If You Haven’t Been Making Hot Chicken, Then You’ve Been Missing Out

This Nashville fried chicken staple is not for the faint of heart
Fried Chicken and Biscuits

Chef Kenny Gilbert cooks his homemade fried chicken and biscuits for The Daily Meal viewers.

 If You Haven’t Been Making Hot Chicken, Then You’ve Been Missing Out

Photo Modified: Flickr/Jessica Dillree / CC by 2.0

This Nashville-Style fried chicken dish, known as hot chicken is breaded, fried, and doused in a spicy coating.

It’s fiery. It overtakes your taste buds and burns your mouth in just the right way. Nashville hot chicken allegedly born out of infidelity is nothing less than a Music City tradition — spicy, greasy, and indulgent.

Click here for the How to Make the Perfect Fried Chicken slideshow.

Legend has it that the home of Nashville’s prized chicken, Prince’s Hot Chicken, came to be after philandering Thorton Prince came home one night to a disgruntled wife who spiked his chicken with a heavy dose of heat. Only to his wife’s disappointment, Prince liked the flaming kick of pepper added to his deep-fried meal, and so, hot chicken became a Prince family staple.

But Prince’s isn’t the only place to find this delicacy where cayenne’s fire, sweet brown sugar, and fat mingle to form the perfect balance of heavy-handed flavors. Hattie B’s in Nashville is an institution in its own right, and top chef alum Carla Hall is opening her own homage to her hometown favorite in Brooklyn’s Columbia Waterfront this month.

How do you make this delicious fried chicken powerhouse at home? With lots of heat made from a blend of cayenne, paprika, black pepper, and your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce. The chicken is dry brined for about three hours to overnight, then dried, dredged, dipped in a buttermilk and egg mixture, and dredged again in flour. Then, it is crisped to a beautiful, deep color, and for the finale, a spicy mix of spices and frying oil is poured over top. The heat and richness is transported to your mouth on white bread, topped with cooling, vinegar-soaked pickles.

Check-out this classic Nashville Hot Chicken recipe easy enough to prepare at home.


Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.