Fried Chicken News

New Nashville hot chicken spot in Fort Worth comes with spicy sidekick

New Nashville hot chicken spot in Fort Worth comes with spicy sidekick

Nashville hot chicken
We cannot get enough of this Nashville-style hot chicken right now, end of story. Photo courtesy of Red Claws

Nashville hot chicken continues to sizzle in Dallas-Fort Worth, and now there's a locally-owned spot joining the trend. Called Red Claws Hot Chicken, it will open in December in the southwest area of Fort Worth at 5278 South Hulen St., near Hulen Mall.

Red Claws Hot Chicken is a spinoff of Red Claws Crab Shack, a seafood restaurant from owner Lanny Mai, who opened a location in Arlington in 2016, and then a second location in north Dallas in 2018.

Fort Worth started out as another crab shack — but Mai shifted the focus to chicken after a family visit to Nashville.

"We fell in love with the food we had there," says Mai, who runs the restaurants with her family. "We felt very inspired and wanted to bring those flavors back to Texas."

Mai, who was born in Vietnam and has lived in Arlington for more than 30 years, worked on various hot chicken recipes for weeks: tinkering with spices, heat levels, and the texture of the crust before she finally landed on a recipe.

To test it out, she added a hot chicken sandwich and hot chicken tenders to the menus at Red Claw Crab Shack. The response was persuasive.

"People loved it," she says. "A lot of our customers at the Arlington location come from Fort Worth just for the hot chicken, and they'll ask, 'When are you going to open in Fort Worth?'"

Red Claws Hot Chicken will also serve some of the same seafood as its siblings, but chicken is the star attraction. The menu will feature tenders, whole wings, and quarter legs, with choice of four spice levels and two types of crust, Nashville-style or crispy Southern style.

"That’s what makes us different from other places," Mai says. "You'll be able to choose the type of crust you want — the Nashville-style, which is a smoother crust, or the crispy Southern style, which is extra crispy."

A hot chicken sandwich will come on a butter bun with vinegar coleslaw, comeback sauce, and pickle chips. Sides include hush puppies, fried okra, steamed broccoli, garlic bread, and French fries dusted with Cajun seasoning and parmesan cheese.

Seafood items will include Cajun-inspired seafood boils with choice of shrimp, king crab, clams, mussels and, when in season, crawfish. Add-on's include red potatoes, eggs, corn on the cob, and sausage. Boils come in multiple flavors, such as lemon pepper and garlic, and heat levels, from mild to extra hot.

There's also a large drink menu with an emphasis on New Orleans-style mixed drinks, such as Hurricanes, Mai Tais, and boozy punches.

Mai says the vibe will be family-friendly, with an emphasis on family-style dining.

"Seafood boils are already made for families, everyone just digs in and gets what they want," she says. "By adding the chicken, we're giving people more choices. That’s my ultimate goal — to be a family dining destination."