Nashville Style Hot Chicken

In 2013 I made my first (and most likely only) trip to Texas. My brother and his wife were moving to the Netherlands and they needed help getting everything squared away. As my friend and I drove the near 16 hours back to Pennsylvania, we stopped in Nashville. 

We went to Princes just on the outskirts of the city center; which is the original home of Hot Chicken. Based on all the reviews of the place I knew we had to be there very shortly after opening or else we would be waiting forever for our pieces. At Prince's everything is made to order, nothing is prepped as they want it to be as fresh as possible. We got 4 legs to bring back with us.

After our return  I began to have dreams of Hot Chicken. As luck would have it Bon Appetit had a wonderful recipe from Hattie B's (the 2nd most famous in Nashville). I tweaked it a bit but kept most of the recipe as is. You may want to double up on sauce so you have some left over.


7-10 Chicken Thighs or legs (with bone)
1-2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons plus 4 tsp. kosher salt
4 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
2 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Frank's)
4 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil (for frying; about 10 cups)
       * Whatever pan you use make sure you have 2'' of oil in the pan. if you stick your index finger in 
           and it reaches the base of your second joint, you are good.
6 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
White bread  (for serving)

Special Equipment
A deep-fry thermometer- THIS IS A MUST


  1. Toss chicken with black pepper and 2 Tbsp. salt in a large bowl. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Take chicken out of fridge at least one hour before to warm it up a bit. 
    Make sure you get all the crevices! 
  2. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Whisk flour and remaining 4 tsp. salt in another large bowl.
  3. Fit a large deep pan or dutch oven or stock pot with thermometer; pour in oil to measure 2”. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 325°. 
    1. You will have to adjust the flame constantly as the oil temp will drop when you put the colder pieces of chicken in.
  4. Pat chicken dry or nothing will stick. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess, then dip in buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl. Dredge again in flour mixture and place on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack.
  5. Working in 4 batches and returning oil to 325° between batches, fry chicken, turning every 5 min, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of pieces registers 160° for white meat and 165° for dark, 15–18 minutes. Transfer to a clean wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Let oil cool slightly.
  6. Whisk cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a medium bowl; carefully whisk in 1 cup frying oil. Brush fried chicken with spicy oil. Serve with bread.
  7. Do Ahead: Chicken can be seasoned 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

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