I’ve discovered the secret to making fried Nashville Hot Chicken at home without it being greasy or too spicy.


 

Over the years, I’ve made fried Nashville Hot Chicken a few times. I tried different online recipes, but I was never fully excited about the results.

The seasoning blends were usually obnoxiously too spicy (and I like heat) or the chicken skin got too greasy.

With some research and practice, I finally knocked this at-home recipe out of the park.


 

Why Is It Called Hot Chicken?

Nashville Hot Chicken is traditionally fried and then dunked in oil combined with ground hot peppers.

In Nashville, you can get a hot version that literally kills your tastebuds. While that’s an experience you might want to try just once, I prefer a spice level that’s more tolerable.

My buddy Derek Wolf from Over the Fire Cooking launched a Nashville Hot Chicken Seasoning that hits the mark. You can taste a blend of robust peppers with a little heat on the backend. It also has some undertones of a barbecue potato chip, which I dig.


 

How to Get Crispy Fried Chicken

This might be the only time in your life when it’s okay to double dip. Actually, you need to triple dip.

Start by seasoning your flour with some of the Nashville Hot Chicken Seasoning, and mix the buttermilk with some Tabasco sauce.

Then, dunk the chicken in the flour, the buttermilk and then back into the flour.

That double layer of flour is going to get you the double layer of flaky, crispy skin that will be screaming for the hot dunk.
 

How to Fry Chicken

The Kentucky girl in me learned to make fried chicken many years ago. In addition to the triple dip, you’ve got to cook at the right temp.

 

Whenever I fry food, I like to do it outside. That way my house doesn’t smell like cooking oil, and I don’t splatter grease all over the kitchen.

The KUDU Grill is a good choice for frying. It comes with a large skillet that easily holds 4-5 pieces of chicken.

If you’re cooking with oil over charcoal, be extra careful. When I need to raise and lower the pan to adjust the heat, I take the pan out of the ring first. That way, it won’t accidentally slide down and create a grease fire.

 

Once your oil reaches 350-375F degrees. Carefully add the chicken to the pan.

I don’t really cook on time. Instead, I wait for the bottoms of the chicken pieces to get golden brown.

 

When they reach that point, I give them a flip.

If I feel they need it, I’ll flip them a few times for even coloring.

 

The goal is to reach an internal temp of 165F. I test the temperature with my Thermapen. It’s also what I use to test the oil temperature.

The total cook time is probably about 15 minutes. It will depend on how hot your oil is and how many pieces you add to the pan.

Instead of worrying about the time, just pop open a beer and kick back and enjoy the outdoors. That’s my grilling philosophy.

 

How to Avoid Greasy Nashville Hot Chicken

Here’s where Nashville Hot Chicken can either suck or rock your world.

If you stop at this point, you’ll have great Kentucky fried chicken, but to make it Nashville Hot Chicken, you need to dunk it in a mix of ground peppers and oil.

You need to use hot oil. If you use room temperature oil, I guarantee you you will have greasy chicken.

Instead, spoon out some of that hot oil you fried the chicken in. Working quickly, stir in more of the seasoning.

 

Then, dunk each piece in the chile pepper oil.

Since the oil is still hot, it will basically fry the pepper flavor onto the skin.

 

To help remove any excess grease, place the chicken on a rack over a sheet pan.

Then, make it an official platter of Nashville Hot Chicken by serving it on white bread with pickles.

That bread will soak up any excess hot oil, and it’s scrumptious. I like using Texas toast.

 

There ya have it. All it takes is six ingredients and some honky tonk music, and you can transport yourself to Nashville just like that.

platter of fried nashville hot chicken with pickles

Fried Nashville Hot Chicken

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fried chicken, hot chicken, nashville
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 544 kcal
Author: Christie Vanover

I've discovered the secret to making Nashville Hot Chicken at home without it being greasy or too spicy, and the whole recipe is only six ingredients.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Break the chicken down into 8 pieces (2 breasts, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings).

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and 2 tablespoons of Derek Wolf Nashville Hot Chicken Seasoning.

  3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk and Tabasco sauce.

  4. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour. Shake it off. Dip in the buttermilk. Shake a bit. Dredge back in the flour. Shake it again. Place on a rack over a sheet pan.

  5. Heat peanut oil in a large cast iron skillet to 350-375F degrees.

  6. Fry a few pieces at a time. Once the underside becomes nice and golden, give it a flip.

  7. Continue cooking to an internal temperature of 165F degrees.

  8. Place on a clean rack over a sheet pan.

  9. Place a strainer over a medium bowl. Ladle 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the hot oil through the strainer into the bowl.

  10. Stir in 1/4 cup of Derek Wolf Nashville Hot Chicken Seasoning.

  11. Dip each piece of chicken into the hot oil, and return it to the rack to drain.

  12. Serve over white bread with pickles.

Tips

If you like your hot chicken even hotter, add some cayenne to the hot oil.

Instead of a whole chicken, you can also use 8 chicken pieces already butchered. 

Nutrition Facts
Fried Nashville Hot Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 544 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 149mg50%
Sodium 412mg18%
Potassium 701mg20%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 41g82%
Vitamin A 5365IU107%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 178mg18%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.