The Best Happy Hour, Brunch and Hot Fire Chicken Sandwiches

This evening at 6 p.m., the New Orleans Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will kick off its annual fundraising initiative, NAMIWalks, with NAMIWalks Your Way at the Jewish Community Center, Uptown. The kickoff event will include access to local mental health resources, door prizes (for registered walkers), and presentations. Attendees will be able to register for NAMIWalks New Orleans 2022- to take place on November 5th. 

Think mental illness does not affect you? Consider this: According to NAMI 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year; 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year; 1 in 6 U.S. youths aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year; 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24; Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34. 

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Attendance at this evening’s event is free but RSVP is required. You can do that here. You can register here for NAMI Walks on November 5.

The Best Happy Hour, Brunch and Hot Fire Chicken Sandwiches
Photo provided by Couvant

Just this week the lovely Couvant in the Eliza Jane Hotel rolled out a new Happy Hour menu that will be offered Tuesdays – Saturdays from 5:00 -6:30 pm. Located on the edge of the CBD on Magazine Street, Couvant is a convenient place to wind down a workday or gear up for an evening out. Happy Hour now includes $7 select wines by the glass (red/white/rose/sparkling) and half price snacks; Sourdough bread with cultured butter, $3; Panisse (crispy chickpea fries with tomato aioli), $4.50; Gougeres (baked savory choux pastry with cheese) with truffled Mornay sauce, $4.50; and Crisp Tete de Cochon (pigs head) with Dijon mustard deviled eggs, $6.

The Best Happy Hour, Brunch and Hot Fire Chicken Sandwiches
Photo provided by Courvant

The elegant French-Southern restaurant offers breakfast on weekdays from 7-11 a.m. Brunch is offered on weekends from  9 a.m. -1 p.m. Starting October 2, brunch will be extended until 2 p.m. Brunch at Couvant features a variety of French Classics with Southern flare including the Pain Perdu (New Orleans French bread, powdered sugar and French seasonal berries), Croque Madame (Jambon de Paris, Gruyere, Bechamel and sunny side up egg), Duck Confit and Waffles (yeasted waffle, local blackberries, fois gras butter) and Couvant Benedict (Confit pork shoulder, English muffin and creole mustard hollandaise).Couvant also offers $25 unlimited brunch cocktails with a choice of Bloody Marys, Palomas, Mimosas, brunch punch, and sangria.

The Best Happy Hour, Brunch and Hot Fire Chicken Sandwiches
Hot Fire Chicken & Biscuit Slider

Entertaining at home for the game this weekend?  If you crave high ratings on the Scoville scale this Hot Fire Chicken and Biscuit Sliders from Chef Nina Compton could be just the thing. 

Hot Fire Chicken & Biscuits

Adapted from Chef Nina Compton, Compere Lapin

Serves 6

*Hot Fire Chicken Sauce 

WET INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 quart Original Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water

DRY INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 5 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion Powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Chicken and Buttermilk Brine
  • 2 shallots, julienned
  • 10 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme 
  • 4 tablespoons Calabrese Chili Puree
  • 4 tablespoons Jerk Spice (*recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoons chili flake
  • 6 tablespoons salt 
  • 1 quart buttermilk 
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs with skin

*Jerk Spice Mix

  • 6 tablespoons ground Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon allspice 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger 

For Frying:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 16 ounces Canola oil  
  • To Assemble
  • 6 large, high quality buttermilk biscuits, cooked according to package instructions
  • Your favorite brand of sliced bread & butter pickles

Make the Sauce:

Combine the wet ingredients in a large container. Add the dry ingredients. Blend thoroughly and store until ready to use.

Make the Brine:

Combine the aromatics and the spices. Add buttermilk and blend thoroughly. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Brine overnight, refrigerated.

Fry and Sauce the Chicken:

Heat the oil to 350ºF

Remove the chicken from the brine and dredge in flour. Cook until golden and crispy 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of the thigh.  

Add the Hot Fire Sauce to a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. 

Assemble the Biscuit Sandwiches:

Cut each of the biscuits in half. Place 1 piece of chicken atop on each biscuit. Top chicken with bread and butter pickles. Top with a biscuit half.

Serve with a fire extinguisher nearby.

That’s it from me. Have a great weekend. May our team win.