Chicago-based Budlong bringing its Nashville Hot Chicken to Denver

Chicago-based Budlong bringing its Nashville Hot Chicken to Denver

Budlong Hot Chicken will expand from Chicago to Denver. (Provided by Stone Soup Collective)It’s hot. It’s chicken. And it’s coming to Denver.

Jared Leonard, the chef behind Zeppelin Station‘s Canadian-style cured meat operation Au Feu, will debut Budlong, a Nashville Hot Chicken food truck on May 11 at Ratio Beerworks at 4:30 p.m. The summer will stay hot when the truck visits Evergreen Lake House every other Wednesday during the concert series.

The fried chicken spot is already a mini-chain in Chicago named after a farm that once lived in what is now the Windy City’s Lincoln Square. Farmer Lyman Budlong’s family owned a pickle company that was once one of the city’s major employers and since Nashville Hot Chicken is topped in pickles, Leonard thought the name paid the perfect homage to the family who once farmed the area.

The cooking process involves a dry brine, a wet buttermilk slurry, and a dry dredge that results in mouthwatering, ultra-crispy fried chicken. He sources the meat locally from Red Bird. “We have something really special here,” he says. Leonard won’t reveal the exact details of how he makes the recipe he took years to perfect, but whatever his top-secret method is, the chicken skin has a crispy finish that can stand up to the Nashville Hot Sauce that’s slathered on with a brush (Leonard uses a solid fat rather than a liquid fat to prevent sogginess).

Budlong Hot Chicken will expand from Chicago to Denver. (Provided by Stone Soup Collective)He then puts the chicken on a brioche bun from Aspen Baking and tops it in a slaw made with white cabbage, red onion, and carrot; house made sweet pickles (in homage to the Budlong name), and Mississippi Comeback Sauce (a mayo-based sauce laced with red chili). Diners will be able to order their chicken Naked or topped in the cayenne-based Nashville Hot sauce in varying degrees of heat: Classic, Hot, Xtra Hot, and for the fearless, Super Xtra Crazy Hot–the off-menu version made with ghost peppers.

Also on the menu: chicken tenders, bone-in chicken breast, killer collard greens, black-eyed pea salad, and handmade biscuits. Leonard’s recipes stem from vintage cookbooks he’s found while scouring second-hand stores, when people actually dedicated more time to cooking. “We have learned a lot from the old way of doing things,” he says.

Find additional stops at budlong.com.

Budlong Hot Chicken will expand from Chicago to Denver. (Provided by Stone Soup Collective)

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