According to some studies, sales of spicy products have septupled over the past two decades. Chicken chains are paying heed, releasing spicier versions of their already spicy recipes. In August, Church's rolled out its Spicier Spicy Chicken, a chicken marinated for 12 hours in a heat-packed brine and then battered in breading with a similar seasoning mix. A Nashville Scene reporter who's tried the stuff describes the overall effect as a "nice slow burn with a strong black pepper flavor in the back of your palate without numbing your lips."
But the Scene writer too noted the chicken's uniquely Texan twang. Although Church's years ago relocated its corporate headquarters from San Antonio to Atlanta, the state's still home to more Church's outlets than any other state. Its Spicier Spice Chicken has apparently been designed with Texas tastes in mind.
While other spicy chickens - most notably, the legendary hot chicken sold in unfranchised eateries around Nashville - lean heavily on cayenne, Church's chicken derives its heat from five different peppers, including chipotles, habeneros and jalapenos. The recipe's intended to delivers a distinctly different punch than seasoning mixes culled from Louisiana, Kentucky or Tennessee.
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While the chain arranged for its "Chief Chicken Officer" to make the rounds in Nashville, where hot chicken competition's fierce, a spokesperson didn't return any of my multiple messages. Church's apparently assumes, in Texas, the heavily peppered chicken will speak for itself.