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Nashville hot chicken on a slice of white bread and an orange brush.
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5 from 1 vote

Nashville Hot Chicken

This Nashville hot chicken is fried to perfection then brushed with a cayenne pepper hot sauce. It's spicy, sweet, flavorful, crispy on the outside, and juicy on the inside.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8


  • 3 lbs bone-in chicken
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Pickle juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce


Nashville Hot Sauce

  • 1 cup hot oil
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder


  • In a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, 2 tbsp Cajun seasoning, pickle juice, egg, and hot sauce. Add the chicken and let it sit in the buttermilk mixture for at least 40 minutes. The buttermilk brine should completely cover the chicken.
  • Add the flour and 1 tbsp of Cajun seasoning to a brown paper mag and mix well. Add the chicken to the brown paper bag, 4 pieces at a time, and mix well. Do this two times. The chicken should be completely covered in flour.
  • Heat some vegetable oil to 350 degrees F. Shake off any excess flour off the chicken and fry for 10 minutes on each side or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees F. Flip the chicken only once.
  • Remove the chicken from the oil and place it on a wire rack or a plate lined with a paper towel.
  • Add cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder, brown sugar, and garlic powder to a saucepan. Take about 1 cup of the hot oil you fried your chicken in and add it to the saucepan with the spices. Mix it well.
  • Brush the chicken with the sauce and enjoy!


  • Use a timer, a thermometer for the oil, and a meat thermometer to check the chicken's temperature.
  • The oil should be at around 350 degrees F and I highly recommend using vegetable oil or peanut oil for frying chicken. Avoid olive oil.
  • Use a brown paper bag or freezer bag to coat the chicken. Make sure to shake it up well and coat the chicken twice.
  • Don't overcrowd your pan and only flip the chicken once. Flipping the chicken several times can result in the breading sliding off.
  • Let the chicken sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before frying. Never fry cold chicken straight out of the fridge otherwise it will seize and cook unevenly.
  • Taste the hot oil/cayenne pepper sauce and adjust the seasonings to your liking. If you want it sweeter, add more brown sugar. If you want it spicier, add more cayenne pepper.
  • You can marinate the chicken in the buttermilk brine overnight. Make sure to cover it and refrigerate it.
  • The fried chicken will lack a little bit of salt because the sauce has tons of flavor! So don't overseason the chicken.