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Our Daily Breather: Paul Burch's Recipe For Nashville-Style 'Hot Chicken Quarantine'

Lately, Paul Burch has been making hot chicken while stuck inside.
Lately, Paul Burch has been making hot chicken while stuck inside.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Paul Burch

Where:Nashville, Tenn.

Recommendation:Making hot chicken


Paul Burch and his wife Meg Giuffrida.
/ Courtesy of the artist
/
Paul Burch and his wife Meg Giuffrida.

It's tough work to be a chicken. You're always the punchline. If you're not brave, you're chicken. If you buy up all the toilet paper in a pandemic, you're like a chicken with its head cut off. If you're old, you're no spring chicken. The foolish count their eggs before they hatch — or worse, put all their eggs in one basket. If you're cruel, your comeuppance will come in the form of chickens coming home to roost. Chickens are bystanders in life's eternal questions: "Who came first, the chicken or the egg?" and "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Witches cut their throats for spells. Country music stars like Minnie Pearl and Eddy Arnold opened chicken shacks and found the only thing tougher than being a chicken is owning a restaurant. Chickens have it so rough, people eat them twice in the same meal and then boil their bones.

Paul and Meg's fried chicken.
/ Courtesy of the artist
/
Paul and Meg's fried chicken.

But in Nashville, a chicken really is good for something. When the fine people of Prince's Hot Chicken made their secret recipe, they never considered a turkey or a duck. Only one bird can endure soaking, spicing and frying and come out more beautiful dead than alive. I've got some tough friends who have survived cancer, divorce and even hit records; the one thing that made them all cry at the same time was a chicken.

My wife, Meg Giuffrida, loves a challenge. She married a songwriter. Some of the city's favorite chefs love her cooking. Confined to our home and unable to reach out to our city, Meg decided to try her hand at Nashville's other favorite pastime and created something all her own: Hot Chicken Quarantine. I may never leave the house.



Paul Burch's new album,Light Sensitive, came out this month via Plowboy Records.

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