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Nashville Hot Chicken

Prep Time:

210 mins.

Cook Time:

45 mins.

Yield:

4 to 6 servings

Hot chicken is a local specialty in Nashville, Tennessee, but it’s easy to make anywhere with some Tiger Sauce® and a “hot chicken or not chicken” attitude! Layer the spices and flavors at each step in the recipe and the result will be a Nashville-approved crowd pleaser for every occasion from game day to a family picnic.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (wings, drumsticks. split breasts cut in half or trimmed thighs)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Spice Rub, divided (recipe follows)
  • Buttermilk Marinade (recipe follows)
  • Nashville Tiger Sauce® (recipe follows)
  • Buttermilk Egg Wash (recipe follows)
  • Spicy Breading (recipe follows)

Spice Rub

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Buttermilk Marinade

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Spice Rub
  • 2 bay leaves

Nashville Tiger Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Spice Rub
  • 2 tablespoons Tiger Sauce®
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Buttermilk Egg Wash

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Tiger Sauce®

Spicy Breading

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Spice Rub (remaining amount)

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  2. Make Spice Rub: Mix seasonings together in a small bowl.
  3. Make Buttermilk Marinade: Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the Spice Rub in a large bowl along with 2 cups buttermilk and 2 bay leaves; reserve remaining Spice Rub for later use.
  4. Add chicken to buttermilk and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
  5. When ready to cook, make Nashville Tiger Sauce: Place 1 teaspoon of reserved Spice Rub in a medium bowl. Stir in Tiger Sauce, cayenne, brown sugar, paprika and vegetable oil, reserving butter to add later. (Oil will be separated; it will be combined when butter is added).
  6. Make Buttermilk Egg Wash: Whisk eggs, buttermilk and Tiger Sauce in a medium bowl.
  7. Make Spicy Breading: Whisk flour, baking powder and remaining Spice Rub in a large bowl.
  8. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dredge chicken in Spicy Breading and shake off any excess, then coat in Buttermilk Egg Wash and shake off any excess, then dredge once more in Spicy Breading, shake, and place chicken on a baking rack. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
  9. Add vegetable oil to a Dutch oven, 3 inches deep. Heat over medium high heat until oil registers 375°F. Add 3 to 4 chicken pieces to pot in a single layer, cover, and cook 7 minutes. Flip chicken over, cover and continue to fry until chicken’s internal temperature reaches 160°F (or 165 °F for dark meat), about 5-7 minutes.
  10. Remove fried chicken to baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.
  11. While chicken is cooking, vigorously whisk the melted butter into the Nashville Tiger Sauce until smooth. Let chicken cool slightly, then brush with desired amount of sauce. You can adjust the spiciness of your chicken by simply adding more or less sauce.

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