Nov 122016
 

This restaurant is no longer in business.

This is part of an ongoing series reviewing hot wings in the Huntsville area. Visit #HsvHotWings for a comprehensive linked list.

hck1A colleague and I took in Hot Chicken Kitchen, in the Madison Commons shopping center just a couple of blocks south of 72 on Hughes Road in Madison, for lunch this week. Hot Chicken Kitchen serves Nashville hot chicken, which is a pretty specific comestible in terms of seasoning, preparation, and presentation. I’d never had any, so I looked forward to trying it.

The restaurant is fast casual, but with bring-it-to-you service, and I noticed they served beer. Wings are one of several plate offerings that have different pieces of chicken in them. You can get four (whole) wings and two sides for $10.36. The hottest heat level is cleverly called Hottest. That’s what we had.

hck2

Quality: 5/10. The wings were reasonably sized, artistically presented, and a reasonable value. The heavy breading traps a lot of grease, however.

Flavor: 2/10. My first Nashville hot chicken was disappointing indeed. These wings tasted very much like they were seasoned with Lawry’s seasoned salt, with cayenne added for the heat. Extreme saltiness was the only constant taste, with sugar and any other spice popping up only erratically. My dining companion did not finish his. This was not a good experience.

Heat: 4/10. Hot Chicken Kitchen’s hottest will have you reaching for a drink often, but mostly to counteract salt. Some heat here, but it neither climbs very high nor lasts very long.

This was my only experience to date with Nashville hot chicken, so I can’t comment on whether it’s typical. Certainly validation visits—at least one more here and maybe a few elsewhere—are necessary for me to form a solid opinion. But so far, I’m unambiguously underwhelmed.

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 Posted by at 11:15 am

  2 Responses to “BoWilliams.com On Huntsville Hot Wings: Hot Chicken Kitchen”

  1. This seems like a reasonable critique as Bo clearly states that he has not previously sample traditional Hot Chicken. Since I am a connoisseur of Nashville Hot Chicken and frequent Prince’s (responsible for putting Nashville Hot Chicken on the global map), Hattie B’s (kept it on the map), and Swett’s (general soul food and fried chicken) – I was excited to know that there was a traditional Hot Chicken Kitchen opening here. I almost never get the hottest (If I am on the Harley, Ms. Jeffries at Prince’s will only give me medium – afraid that it will tear my guts up!), so I got the Traditional Hot version here – as the server said it was close to the traditional flavor. The presentation was similar to what I have sampled with the bread and pickle, and I will say the flavor did not disappoint. It was as good as the last time I had Hattie B’s (a couple of weeks ago), and I didn’t have to stand in line for 25 minutes. I will give the Hot Chicken Kitchen a slight edge for their sides – the collard greens and broccoli and cheese casserole were a nice complement to the breast and wing -.which did soak the bread with the same grease I have come to expect when eating Nashville Hot Chicken. If you have that burning desire to delve into this prodigious culture, I might suggest attending the Nashville Hot Chicken Festival held every year on the Fourth of July – http://hot-chicken.com/festival/#.WDUOUS0rJdg and stick around for one of the best firework shows in the U.S.A.

    • Thanks much for your comments, Beri. I got a report from a later-arriving companion that the milder chicken tasted better. As the point of my #HsvHotWings series is to sample the hottest, that’s what I reviewed.

      I am anxious to try Prince’s as that’s what I hear mentioned most frequently. And, I will pay Hot Chicken Kitchen a validation/redemption visit at some point thereafter.

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