured but the breading on Gus’s chicken was not the flaky type of coating that you get when you flour something after dipping in buttermilk. The Gus’s coating looked more like coating that was put into the buttermilk rather than on top of the buttermilk. And that is when I came upon The Fried Chicken Blog and I think Jay Francis has just the right idea. She makes the coating as a slurry that is marinating the chicken for 24 hours. That slurry looks a lot more like the large containers of Gus’s chicken that I saw being prepared at the race track.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I do know what I’m having for Sunday dinner this week! Who knew this journey would define me as a food critic. All of our journeys take us in many different directions, sometimes you just have to enjoy the ride.
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