Hot chicken will never be over, but there's definitely a world of difference between the real deal kind you'd get if you spent a few days in Nashville and the stuff that Kentucky Fried Chicken serves up to jump on the latest trend. You either make great hot chicken or you don't. Simple as that. 

Brooklyn spot Sweet Chick, one of the city's best fried chicken spots, came up with a third option when they decided to give a new spin on the classic, making something that's going to kick your taste buds while also tickling them. This recipe (originally created for a hugely successful sneaker collaboration between Sweet Chick and Fila), which skips the cayenne and chili powder and goes straight for the sriracha, has a little taste of the South, with the peach, and some hotness from a different continent. It's sweet and spicy, damn good, and something different. Definitely not your typical hot chicken, but it's definitely fire. And the best part is that you pair it with waffles to soak up a little of that spice. 

Sweet Chick’s Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

• ½ cup sweet tea

• 1 tbsp dried oregano

• 1 tbsp garlic powder

• 2 tbsp dried thyme, divided

• 7 tbsp kosher salt, divided

• 2 tbsp plus 1 ½ tsp ground black pepper, divided

• 1 whole chicken, cut or 10 separate chicken pieces (thigh drumsticks, wings and breasts)

• 2 cups buttermilk

• 4 cups flour

• ¼ cup cornstarch

• 1 tbsp paprika

• 4 cups vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Combine 8 cups of water, sweet tea, oregano, garlic powder, 1 tbsp thyme, 6 tbsp salt and 2 tbsp black pepper in a large pot to create a brine. Add the chicken pieces, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours (for best results, try brining overnight).
  2. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Pour buttermilk in a large bowl. In a second large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, paprika, 1 tbsp thyme, 1 tbsp kosher salt, and 1 ½ tsp black pepper.
  4. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture to completely coat, then shake well to remove the excess. Then dip chicken completely in the buttermilk, then dredge again in the flour mixture.
  5. Add the vegetable oil to a 12” cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet and heat to 300°. Carefully place half the chicken pieces into the pan. Cook chicken in oil for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping once, until the chicken is golden-brown and crispy, and the internal temperature reaches 165°. Let the cooked chicken drain on paper towels or a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Return the oil to 300° and repeat with the remaining pieces.

Sriracha-Peach Glaze

Ingredients

• 2 cans peach nectar

• 5 oz sriracha

• 2 tbsp Agave

• 1 tbsp White Soy

• 2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar

Directions 

  1. In medium sauce pan add peach nectar and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Original Waffle

Ingredients

• 10 oz flour

• 3/4 tsp salt

• 1 tbsp + 3/4 tsp baking powder

• 4 yolks

• 15 oz milk

• 5 oz melted butter

• 4 egg whites

• 2 tbsp +1 tsp sugar

Directions

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients into a bowl (flour, salt, baking powder).
  2. Add next 3 ingredients (yolks, milk, melted butter). Whisk until combined, small lumps are ok.
  3. In a second bowl, whip whites to soft peaks, add sugar, whip to stiff peaks.
  4. Gently fold the whites into the bowl with first 6 ingredients.
  5. Pre-heat waffle iron and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour individual servings of batter of onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown.