JM Thomason Hot Chicken Rub // Nashville, TN
A Nashville staple since the 1930s, the city’s eponymous hot chicken puts other fried fowl to shame — acronym-ed birds that shall not be mentioned here cower in their cardboard buckets before its blistering crust of garlic, cayenne, and onion. JM Thomason’s been peddling rubs like this for decades, and their blend packs just the right punch. Rub on, chill, then dredge in a whisked mix of eggs, buttermilk and, if you want even more heat, a squirt of hot sauce. Then dust with flour and fry. For an authentic Nashville plate, toss onto a slice of white bread and top with pickles. No silverware, extra napkins, and lots of ice water.