Nashville Hot Chicken

Nashville hot chicken recipe with pickles, bread, and beer

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Marinate Time: 4 hrs
Total: 5 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1035 Calories
67g Fat
38g Carbs
68g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1035
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 67g 86%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 331mg 110%
Sodium 1090mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 68g
Vitamin C 4mg 22%
Calcium 103mg 8%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 800mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Nashville hot chicken is Southern fried chicken, but with a hot and spicy difference. The fried chicken is finished with a spicy sauce made with a generous amount of cayenne and black pepper. This version of hot chicken can be adjusted to suit your heat tolerance. For super spicy chicken, increase the amount of cayenne, or cut back on the cayenne for a milder coating.

Nashville hot chicken is traditionally served with sliced white bread and pickles. Add a side of macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, or Southern-style greens for a fantastic meal.

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 3 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken pieces

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Coating:

  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

  • 1 cup whole milk, or buttermilk

  • 2 large eggs

  • 4 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Texas Pete's, Frank's, or Tabasco

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Hot Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, or more

  • 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, reserved from the used cooking oil

  • White bread and pickles, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Nashville hot chicken
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Dry the chicken pieces with a paper towel and arrange them in a pan or baking dish. Rub the chicken with 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

    Chicken pieces with salt and pepper marinade.
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

  4. In a deep, heavy skillet or saucepan, heat about 2 inches of oil to 350 F.

  5. Place a cooling rack in a rimmed baking pan. Preheat the oven to 200 F.

    Place a cooling rack in a pan
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. In a bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and hot sauce.

    Combine the milk, eggs, and hot sauce
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  7. Pour the milk and egg mixture into a wide, shallow bowl. Put the flour in a separate wide, shallow bowl.

    Dredging containers
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  8. Dip a chicken piece in the flour and turn until it is thoroughly coated.

    Dredging a chicken leg
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  9. Dip the flour-coated chicken in the milk and egg mixture and turn to coat.

    Dredging the chicken pieces
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  10. Dip the chicken piece in the flour once again, turning to coat.

    Dredge the chicken
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  11. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

    Breaded chicken pieces
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  12. Fry the chicken in small batches in the hot oil for 16 to 19 minutes, or until the pieces reach about 165 F at their centers on an instant-read thermometer. Chicken breast pieces will take 15 to 17 minutes.

  13. Remove the chicken pieces to the prepared pan with the cooling rack and place the pan in the oven. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Set the cooking oil aside to cool slightly.

    Remove the chicken to a rack
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  14. Now to make the hot sauce for the glazing. In a heatproof bowl, combine the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, paprika, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and the garlic powder. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot cooking oil to the spices and stir to blend.

    Combine the spices with the hot oil
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  15. Brush the hot sauce over the chicken pieces. Stir the sauce frequently as you brush.

    Brush the hot oil over the chicken pieces
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  16. Serve with white bread and pickles. Enjoy.

    Nashville hot chicken with the fixins
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Tips

  • Make sure your oil is hot enough to cook the chicken, it should be at 350 F, this ensures your chicken is crispy. Use a deep-fry thermometer and keep checking in between frying the next batch to make sure the temperature is correct.