nashville hot chicken sandwich
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Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

Chicken sandwiches are popping up on menus everywhere recently and in my opinion the ultimate chicken sandwich is the Nashville Hot chicken sandwich! This sandwich packs the heat but is mellowed out by a little sweetness from the brown sugar. It’s crispy saucy exterior is surprisingly easy to achieve at home. Perfect for satisfying that craving without leaving home.

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Where did Nashville Hot Chicken Originate?

Nashville Hot Chicken was invented by the Prince family, owners of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. The recipe is believed to be created by accident when Thornton Prince III’s girlfriend fried him up some chicken with extra peppers after he came home late one night. He liked it so much he adapted the recipe with his brother and started serving it at their chicken shack. The dish today consists of fried chicken with its unique spice mixture served with a slice of white bread and pickles.

What Does Nashville Hot Chicken Taste Like?

Nashville hot chicken is like fried chicken on steroids. The spice mixture that sticks to the crispy breading is spicy, smoky and a little sweet. Its flavor profile is similar to a BBQ dry rub with the garlic and paprika but with more heat. Most restaurants specializing in hot chicken serve different spice levels varying from mild to “blow your lid off” hot. The ingredient that causes the heat in this dish is cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper is cultivated from a variety chili peppers that are dried and broken down into a powder. Cayenne pepper has a Scoville rating between 30,000 and 50,000. This is hotter than a jalapeno that has a Scoville rating between 2,500 and 5,000 but much less than a ghost pepper that can rate over 1,000,000. You can easily adjust the amount of cayenne in the dish for your heat tolerance.

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nashville hot chicken sandwich

Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

Spicy crispy chicken in a warm buttery brioche bun

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword friedchicken, hotchicken, sandwich, spicy
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 537 kcal

Ingredients

  • Aldi Red Bag Chicken or other frozen breaded chicken breast filets
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper if you want it less spicy use less
  • ¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
  • A pinch of Brown Sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Brioche bun
  • Pickles
  • Mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. Air fry chicken breast at 400° for 16 minutes (or according to package directions until crispy).
  2. While chicken is cooking, melt butter in the microwave. When butter is melted add spices into butter and mix together. It is important to add the spices while the butter is still hot so that the spices awaken and infuse the butter.
  3. Lightly toast brioche buns in an oven or toaster oven. Optional: butter the cut side of the bun so it turns golden brown.
  4. Spread mayonnaise on toasted buns. Place cooked chicken on top of the bun then baste hot butter sauce onto chicken. You want the chicken completely coated in the sauce.
  5. Top chicken with pickles* and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

I personally like to slice my pickles thinly and put them all over the chicken so that every bite has a little crunch and tang from the pickles.