Nashville Hot Chicken

Nashville hot fried chicken is cooked in a deep fryer or a skillet, its heat elevated in one of several ways. The batter in which it’s coated may be laced with pepper, the frying oil itself can be spiced, or it can be brushed with a pepper-hot paste when it emerges from the boiling oil. It always is served with white bread, which sops up the spicy chicken juice and becomes a scrumptious hot companion, as well as with tart pickle chips that revive heat-struck taste buds. Hot chicken first was served at Nashville’s still-thriving Prince’s Chicken Shack a couple of generations ago when proprietor Thornton Prince’s girlfriend, wanting to get even with him for his carousing one night, sopped his fried chicken in a painful amount of pepper. Instead of screaming for mercy, he yelled for joy. Hot fried chicken became Prince’s trademark and soon a passion throughout Music City. Today, Prince’s and every place that serves it offers different degrees of heat. One well-known source is named 400 Degrees, which is the designation of its hottest chicken. Diners also can choose 200 degrees, 100 degrees, and zero degrees, in descending order of ferocity. Nashville hosts a Hot Chicken Festival every Independence Day.

Restaurants With This Dish

Roost Fried Chicken

BOZEMAN, MT

A plate of baked chicken at Frog and The Hen restaurant
Frog and The Hen

AUGUSTA, GA

Nashville Hot Chicken plate at Sisters and Brothers
Sisters and Brothers

SEATTLE, WA

Revival

MINNEAPOLIS, MN

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