East Nashville Hot Chicken and Debris Po’Boy Recipes and cookbook review: Serial Griller

#MattMoore @MattMoore #SerialGriller @SerialGriller #hmhco @hmhco

Serial Griller CoverI loved Matt’s book, the South’s Best Butts, so I was psyched to see he had a new book out! First of all, I can’t even with that name!!! 😀 Serial Griller is a fabulous book, with great versions of the tried-and-true dishes you know and love, and some really creative ones to let you flex your grilling muscles! Terrific range.
I want to highlight two iconic vacation favorites of ours. Every time we take a hiking vacation in Gatlinburg, TN, we stop for Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches on the way there and back. So ridiculously yummy! It never would have occurred to me to try grilling it. Does that luscious spicy and barely sweetened chicken oil stick to the grilled chicken the way it does to the fried? Yes!

New Orleans is only 8 hours from Fort Worth, so we love to duck down there, and when we do, you’d think we were in some sort of Po’Boy testing and analysis. He does his chuck roast on the grill, and it adds just a little smokiness to it. <sniff> It’s really a thing of beauty.

Big thanks to HMH for letting me share both of those recipes with you! I’ll tell you all about the other dishes we tried after the recipes. If you get the book, flip it open to the BBQ Meatloaf and Redneck potatoes and make those right away. Hug me later!


Excerpted fromSerial Griller: Grillmaster Secrets for Flame-Cooked Perfection© 2020 by Matt Moore. Photography © 2020 by Andrea Behrends and Helene Dujardin.Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

4wmEast Nashville Hot Chicken

SERVES 4

Being a longtime resident of East Nashville, I’m hesitant to even include this recipe. I still have not come to terms with Nashville’s rapid ascent as a city, or the fact that hot chicken has become our food of export. Most folks incorrectly liken hot chicken to buffalo-style chicken. Classic hot chicken includes a paste—almost a batter—of molten butter or oil, sugar, and spice that’s a deep heat that hits you more in the gut than tongue. The classic hot chicken is fried, but this grilled spin is awesome. Serve the usual way, with soft white bread and tart dill pickles, and it’s a taste of home, no matter where you’re from.

HANDS-ON:35 minutes TOTAL:8 hours 35 minutes, including 8 hours marinating

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
2 cups dill pickle juice
1 cup water
1 tablespoon plus
teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
8(1-ounce) white sandwich bread slices
20 dill pickle chips

1.Place the chicken, pickle juice, water, and 1 table-spoon of the salt in a large ziplock plastic bag. Seal the bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours. Remove the chicken from the bag; dis-card the marinade. Set the chicken aside at room temperature.

2.Open the bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light a charcoal chimney starter filled with charcoal. When the coals are covered with gray ash, pour them onto the bottom grate of the grill. Adjust the vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 400° to 450°F. (If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high [400° to 450°F].)

3.Combine the oil, sugar, cayenne, paprika, and black pepper in a small grill-safe saucepan; place on unoiled grates. Cook, uncovered and stirring often, until tiny bubbles form and the sugar melts, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

4.Sprinkle the chicken with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Coat the top grate with oil; place the chicken on the oiled grates. Grill, covered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of the chicken registers 160°F, 10 to 12 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

5.Dip the chicken, one breast at a time, in the oil-sugar mixture. Place two bread slices on each of four serving plates; top one slice on each plate with a chicken breast and five pickle chips.

9wmDebris Po’Boy

SERVES 6

Chuck roast seems to always be on sale at my local grocery—especially on Sundays. Though I’m all for a low-and-slow roast in the oven or slow cooker on the weekend, I prefer throwing this bad boy on the grill until the exterior is crusty and caramelized. Once it’s got a good exterior char, I finish cooking the roast in a Dutch oven until it is fall-apart moist and tender, “debris” style. Of course, you can serve the beef as a traditional roast with all the fixings, but I like it shredded and piled in a classic po’boy, dressed with the trimmings and reserved drippings. Keep a bowl of that savory drippings nectar close for dunking.

HANDS-ON:25 minutes TOTAL:3 hours 15minutes

1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 cups unsalted beef stock
¾ cup (6 ounces) salted butter, softened
6 (8-inch-long) portions Italian bread, split
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
12 (¾-ounce) slices provolone cheese
3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce (from 1 head)
12 thin tomato slices (from 1 large [12-ounce] tomato)
24 dill pickle chips
Crystal hot sauce (optional)

1.Open the bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light a charcoal chimney starter filled with charcoal. When the coals are covered with gray ash, pour them onto the bottom grate of the grill. Adjust vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 300° to 350°F. Coat the top grate with oil; place on the grill. (If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-low [300° to 350°F].)

2.Season the beef with the salt and pepper. Place on the oiled grates. Grill, covered and turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a large Dutch oven. Pour the stock over the beef and place the Dutch oven on the grates. Grill, covered, until thebeef is fork-tender and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 145°F, about 2½ hours. Remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the beef to a cutting board (reserving drippings in the pot); let rest for 15 minutes.

3.Spread the butter evenly on the cut sides of the bread. Place the bread, cut-side down, on the oiled grates and grill until just golden brown, about 45 seconds. Remove from the grill.

4.Shred the beef with a fork. Spread the mayonnaise evenly on the bread tops. Place two cheese slices on each bread bottom. Top evenly with the shredded beef, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and hot sauce (if desired). Pour the reserved beef drippings into a serving bowl; serve alongside the sandwiches.


The Sweet Potatoes al Rescoldo on page 91 are the absolute best, and would be the perfect accompaniment to your Thanksgiving turkey. Buttery and sweet with pie spices, a little chile, and nuts.1wm

The BBQ Meatloaf on page 271 is fantastic! And he’s talking BBQ sauce – it’s made on the grill. Killer meatloaf! Tons of flavor and the texture was perfect. I made this will the potatoes below and it was outstanding.2wm

The Redneck Potatoes on page 211 are total keepers. I’ve made them twice already. It’s that comfort food perfection that you’re hoping for.3wm

4wmThe East Nashville Hot Chicken on page 237 is amazing!!! Amazing! It never would have occurred to me that you could grill it instead of frying it. Yeah, the coating sticks!

The Flank Steak with Black-Garlic Board Sauce on page 53 is fabulous! If you’ve never tried it before, hunting down the black garlic is well worth it. It adds so much depth of flavor to the sauce. He’s recommending dried grapevines as fuel, but I went with one of his substitutes, dried peach wood.5wm

The Spatchcocked Whole Chicken on page 240 is so yummy. If you haven’t tried spatchcocking before, you’re in for a treat! It cooks so evenly and stays wonderfully juicy. Do it!6wm

9wmThe Debris Po’Boy on page 229 is to die for. We try all the Po’Boys every time we find ourselves in New Orleans and this has all the lusciousness you’re expecting in a Po’Boy with a little kiss of smokiness from the grill. We loved them!

The Bacon and Swiss Burgers on page 60 are perfect. I grill burgers or do them in the skillet, but hadn’t thought of combining those two. Truly the best of both worlds. Note: He doesn’t mention seasoning the patties before you start grilling, and you’re going to want to do that.10wm

The Meatballs with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce on page 162 are great. They’ve got a Swedish meatball vibe with a lot of flavor overlap, so I love that they’re glazed in lingonberries.11wm

The Chili on the Grill on page 266 is a really flavorful, nearly all meat version. I stole a piece of wood from my smoker for the final one hour simmer to amp up the smokiness. So good!

The Pork Gyros on page 223 are really flavorful and juicy. So good!14wm

*I received a copy to explore and share my thoughts.


Need a copy of that book? I’m an Amazon affiliate. Every time you use one of my links to make a purchase, Amazon gives me a tiny percentage. Thank you!

Serial Griller

Serial Griller Cover