Nashville Hot Fried Chicken

Nashville hot fried chicken boasts just the right level of heat which it takes from a bath of buttermilk and habanero sauce. It’s the style served at Prince’s Hot Chicken down South. Here’s how to make it at home.

Nashville Hot Fried Chicken

This Nashville hot fried chicken is hot and spicy enough to make you holler. Which is exactly how they like their fried chicken in Nashville. Who are we to argue? The folks who crafted this recipe rely on Tabasco hot sauce for the Nashville-style hot chicken experience. But that doesn’t mean you can’t tweak tradition if you fancy an alternate hot sauce. It’s all good. Really, really good. Originally published April 29, 2014.Renee Schettler Rossi

Nashville Hot Fried Chicken

  • Quick Glance
  • 40 M
  • 55 M
  • Serves 4

Special Equipment: Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer

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  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat)
  • One 5-ounce bottle habanero hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
  • Mild 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 enough oil in a large, deep skillet to reach 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 discard the mixture. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
  • 6. Fry the drumsticks 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 forget to pass the napkins—lots of napkins.

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