The BEST Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe ONLINE! (2024)

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I’m just going to say it, this is the ultimate Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe!!(no lies detected!) It all starts with my bomb crispy golden brown fried chicken. The batter is full of spice and fries up so crispy your next-door neighbor will hear you crunchin’ into it! But, it wouldn’t be Nashville hot chicken if it didn’t get an extra coating of a hot and spicy glaze after frying! This little trick elevates my already fab chicken to a whole new level of amazing. When you’re in the mood to give your fried chicken game a sassy, extra kick, this is the recipe you need in your life!

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I love me some Hot Chicken. I have tried everything from Prince’s Hot Chicken to Hattie B’s so I feel pretty comfortable saying that this Nashville Hot Chicken recipe is beyond!

This recipe is real deal, and it is beyond addictive y’all. Just warning you upfront!

Table of Contents

What Is Nashville Hot Chicken?

Nashville Hot Chicken starts with a traditional fried chicken recipe but takes it further by adding spices to the batter that add heat and flavor, as well as by coating the fried chicken in a sauce created with several different spices that bring the heat!

For almost 70 years, hot chicken was made and sold primarily in Nashville’s Black communities. Over the last decade or so, not only has the production and sale of this recipe risen. Prince’s Chicken Shack, which was founded about 80 years ago, still stands as the original home of Nashville’s Hot Chicken.

Now, people come far and wide to enjoy Nashville’s famous delicacy. But what if you could partake in the craze from your own home? I’m here to make that possible.

Why You Will Love This Hot Chicken Recipe

  • So spicy! If you love spicy flavors, then you’re going to be in spicy fried chicken heaven!
  • Perfectly crispy chicken! I know my fried chicken, and this recipe starts with my signature fried chicken recipe and method for making it ultimately crispy.
  • Something a little different. If you’re tired of regular fried chicken, then this hot chicken recipe is a great way to add some liveliness to your meals!
  • Easy to prepare! If you think frying chicken is hard, I’m telling you it’s not! Follow along and discover all my tips for making fried chicken at home with less mess and great results!
  • All occasion dish! Enjoy crispy spicy chicken for Sunday suppers, weeknight dinners, casual gatherings, football watch parties, and even family reunions!

Ingredients to Make Nashville Hot Chicken

To make incredible fried chicken, it all starts with a bomb marinade. This chicken recipe is based on this Fried Chicken that I make a bunch! The marinade will add flavor throughout the chicken, making sure that every bite is injected with deliciousness. While the flour that the crispy breading is filled with flavor as well.

My key ingredients for making the very best fried chicken include:

  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk always adds an incredible tang to the chicken, and the acid in it helps to break down the chicken and tenderize it.
  • Hot Sauce: The hot sauce adds salt and heat to the marinade so that it infuses the inside of the chicken.
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour but sometimes I will vary it up and use self-rising flour to give the chicken breading a bit of a lift.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a key ingredient in creating a delicious crunch for my chicken. It adds such a wonderful texture and is crucial to this breading.
  • Seasoned Salt: Salt that’s a bit extra for more flavor!
  • Paprika, Cayenne, and Black Pepper: While this chicken is already going to have a wonderful kick of spice from the sauce, I still add cayenne, black pepper, and paprika to the breading. It is sensational.
  • Onion Powder and Garlic Powder: The onion powder and garlic powder round out the flavors even more, creating something a bit more nuanced.
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The sauce for this Nashville Hot Chicken is what is most important! Nailing this will take an already great recipe to a higher level of incredible flavor. You gotta get this right boos so you can properly bring the heat! These are the key ingredients:

  • Cayenne Pepper: This brings the heat necessary for hot chicken!
  • Chili Powder: Added for a bit more heat but provides a different flavor profile.
  • Brown Sugar: Makes a lovely sweet balance to the heat.
  • Garlic Powder: Everything tastes better with garlic.
  • Smoked Paprika: I love the essence of smoke here! It really changes the flavors a bit, making it a hint more complex.
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How to Make Nashville Hot Chicken

Step 1: Make the Breading Mixtures

  1. Whisk together the buttermilk and hot sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Mix the flour, cornstarch, seasoned salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder until well combined.
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Step 2: Breading the Chicken

  1. Dip each piece of chicken into the seasoned flour.
  2. Transfer it to the buttermilk
  3. Dip it a second time into the seasoned flour.
  4. Add each piece of chicken to a baking sheet to rest for 15-20 minutes to allow the coating time to set.
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Step 3: Cooking the Fried Chicken

  1. Fry the chicken in 2 – 2 1/2 inches of oil in a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Fry four pieces at a time on each side. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. After each side has turned slightly golden, put the top on the skillet to steam the inside of the chicken ensuring doneness. After a couple of minutes, remove the top and continue to fry until the crust is crispy again and completely golden brown.
  2. Remove the chicken from the oil and place it on paper towels or a rack to drain. Transfer the drained chicken to a warm oven to keep it warm while you continue cooking the remaining pieces of chicken.
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Step 4: Adding the Nashville Hot Sauce

  1. Whisk together a cup of the frying oil you used to fry the chicken with the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
  2. Brush the hot mixture over all of the pieces of fried chicken. Serve the hot chicken on top of white bread and serve with pickles on toothpicks.
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Tips for Making the Best Nashville Hot Chicken

  • Double Dredge! This chicken has a double dredge to ensure that the crust is insanely crunchy and crispy. It is one of the most important parts of making this recipe.
  • Rest Your Chicken! Once you have breaded your chicken, allow it to sit for a bit. This allows the breading to stick to the chicken. Even better, stick the chicken in the refrigerator to let the coating stick well to the chicken.
  • Don’t Fry Fridge-Cold Chicken. Don’t start breading your chicken straight from the fridge. Placing cold chicken in the fryer will drop the temperature of the oil and prevent the chicken from frying evenly. Let your chicken sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then you’re ready to go!
  • Use Oil with A High Smoke Point: Using oil with a low smoke point will ultimately result in burnt chicken and the annoying sound of smoke alarms going off all over the house. Go for a neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point, like canola, vegetable, or peanut oil. Be sure to use a thermometer to maintain the temperature of the oil, 350 degrees is perfect.
  • Make Sure Your Oil Is Ready! One of the best parts of Nashville Hot Chicken is the crispy exterior of the chicken. To ensure your chicken is fried crispy, it must start with hot oil. How do you know when the oil is hot enough? Dribble sprinkles of water or even flour in the oil, once it begins to dance, it is time to fry some chicken.

Popular Substitutions & Additions

  • Different Cuts of Chicken: You can easily use boneless chicken pieces or choose your favorite type of chicken including, breasts, thighs, tenders, and more! Just note that you may need to adjust the cooking time a bit when using different types of chicken.
  • Adjust the Flavors: Feel free to adjust the quantities of each of the seasonings as you prefer.
  • Gluten-Free: Swap the flour with your favorite gluten-free flour blended flour.
  • Buttermilk: You can make your buttermilk if you don’t have any on hand. Place two cups of milk in a measuring pitcher or small bowl. Add two tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for about five minutes.
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What to Serve with Nashville Fried Chicken

It’s so easy to turn this into a complete Southern-style dinner by adding some tasty side dishes! Enjoy it with your favorites, but here are a few ideas for inspiration!

  • Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
  • Velveeta Mac and Cheese
  • Collard Greens
  • Sweet Potato Grits
  • Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Pinto Beans
  • Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
  • Creamed Corn
  • Corn Spoonbread
  • Sweet Peach Tea

How to Store & Reheat Nashville Hot Chicken

Cool your leftover chicken on a cooling rack set over a paper towel-lined baking sheet until it’s fully cooled. Transfer it to an airtight container. I like to add some paper towels to the bottom of the container to soak up any condensation that forms in the container. This will help keep the chicken from becoming overly soggy.

For reheating, let the chicken sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread out the leftover hot chicken on a baking sheet and brush more of the hot chicken sauce over the top of each piece of chicken. Place another baking sheet on top to cover and insulate. This will help retain some of the moisture. Heat for 20 minutes and then let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

How long will hot chicken last in the fridge?

Leftover Nashville fried chicken will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days when you’ve stored it properly.

Can I freeze Nashville fried chicken?

Yep you know it. You can freeze leftover hot chicken if you want! Store it the same as you would for the fridge but place it in the freezer for up to three months. Make sure your container is suitable for the freezer to make it last longer. Allow the chicken to thaw out in the fridge overnight and then reheat it using the instructions above.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my chicken brown on the outside but not fully cooked inside?

In most cases, this happens when the cooking oil in the pan is too hot, so the the chicken cooked too quickly on the outside and browned too fast while not cooking the inside. An easy solution to this problem is to use a thermometer to test your oil to make sure it’s at the right temperature before you add your chicken to the pot.

Why is my hot chicken soggy?

Yes, we’re adding a liquid marinade to the fried chicken after it cooks but this should make the chicken soggy if it’s cooked properly. If your chicken is soggy after cooking the most likely culprit is that your oil wasn’t hot enough or you didn’t drain it properly. Be sure to check the temperature of your oil before adding the chicken with a thermometer or a sprinkle of flour — if it sizzles up the oil is ready. Also, don’t overcrowd the chicken in the pan. Too many pieces of chicken will cause the temperature of the oil to drop. After cooking be sure to give the chicken time to drain on a paper towel or wire rack. Those tips are the best way to keep your chicken crispy.

Do I have to let the chicken rest after breading?

Yes! This step is crucial to keeping the breading on the chicken rather than it sliding off. The extra time allows the egg mixture and flour mixture time to meld together so it adheres to the chicken and stays put. Don’t be in a rush and skip this step! It’s essential to a good outcome.

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If you’re all about that spicy life and looking to amp up your fried chicken, you are gonna fall for this Nashville hot chicken recipe! We’re talking a match made in heaven – the crispiest, crunchiest breaded chicken getting all cozy with a hot sauce that just packs each bite with a flavor explosion.

More Fried Chicken Recipes

  • Buttermilk Fried Chicken
  • Chicken Fried Chicken
  • Air Fryer Fried Chicken
  • Oven Fried Chicken Tenders
  • Southern Fried Chicken Biscuits
  • Sweet Tea Fried Chicken

*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave comments below!* Post a photo of how your version of the recipe came out on Instagram (using #grandbabycakes)!!

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Nashville Hot Chicken

This Nashville hot chicken reicpe takes a spicy chicken batter and pairs it with a finger licking sauce! The chicken is fried to crispy goodness – you won't be able to stop eatin'!

Print Pin Rate

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Southern

Prep Time: 30 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes minutes

0 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour

Servings: 10 pieces

Calories: 197kcal

Author: Jocelyn Delk Adams

Ingredients

For the Fried Chicken

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • cup hot sauce
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 10 pieces chicken
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Nashville Hot Mixture

  • cup cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • White bread and sliced pickles for serving

Instructions

For the Fried Chicken

  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce and set aside.

  • Next add flour, cornstarch, seasoned salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to a paper bag and shake to mix well.

  • Dip each piece of chicken into seasoned flour and then into buttermilk then back into seasoned flour thoroughly coating each piece. Then add each piece to baking sheet to rest.

  • Finish coating all chicken and let sit for 15-20 minutes until coating has set.

  • While coating sets, add 2 – 2 1/2 inches of oil to a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom skillet and heat over medium high heat. Also turn on oven to 275 degrees.

  • This is my test for knowing when the oil is ready: Big Mama always tossed a tiny bit of flour in the oil and if it began to fry and sizzle, the oil was ready.

  • Fry four pieces at a time on each side. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan.

  • After each side has turned slightly golden, put the top on the skillet to steam the inside of the chicken ensuring doneness. After a couple of minutes, remove the top and continue to fry until the crust is crispy again and completely golden brown.

  • Remove chicken from oil and place on paper towels or rack to drain. Once completely drained, place the fried chicken on a parchment paper covered baking sheet add to warmed oven while finishing the other chicken pieces.

  • Fry the remaining chicken pieces and repeat steps of draining and adding to oven.

For the Hot Chicken Preparation

  • Once you are done frying all chicken and it is in the oven, whisk together 1 cup of the frying oil you already used to fry the chicken, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika until combined.

  • Remove chicken from the oven and brush the hot mixture over all of the pieces of chicken.

  • To serve, place hot chicken over white bread and serve with pickles on toothpicks.

Video

Notes

Be sure to check the full post above for more tips, serving suggestions, how to store leftovers, and more!

  • Double Dredge! This chicken has a double dredge to ensure that the crust is insanely crunchy and crispy. It is one of the most important parts of making this recipe.
  • Rest Your Chicken! Once you have breaded your chicken, allow it to sit for a bit. This allows the breading to stick to the chicken. Even better, stick the chicken in the refrigerator to let the coating stick well to the chicken.
  • Don’t Fry Fridge-Cold Chicken. Don’t start breading your chicken straight from the fridge. Placing cold chicken in the fryer will drop the temperature of the oil and prevent the chicken from frying evenly. Let your chicken sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then you’re ready to go!
  • Use Oil with A High Smoke Point: Using oil with a low smoke point will ultimately result in burnt chicken and the annoying sound of smoke alarms going off all over the house. Go for a neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point, like canola, vegetable or peanut oil. Be sure to use a thermometer to maintain the temperature of the oil, 350 degrees is perfect.
  • Make Sure Your Oil Is Ready! One of the best parts of Nashville Hot Chicken is the crispy exterior of the chicken. To ensure your chicken is fried crispy, it must start with hot oil. How do you know when the oil is hot enough? Dribble sprinkles of water or even flour in the oil, once it begins to dance, it is time to fry some chicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 2364mg | Potassium: 324mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4046IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 3mg

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The BEST Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe ONLINE! (2024)

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