If you are a fan of fried chicken, spicy, hot and sweet food then this Nashville Hot Chicken recipe is perfect for you! nashville hot chicken sandwich

I recall the first time I ever had a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, it had my tastebuds watering with a tingling sensation from the heat but the acid from the pickles came quickly to my aid and just like that… I didn’t even know what hit me! 

All of the flavors happening at once was impossible for me to process just with one bite, which left me with no choice but to dive in for the second bite. I then looked down and it was all gone, all I could think of was how it was the best chicken sandwich I ever had and I needed to make it at home. The recipe went straight to the top of my recipe bucket list!

Warning, this crispy, crunchy, delicious fried chicken sandwich is very spicy. This means, don’t tell your guest and serve it to them so they can have the pleasure of being converted to the spicy side of life.3 nashville hot chicken sandwiches on the cutting board

WHAT IS NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN

Nashville Hot Chicken is a deep-fried chicken, either breast or thighs, that gets slathered in a spicy hot seasoning paste (using the same hot oil the chicken gets fried in) and is served as a sandwich that is topped with pickles. I like to take it a step further and add white American Cheese and mayo to my buns. 

It is known that Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, located in Nashville, Tennessee, was the originator of this famous recipe. The restaurant is nearly 100 years old and is rich with it’s authentic delicious recipes. 

The Nashville Hot Chicken recipe has been adopted by all cities across the country and a lot of people have put their own twist on them. This makes it great because everyone now has the chance to experience this masterpiece if they want. 

HOW DO YOU MAKE NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN SANDWICHES

The first step of making this is deciding to use chicken breast or chicken thighs. For my particular recipe, I went with chicken thighs. Thighs can handle a higher cooking temp and stay tender and moist with better flavor in my opinion. Once this decision is made the chicken is then tossed in a 12-24 hour buttermilk brine.

For the buttermilk brine, I add hot sauce and pickle juice into the buttermilk and whisk it together. From here, I place the chicken in the mixture and seal the top off with plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for 12-24 hours for best results. I would not recommend doing anything less than 4 hours.

After the brining period has expired, take the chicken inside and wash it off with cold water and then pat it dry. Place it on a wire rack with a sheet pan underneath and season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, onion and paprika. Once it is seasoned it is time to prepare the wash and bread stations.nashville hot brine

I like to keep my station for egg wash and bread clean and simple. I have it set up with all-purpose flour, egg wash and then back to my all-purpose flour with a wire rack beside it for the chicken to be placed on. Before we do anything, it is important to get the preparation right for the washer and flour. Follow the steps below:

  1. Add a 1/2 cup of the buttermilk brine in with the eggs and whisk. 
  2. Season the all-purpose flour with garlic, onion, chili powder, Mexican chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork until it blends well. 

These steps are quite simple but now it is time to bread our chicken. Prior to breading any chicken be sure to have your cooking oil (I used lard) to a temperature of 350 degrees F. The steps for breading the chicken is as follows:

Step 1) Coat the chicken in the flour mixture.

Step 2) Once the chicken has been coated completely with the flour mixture add to the egg wash. Toss the chicken and be sure the wash is coated on the whole chicken.

Step 3) Add the chicken back into the flour. Make sure the flour coating is covered and press down to compact the flour onto the chicken.

nashville hot chicken breading

Prior to frying any chicken, I like to add all of my paste seasonings into a metal bowl. It consists of brown sugar, cayenne pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Hand mix the seasonings and place them to the side. This is the seasoning mixture that I’ll be adding a half cup of the cooking oil into.seasonings in the bowl

Now it is the fun part, frying the chicken. The temperature of the oil, or lard, should be 350 degrees F. At this time add 2 pieces at a time and fry for 3-4 minutes.chicken in the fryer

I typically remove the chicken and probe it to get an internal temperature of 170-175 degrees F, only when using chicken thighs. Place the fried chicken on a wire rack with a baking sheet pan underneath.chicken resting on wire racks

When all of the chicken is fried, take a 1/2 cup of the hot cooking lard and add it with the seasoning mixture for the paste. Whisk this together and then brush a few coatings of it on each fried chicken piece.nashville hot chicken sauce

Top the chicken with white American cheddar cheese and toss it under the broiler for a few minutes, or until it has melted completely.nashville hot chicken with cheese

Assemble the greatest spicy chicken sandwich ever! Start off with the toasted brioche buns, mayo spread on the top and bottom buns, butter bread pickles on the bottom buns and the delicious fried chicken. It is complete, you can find all ingredients and measurements below!

fried nashville hot chicken

Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbss Boneless Chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tbsp Black pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Onion powder
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 8 slices White cheddar American cheese
  • Brioche buns
  • Mayo

Buttermilk Brine

  • ½ gallon Buttermilk
  • 1 cup Hot sauce
  • 1 cup Pickle juice
  • 1 ½ cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp Ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp Mexican chili powder
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper

Nashville Hot Chicken Paste

  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp Cayenne
  • 2 tsp Mexican chili powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 1 cup Hot cooking lard

Instructions
 

  • Start off by adding the chicken to the buttermilk, hot sauce and pickle juice brine. Cover and place in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
  • Remove when the time expires and wash the chicken and pat dry. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, onion and smoked paprika powder.
  • Add 3 pounds of lard to your frying pan or dutch oven and get the temperature at 350 degrees f. Once the lard is ready for frying it is time to bread the chicken. Do it in this order, place the chicken in the flour mixture and coat, toss in the egg wash and then back into the flour. 
  • Before frying any chicken add the Nashville hot chicken seasoning in a metal bowl and place to the side. Add the breaded chicken into the hot lard and fry for 3-4 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack. Repeat this process to fry all of your chicken.
  • When all of the chicken is fried, add a cup of hot oil and mix it together. Brush each piece of fried chicken with this spicy chicken seasoning paste. Add a slice of White American cheddar cheese. Place under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
  • Toast the brioche buns and apply mayo on the top and bottom buns with pickle slices on the bottom. Add the chicken and it is complete!
  • Enjoy with friends and family!
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Nashville hot chicken is a regional specialty that has been around for decades. It’s a type of fried chicken that has been battered, seasoned with cayenne pepper and served either on a bun or in a bowl with sides.

The dish originated in 1937 at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and was made famous by word of mouth by locals who loved it so much they spread the gospel across Nashville, Tennessee (and beyond). This recipe is my twist on how you are able to make this recipe at home and in a short amount of time!

DID YOU ENJOY THESE NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN SANDWICH RECIPE? YOU’LL LOVE MY OTHER CHICKEN RECIPES IN THE LINK BELOW!

Chicken Recipes

Items used in This Recipe

Hasty-Bake Grill

Knitted Gloves

Cast Iron Skillet 

Meater +

Charcoal Chimney

Charcoal Starters

Firestarter Guard

Cutting Board

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