Homemade Nashville hot chicken is amazing and worth the effort if you love fried chicken. We love making big batches of this and sharing it with friends.

Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe on a plate

Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe that's Spicy Fried Chicken on a cooling rack

What is Nashville hot chicken? 

Nashville hot chicken is a popular Southern style of spicy fried chicken. Originally started in Nashville, Tennessee this delicious hot chicken has become main stream super popular. The delicious flavors of the sauce are laden with cayenne and then brushed on the buttermilk fried chicken. If you love spice and hot food, Nashville hot chicken will become an instant favorite. The history of Nashville hot chicken goes way back as far as 80 years ago. The story of the spicy chicken from Nashville has an amazing legend and history. New Yorker has a great write up on the family business which most say started it all. And who continue to make some of the best chicken in the country! There is also a great write up of the complete history of it written by a Nashville native.

Video: Delicious Hot Chicken

Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe that's Spicy Fried Chicken on a plate

How to Make Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe

Our recipe is simple and delicious. The crust on the chicken is crispy and the chicken is moist and juicy. And of course, it’s all about making the chicken hot and spicy. So our recipe for the hot sauce has a kick with fantastic flavor. You can make adjustments to the hot sauce by adding a little more or less of the dried cayenne pepper powder. But this is definitely for hot chicken lovers, so don’t be afraid to stick to our suggested amount.

recipe step by step

Marinate the chicken in buttermilk, egg and spice mixture. 

recipe step by step

Single or double dredge the chicken. The single dredge in flour gives a lighter crispy coating. The double dredge gives a more thick and crunchy crust. Both are delicious! 

recipe step by step

Spicy Hot Chicken Recipe Nashville Style step by step

Spicy Hot Chicken Recipe Nashville Style step by step

Make sure to not have the oil too hot or else the chicken crust will burn on the outside. The inside will be raw too. Turn the chicken a few times during cooking to get even cooking. Or you can pierce the center of the chicken about halfway through cooking to release uncooked juices. This can help the thicker chicken pieces like the chicken thighs cook through properly. 

Spicy Hot Chicken Recipe Nashville Style step by step

Spicy Hot Chicken Recipe Nashville Style step by step

Spicy Hot Chicken Recipe Nashville Style step by step

 

 

Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe that's Spicy Fried Chicken @bestrecipebox

Nashville Hot Chicken

Nashville Hot Chicken is meant to be spicy hot. This stuff is spicy! We start with 2 Tablespoons of dried cayenne pepper powder and it knocked our socks off in the best way possible, but be prepared! Adjust the spice level to your preference by increasing or decreasing the cayenne. If you’re a dragon and can handle more heat, go for it and should be breathing fire super fast. Be forewarned, this isn’t casual, laid back, chat while you eat food. It is meant to be eaten with care and focus.
For the fried chicken batter, you can single dredge or double dredge the chicken, depending on how thick you prefer the fried chicken batter. Some of us favored the crisper single dredge, and others loved the thicker crunch of a double dredge.
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (907 g) chicken pieces , patted dry
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 large (1 large) egg
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) hot sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) salt
  • Black pepper , to taste
  • 2 cups (250 g) flour

Sauce / paste

  • 1/4 cup (57 g) butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) oil
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) ground cayenne pepper , or to desired spice level - see head note
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) paprika
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) black pepper

For Serving

  • 6-8 slices (6-8 slices) white bread
  • Pickles , whatever you prefer - bread & butter, dill, or both

Instructions 

  • Marinate the Chicken: In bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Beat to combine, then add the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes - 4 hours to marinate (longer is better but if you are short on time it is still tasty.) In another bowl, add the flour and set aside.
  • Make the Sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl or saucepan (butter, oil, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, Worcestershire or soy sauce, salt and pepper). Microwave or heat until butter is just melted (the hotter it is, the harder it will be to emulsify the spices in the liquids). Whisk thoroughly until smooth.
    When the sauce is cooler, it doesn’t separate as easily so we like to brush sauce on the chicken when the sauce is slightly cooler or room temperature. If you want your sauce warmer, then keep stirring or whisking the sauce as you brush the chicken so that you have as little separation of sauce/oil as possible. The warmer the sauce is, the more the spices will want to separate from the liquids.
  • For Single Dredging: Remove chicken from buttermilk, shaking off excess buttermilk, then dredge chicken pieces in flour. Make sure all sides of chicken are covered in flour. Shake off excess flour.
  • For Double Dredging: Remove chicken from buttermilk, shaking off excess buttermilk, then dredge chicken pieces in flour, then into the buttermilk mixture and back again into the flour. Make sure all sides of chicken are covered in flour. Shake off excess flour.
  • Heat about 1/2” of oil in a pan (cast iron is preferable) to 350°F.
    Carefully add the chicken and cook until all sides of the chicken are golden and cooked through (about 8-10 minutes per side). Try to maintain the oil temperature at 325°F while cooking. It is ok to turn the chicken several times while frying to make sure each side gets nice and golden.
  • Sauce and Serve: Generously brush the cooked chicken with the sauce. Serve on the slices of bread and top with several pickle slices.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 432kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 1364mg, Potassium: 291mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1016IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 106mg, Iron: 3mg

 

Here’s a great Asian Style fried chicken that’s loaded with flavor. And check out more of our great chicken recipes here.