Hattie B's Nashville Hot Chicken {Recipe} | The Good Hearted Woman

Hattie B's Nashville Hot Chicken {Recipe}

Cuisine Southern
Author Lee Brian Schrager, Fried & True


For the Dry Brine

  • 1 whole chicken 3 pounds, washed, patted dry, and cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

For the Dip

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce

For the Dredge

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Spicy Coating

  • 1/2 hot frying oil or hot lard
  • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Dill pickle slices
  • White bread optional


Step 1: The Dry-Brine

  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken pieces, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Up to 24 hours)

Step 2: The Dip & Dredge

  1. Whisk together the milk, eggs, and hot sauce in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the four and salt.
  2. Drag the chicken through the flour mixture, coating evenly. Dip the floured chicken in the milk mixture, and then once again in the flour mixture. Shake off exceess between each step.

Step 3: The Fry

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet or deep fryer until it is between 350° - 375° F. The oil needs to be deep enough for the chicken to fully submerge.
  2. The temperature will drop when you add the chicken. Keep the oil at 300° to 325° F while the chicken fries. (See NOTES)
  3. Working in batches, use tongs to carefully add the chicken to the hot oil and fry until crispy. (15-17 minutes for breast quarters; 18-20 minutes for leg quarters.) Remove chicken from oil and allow to drain on wire rack.

Step 4: The Spicy Coating

  1. Ladle hot frying oil into a heatproof bowl. Whisk in cayenne, brown sugar, and spices. Baste the spice mixture over the hot fried chicken.

Step 5: The Serve

  1. If you want to go traditional, serve your Hot Chicken up over a slice of white bread. Garnish with dill pickle slices.

Recipe Notes

IMPORTANT: The oil needs to maintain an optimal temperature of 325° while the chicken is frying. However, the oil temp will drop at least 25° when you add the chicken, so initially you need to heat the oil up to about 350°.

It’s important to maintain the correct temperature for frying chicken of 325° F. If the temperature of oil in the pan drops down below 300°, the chicken will begin to absorb the cooking oil, resulting in greasy, soggy chicken. If it rises above about 340°, the chicken will cook too quickly on the outside, and not get done in the middle. When fried at the correct temperature, the chicken will come out golden brown, having absorbed very little oil.