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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


  • 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


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.


  • 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