Though this here Nashville fried chicken recipe isn’t quite as hot as they serve it in the city it’s named for, it should get you sweating. If you want it hotter, douse yours with additional hot sauce.–Editors of Southern Living Magazine
LC Hot, Damn Hot! Note
Hot enough to make you holler. That’s how they like their fried chicken in Nashville. And who are we to argue? The folks who crafted this recipe rely on habanero sauce for the authentic Nashville hot chicken experience. (Wanna know exactly which hot sauce they use? Tabasco.) But that doesn’t mean you can’t tweak tradition if, say, you don’t care for things to be quite so hot. (Curious which hot sauces our recipe testers gave a whirl? Take a look beneath the recipe at our Testers Choice comments. Then give whichever one you please a try and kindly let us know what you thought in a comment below.)
Special Equipment: Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer
Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 55 M
- Serves 4
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat)
- One 5-ounce bottle habanero hot sauce (see LC Note above)
- 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1. Whisk together the buttermilk and hot sauce in a large bowl or a baking dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning the pieces occasionally.
- 2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place a wire rack in a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet.
- 3. Pour the oil in a large, deep skillet until it reaches a depth of 1 inch. Heat the oil to 325°F (163°C).
- 4. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and onion powder in a shallow bowl.
- 5. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture, allowing any excess liquid to drip off and discarding the mixture. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
- 6. Fry the drumsticks in the oil in batches, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the fried chicken to the wire rack. Bake the chicken until cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes (or, if your drumsticks are particularly large, a few minutes longer). Don’t you dare forget to pass the napkins—lots of napkins.
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Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Recipe © 2013 Southern Living Magazine. Photo © 2013 Joseph De Sciose. All rights reserved.
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