I love spicy food so the first time I heard about Nashville hot fried chicken it seemed perfect. Fried chicken + spicy? Does it get any better? Well…maybe with a drink.
Fried chicken seems to be the new taco, every restaurant in Toronto has it. Unfortunately not many people do it very well.
So when TABASCO® approached me to create a recipe using TABASCO® I knew exactly what I wanted. Most people use the hot sauce as just a topping but it’s great as an ingredient in a recipe.
Hot chicken takes chicken up a notch by slathering it in a hot sauce and placing it on white bread with dill pickles. Although it was once pan fried in cast iron skillets, it’s most often deep fried now so that restaurants can keep up with local demand.
Hot fried chicken is serious business in Nashville Tennessee. It’s so entrenched there is a full cookbook: Hot Chicken Cookbook: The Fiery History & Red-Hot Recipes of Nashville’s Beloved Bird.
Prince’s Hot Chicken is generally accepted at the first joint to sell Nashville hot fried chicken in the mid-1930. It took decades to catch on outside Tennessee. With the new
appreciation obsession for barbecue, even KFC has started to pilot their own hot fried chicken in select markets.
Like every good thing in the south, you know something is good when people line up down the street long before a shop opens. This happened when I visited Killen’s Barbecue outside Houston – lines don’t lie.
The Legend of Nashville Hot Chicken
A scandalous but colourful history, locals say hot chicken was born out of infidelity. Although it was the Great Depression Nashvillian Thornton Prince III still liked to go out and enjoy himself in the evenings.
One night he stayed out a bit too late so his girlfriend sabotaged his Sunday fried chicken breakfast with hot sauce. But it backfired as Thornton loved it and he opened the BBQ Chicken Shack café with his brothers. It is now the home of Prince’s Hot Chicken.
Prince’s isn’t the only joint in Tennessee that has made its name for spicy poultry. Every barbecue chicken shop in town has hot chicken on the menu. Everyone has an opinion of who has the best. The key though is how it’s served, you must have good white bread and dill pickles as a topping.
Most notably Hattie B’s is a newer popular shop in Nashville. It offers more menu options including chicken with waffles on Sundays. It also also openly shares the hot fried chicken recipe. But there are so many recipes for it that there’s an annual contest in Nashville.
Hot Fried Chicken Recipe Tips
The original recipe uses a secret blend of herbs and spices. However, TABASCO® replicates many of these flavours so well that adapted versions of the recipe often call for TABASCO®. It’s also a southern ingredient as it’s made on Avery Island in Louisiana and a perfect flavour for Nashville hot fried chicken.
The key to great chicken is the marinade, which is why we’ve incorporated TABASCO® twice. First we use TABASCO® Green Sauce in the marinade and then the original TABASCO® Sauce to coat the chicken.
We decided to create a traditional hot fried chicken recipe. However TABASCO® has so many different types of hot sauce like Sweet and Spicy, Habanero and Garlic Pepper Sauce that this recipe is easily adaptable.
Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Recipe
Nashville hot fried chicken is the hottest trend in fried chicken but so easy to make with TABASCO®.
This recipe would also work on boneless chicken. You could also make a Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich. The technique is also used for Nashville hot fish and while catfish is often used any firm fleshed fish would do.