recipe: nashville hot bacon (with Gluten-Free version)

Guys. This recipe is sinful, but it had to be done. I (Savannah) am obsessed with hot chicken, often referred to non-Nashvillians as Nashville Hot Chicken. I don't eat it as much as I'd like, which is probably a good thing, but Casey has celiac and the lines are pretty long, so there's that. My mom actually had hot chicken while she was visiting and immediately tried to make it when she returned back to Texas, which I was like duh! I can make this at home and do a gluten-free version so Casey can eat it too. But we just skipped the chicken part and did it with bacon. Now if you have too many of these pieces of bacon, you might feel gross. That's why a couple of these on a sandwich or salad may be the best way to go. But not gonna lie, it's pretty delicious just straight up dipped in ranch.

There are a couple of things that are very important when it comes to this recipe. First off you want to use thick cut bacon and this is a must. If you don't. the bacon will get lost in the breading. (Ahh I can't believe the words I am saying... our health coach and personal trainer are going to cringe if they read this.) Second thing- cut the slices in half, it just makes the whole process easier. Also, the only thing different between the regular recipe and gluten-free is that you use brown rice flour instead of regular flour. We tested it and it's just as good and fried up exactly the same way.

But let's get this party started.

Nashville Hot Bacon
- 1 lb. Thick Cut Bacon (slices cut in half)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk (I used almond, but really any milk will work that isn't flavored)
- Hot sauce (I used Texas Pete's)
- 2 cups flour (or brown rice flour for GF)
- 2 1/2 tsp. salt
- Dash of black pepper
- 3 Tbs. Cayenne Pepper (You can use up to 6 Tbs to make it hotter, but trust me, 3 Tbs is HOT)
- 1 Tbs. Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- Vegetable oil for frying

1. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and hot sauce.
2. In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt and a dash of black pepper.
3. In another bowl mix together cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder and paprika.
4. One piece at a time, dip your bacon in the wet mixture and then into the flour mixture, and then back into the wet mixture and back into the flour mixture. Set piece aside and repeat on all pieces.
5. Heat a pot of oil on medium-high heat until the oil reaches 375 degrees. I used about 4 cups.
6. Fry about 3-4 pieces at a time for 4-5 minutes. Just look for that golden crisp.
7. Pull out each piece and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.
8. Once all your pieces are fried, let the oil cool down for a second and ladle about 1/2 cup frying oil into the spice mixture. This doesn't have to be exact as you can always add more oil if needed, so it's best to start with a little at a time. If you don't feel comfortable using the hot oil, just use some fresh vegetable oil. We are looking for a loose paste consistency. Thick, but spreadable.
9. Brush on the spice paste to each piece of bacon, and make sure you get it everywhere!
10. Serve immediately!
Now I didn't end up frying up all my bacon. I just knew we couldn't eat all of it, but it would be perfect for a gathering- maybe fourth of July? You can also throw these in the oven at 375 degrees to keep them warm until serving. I also reheated them the next day for some friends to try and they crisped up pretty nicely in the oven. They did loose some of their spice paste as it ran off with the heat. I'm not going to lie... I thought that maybe when we were done making this that it would be too rich and a little too much, but sadly t's actually pretty delicious. You definitely have to try it out. At least once! Bacon party anyone?
Let us know if you try it or change anything up! I definitely put too much brown sugar the first time and had to fix that, but maybe you like that spicy sweet mix? Anyway, just try it. You won't regret it. (Unless you eat many pieces.)xo, Savannah

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