Prince’s Nashville Hot Chicken Inspired Recipe

Prince's Nashville Hot Chicken Inspired Recipe

Let me walk you through the pleasurable experience of eating Nashville Hot Chicken. You pick up a piece of chicken from atop the sliced white bread that is now partially soaked absorbing some of that seasoning. The chicken is still glistening from the deep orange-red dunk into the spicy coating, the crust is thick and hard (that’s what she said) and easy to grip (that’s what she said again). The fumes from the hot spice almost burn your nose as you bring it close to your mouth to take a bite. CRUNCH!! The crack of the crust is so loud you can taste the crunchiness. Your lips are wet and oily from the sauce and you are so mesmerized by the juiciness of the chicken that you don’t realize your lips are starting to burn. You continue to take more bites and as the spice sets in you try to heal the burn by taking more bites faster and faster but to no avail because it only burns more. So you eat some pickles. That cools it down for a moment. But you miss the burn, so you return for more bites, only to start the process over.


Not only did you just experience complete divinity, you just made this yourself and people love you for it! This recipe will make you a proud hero and if you are intimidated by the description of all that heat, you can easily tone down the spice level to something more comfortable for you or your fam.

Ready to get started?

Prince's Nashville Hot Chicken Inspired Recipe

What is Nashville Hot Chicken?

Nashville Hot Chicken is distinctly different from regular spicy fried chicken. This chicken is fried hard (explained below) and has a super crispy crunch, then is dunked into a hot oil mixture full of intense spices ranging from cayenne to paprika and garlic powder and a hint of sweetness. It’s so perfectly spicy that you suffer in the best way possible while eating it. Not an uncomfortable amount of spice though (unless you opt for that) but more of a pleasure is pain type of heat that literally warms your body. It’s so craveable and a taste I yearn for almost weekly, that’s how incredible this flavor is.

Nashville Hot Chicken was originated by Thorton Prince of Prince’s Hot Chicken almost 100 years ago. Hattie B’s and other brands came much later, with their own copycat version of Prince’s. Nothing comes close to the uniqueness of Prince’s though. Their recipe is a super-secret but after a trip to Nashville trying the chicken many times and doing extensive research, I’ve created a great version of Prince’s super crispy, make-you-sweat hot chicken that I am very excited for you to try.

Their story is pretty cool and relatable, hot chicken being born from a woman scorned lol lol lol. She was trying to punish her man by cooking up his favorite fried chicken but secretly making it deathly hot. It wasn’t supposed to be an enjoyable experience, but he LOVED it. And not much later the legendary chicken shack was born. I guess one could argue that his infidelity paid off 😆

Prince's Nashville Hot Chicken Inspired Recipe

What Does “Fried Hard” Chicken Mean?

In the chicken community (you know, us fried chicken obsessed folks), fried hard means that it’s extra crispy with an audible crunch and that it’s extra saucy. This recipe perfects crispiness with a few important steps that I outline in the next section.  

In this recipe we use a few fun techniques to create THE PERFECT FRIED CHICKEN!!

Prince's Nashville Hot Chicken Inspired Recipe

Steps to Making the Perfect Nashville Hot Chicken

Use any combination you prefer of drums, thighs, and tenders. I prefer tenders myself, but the cooking instructions for all of these is outlined in the recipe below. Avoid breasts because of their longer cooktime.

Salt the chicken first (quick brine)

To ensure moist, flavorful and tenderized chicken, salt the chicken and allow it to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

Rather than adding the spices only to the flour drudge, in this recipe, we add part of the spice mixture directly onto the raw chicken pieces. This direct contact infuses each piece with lots of flavor.

Prince's Nashville Hot Chicken Inspired Recipe

Special ingredients to create an extra crispy coating.

Egg whites – helps the flour stick to the chicken like glue. Yolks make the chicken crust softer due to the fat content.

Vodka – since it evaporates rapidly in the frying oil, it sets the coating and creates flaky layers as it does in pie crust.

Cornstarch weakens the protein in the flour just enough to make the coating tender. all play a role in making this chicken incredibly crispy.

Bold spicy coating mixture

Don’t be shy with the spices. It may feel crazy to add several tablespoons of cayenne pepper to a chicken coating, and it should since there aren’t many recipes comparable to hot chicken. Unless you are intolerant of spicy food, be heavy handed with the spices. You won’t regret it! But do be sure to taste-test your hot chicken coating first before dunking every piece in. You may find that you want more or less of something, so adjust as needed. It’s more of an art and intuition than a science.

Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe (Inspired by Prince's Hot Chicken)

Tools Needed

Be prepared

Finally, safety with frying is very important. Always use thermometers to monitor your heat so prevent it from smoking and getting too hot. Be sure to set up your fry station so that you have everything you need readily available and don’t need to run around and create a stressful moment. Lastly, be sure to read through all the steps and notes of the recipe to ensure you aren’t flying by the seat of your pants. Is there anything worse than being mid-way through a recipe and realizing you don’t have what is needed? I want to prevent you from wasting any of your time or money.

Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe (Inspired by Prince's Hot Chicken)

Looking for other delish copycat recipes?

The Travis Scott Burger Copycat Recipe

The Best Five Guys Burger Copycat Recipe

Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo Pizza Fritta Copycat Recipe

McDonald’s Chicken McGriddle Copycat Recipe

KFC Chicken Littles Copycat Recipe

Popeye’s Famous Chicken Sandwich Recipe

CPK Cauliflower Buffalo Bites Copycat Recipe

Wedny’s Copycat French Fries Recipe

I look forward to your questions and feedback below. Please be sure to tag me @BadBatchBaking using hashtag #badbatchbaking if you made this recipe and I will feature you on my story! Plus, I LOVE to see your baking accomplishments.

Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe (Prince's Hot Chicken Inspired)

This Nashville Hot Chicken recipe is inspired by Prince's Hot Chicken, the originator of the famous Nashville hot chicken. This extra crispy chicken is fried hard and dunked in a delicious blend of extreme spice that'll heat you up! Serve it over pieces of white bread and a handful of pickle slices.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe and notes in detail before making this dish. Although it's not hard, there are a few special steps and tools that are imperative. As always, it's important to fully understand the recipe first so no time or money is wasted 🙂
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fried chicken, fried hot chicken, Hot chicken, Nashville hot chicken, spicy chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 480kcal
Author: Mallory Austin
Cost: $15

Ingredients

  • 8-16 pieces chicken tenders or bone-in chicken pieces 8 pieces of bone-in or about 16 tenders
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt divided among chicken pieces

Chicken Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika regular paprika works as a substitute
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoons ground white pepper

Chicken Coating

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce I use Louisiana
  • 1 cup whole milk buttermilk can be substituted but it makes the crunch a little softer
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons vodka don't skip this step!!
  • about 2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil for deep frying

Nashville Hot Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup hot fry oil
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

For Serving

  • sliced white bread
  • pickle slices

Instructions

Prep the Chicken

  • Place the chicken pieces on a baking sheet or cutting board and sprinkle all over with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, dividing among the chicken. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate overnight).
  • In a large bowl, combine the paprika, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder. Use 2 tablespoons (about half) of the spice mixture and sprinkle directly onto the chicken pieces, patting it into the chicken as you go.

Chicken Drudging

  • Add the flour and cornstarch to the remaining spice mixture in the bowl and whisk well to combine. In a separate medium bowl, place the buttermilk, egg whites, hot sauce, and alcohol and whisk thoroughly to combine.
  • Use one hand for the wet mixture and one hand for the dry, take 1 piece of chicken at a time, toss in the flour mixture, shaking off excess, dip chicken in the buttermilk mixture to completely coat, then place back in the flour mixture. Toss as needed to completely coat the chicken, pressing into it with your fingers. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Set aside at room temperature for at least 10 minutes (up to 30 minutes) while you set up for frying and heat the oil.
  • Place the oil in a large Dutch oven or deep, heavy-bottom pan, attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer, and heat over medium-high heat until the oil is 360°F, about 15 minutes. Set up your serving plates nearby with pieces of white bread. This is where the cooked chicken will land.

Frying the Chicken

  • Working in batches, place 3 chicken pieces (or 5 tenders) at a time in the oil and fry, using tongs to rotate the pieces every 3 to 4 minutes and adjusting the heat as needed to keep heat at 325°F, until golden-brown with an internal temperature of 165°F (check by inserting a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken without touching bone). About 12 to 15 minutes for whole pieces or 8 to 10 minutes for tenders.

Nashville Hot Coating

  • While chicken is cooking, carefully ladle 1 cup of hot oil directly from the fryer into a heatproof bowl (I use a stainless steel mixing bowl or glass dish). Whisk in the Nashville hot seasoning rapidly but carefully until the brown sugar incorporates. Taste test and adjust seasonings as needed. Dip the hot fried chicken immediately into the spice mixture straight from the frying pan. Tossing several times to coat well . Place the finished pieces onto slices of white bread, top with pickles and serve immediately.

Notes

TOOLS NEEDED
  • Tongs, preferably long
  • Whisk
  • Candy or deep-fry thermometer
  • Probe thermometer
  • Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan
  • Stainless steel large bowl or heatproof large bowl

Share and Enjoy !

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