Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich…Super Spicy and Super Delicious!

Prince’s Chicken Shack in Nashville, TN has been officially credited as the place where hot chicken was invented. However, the more research I did, I discovered that the hot chicken credit should go to an unnamed woman who was out for revenge. Legend goes is that Thornton Prince, a man who loved the ladies, was served fiery hot chicken by a scorned lover. Her plan was to make him take a bite and suffer as his mouth was one fire. Her plan backfired though because, as the story is told, Thornton loved the spicy chicken. He took some to his brothers who loved it too and they opened up a restaurant based off his scorned lovers spicy concoction!

So hot chicken has been a staple in the Nashville area black community for at least 70 years. Because of segregation, folks outside of the black community didn’t discover this treat until a few years ago and it has become insanely popular over the past five years. You can now find restaurants serving their version of Nashville-style hot chicken from New York to Australia.

So far warning, the heat level of this dish is no joke! However, it is called “hot chicken” so you shouldn’t be surprised. The key here is the amount of cayenne you put in. I use only 2 tablespoons in this recipe, but the famous Hattie B’s, another great Nashville hot chicken restaurant, uses, reportedly, 6 tablespoons! If you’re on the fence, start out with just 1 tablespoon and work your way up. You guys know that when I make this for myself and don’t have to share I’m an over-the-top heat kind of girl so I do at least 6 tablespoons!

Enjoy my friends!

Click here to watch me make this recipe.

Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

  • Servings: 3-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

Ingredients

SPICE MIX

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon mustard powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

CHICKEN

2 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons louisiana hot sauce

2 tablespoons pickle brine (juice from jar of sweet pickles)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 tablespoons spice mix

BATTER

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon spice mix

SPICY OIL

Peanut or canola oil, for frying

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons spice mix

½ cup frying oil from chicken

Sea salt for seasoning chicken after frying

Spice mix for seasoning chicken after frying

Hawiian buns, to serve

8 sweet pickles chips, to serve

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, mustard powder, black pepper, and onion powder, chili powder, and cumin. Mix well.

In a large bowl, mix buttermilk, hot sauce, and pickle brine. Pat cleaned chicken dry with a paper towel and season well with 2 tablespoons of the spice mix and massage into the chicken to make sure it is fully coated. Place the seasoned chicken in the bowl with the buttermilk and cover with plastic wrap and lest rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator after letting it marinate for at least 30 minutes. 

Add flour to a large bowl or plastic bag with 1 tablespoon of the spice mix. Mix together well. 

Dredge each piece of chicken into the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip them back into the buttermilk mixture, then back into the flour. Place the coated chicken on a sheet pan with a wire rack for at least 15 minutes (up to 30 minutes) to allow the coating to set.

Heat oil to 325°F (170°C) in a deep cast iron pot or cast iron skillet with high sides.

Fry 3-4 chicken pieces at a time, making sure to not overcrowd the pot, for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and crispy turning once halfway through cooking. 

Transfer the fried chicken to a wire rack over a baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, and place in warm oven to keep warm while you fry the remaining chicken. Repeat process until finished frying all chicken. 

In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup of frying oil, 2 tablespoons of the spice mix, and brown sugar over medium heat and stir until the brown sugar dissolves, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

Remove chicken from warm oven, brush chicken on both sides with spicy oil and sprinkle chicken with more spice mix. 

Place chicken on buns and top with dill pickle.

Enjoy!

Author: Delightful and Delicious

Full time writer, chef, DIY champ...part time superhero!

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