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5 from 1 vote

Nashville Hot Chicken

Nashville Hot Chicken is a regional specialty popularized in Tennessee, but this spicy fried chicken is so flavorful it needs to be on dinner plates across America!
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings


  • 3-6 lbs chickens breasts thighs, and/or drumsticks
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt plus 4 tsp salt (divided)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp vinegar-based hot sauce
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 6 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika



  • Place chicken in a large bowl and coat with 2 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp pepper, toss to ensure even coverage, cover and place in refrigerator for 3+ hours.
  • Set up your dredging station by whisking together eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce in a large bowl, and combine flour and 4 tsp salt in a separate bowl.
  • Add oil to your deep sided cast iron pan and fill with 2" of oil. Heat on medium high until the temperature reads 325 degrees.
  • Pat chicken dry with paper towel then dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess, then dredge in buttermilk mixture, letting extra liquid drip off, and finally dredge in flour mixture again. Set each coated piece on a wire baking rack as you work in batches to complete the remaining pieces.
  • Place chicken in frying oil, working in batches as needed, and fry till golden brown and temperature reaches 165 degrees, turning chicken as needed to ensure even frying. ~15 minutes. Place cooked chicken on separate wire rack until all chicken has been fried.
  • Turn off heat and let the oil cool slightly and mix together cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a bowl. Add 1 cup of frying oil to the mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Let oil cool slightly.
  • Brush oil mixture over each piece of chicken and serve on top of white bread with pickles.


This recipe was inspired from Epicurious
Reheating leftovers in a 350 degree oven works quite well.
Frying temperature will drop when chicken is added. Be sure to monitor the temperature and increase the heat as needed.