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Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe | Grandbaby Cakes
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4.33 from 84 votes

Nashville Hot Chicken

The ultimate ode to Nashville Hot Chicken. This tastes just as delicious as the original ones in Nashville restaurants.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 10 pieces
Calories: 171kcal


For the Fried Chicken

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 10 pieces chicken
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Nashville Hot Mixture

  • 1/3 cup cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • White bread and sliced pickles for serving


For the Fried Chicken

  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce and set aside.
  • Next add flour, cornstarch, seasoned salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to a paper bag and shake to mix well.
  • Dip each piece of chicken into seasoned flour and then into buttermilk then back into seasoned flour thoroughly coating each piece. Then add each piece to baking sheet to rest.
  • Finish coating all chicken and let sit for 15-20 minutes until coating has set.
  • While coating sets, add 2 - 2 1/2 inches of oil to a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom skillet and heat over medium high heat. Also turn on oven to 275 degrees.
  • This is my test for knowing when the oil is ready: Big Mama always tossed a tiny bit of flour in the oil and if it began to fry and sizzle, the oil was ready.
  • Fry four pieces at a time on each side. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan.
  • After each side has turned slightly golden, put the top on the skillet to steam the inside of the chicken ensuring doneness. After a couple of minutes, remove the top and continue to fry until the crust is crispy again and completely golden brown.
  • Remove chicken from oil and place on paper towels or rack to drain. Once completely drained, place the fried chicken on a parchment paper covered baking sheet add to warmed oven while finishing the other chicken pieces.
  • Fry the remaining chicken pieces and repeat steps of draining and adding to oven.

For the Hot Chicken Preparation

  • Once you are done frying all chicken and it is in the oven, whisk together 1 cup of the frying oil you already used to fry the chicken, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika until combined.
  • Remove chicken from the oven and brush the hot mixture over all of the pieces of chicken.
  • To serve, place hot chicken over white bread and serve with pickles on toothpicks.



Make sure you rest your chicken before frying it to ensure that the breading stays on it.


Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 2361mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 760IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1.8mg