The Secret to Great Nashville Hot Chicken? You Really Don’t Want to Know

Editor
This super-trendy food has one greasy little secret
Nashville Hot Chicken

Photo Modified: Flickr/ Sean Russell/ CCBY-SA 4.0

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack is a Nashville institution. 

Nashville Hot Chicken is officially one of 2016’s trendiest foods. In seemingly the blink of an eye, this dish went from being a regional specialty to becoming an addition to KFC’s menu, and more and more restaurants are serving it as more people fall in love with the spicy, crunchy creation, which is one of the spiciest Southern dishes you’ll ever encounter.

But before you make this Tennessee specialty a regular part of your rotation, there’s one thing you should know about it: It’s really, really unhealthy.

Nashville hot chicken starts out like all fried chicken: It’s breaded and deep-fried until golden brown and crispy. While most fried chicken recipes will end there, here’s the kicker: Nashville hot chicken gets something called a “wet application,” a post-fry dunk into a sauce that’s made with a hodgepodge of spices and a couple ladles of hot oil directly from the deep-fryer. It’s this sauce that gives Nashville hot chicken that special kick, and because it’s hot and oil-based, it doesn’t make the chicken soggy.

Now we’re not saying that you should never try Nashville hot chicken. It’s aggressively-seasoned, fiery, and for some fans, one of the most delicious foods on earth. But it’s got a whole lot more fat and calories than your standard fried chicken thanks to that dunk in oil-based sauce, so eat it in moderation, and make sure you’ve got antacid handy. 

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