Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches

30 minutes
1 hour
1 hour 30 minutes
4 to 6 sandwiches
The hot chicken craze is taking over the food scene like wildfire but let me tell you, the best Nashville chicken you can get is the one you make at home and even better! From the crispy flakey fried chicken to the creamy coleslaw and tangy sauce, this sandwich is built to perfection in the flavor AND texture department. Now let’s dive into the secret formula for Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches!
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Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches

The hot chicken craze is taking over the food scene like wildfire but let me tell you, the best Nashville chicken you can get is the one you make at home and even better! From the crispy flakey fried chicken to the creamy coleslaw and tangy sauce, this sandwich is built to perfection in the flavor AND texture department. Now let’s dive into the secret formula for Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches!

THE SAUCE AND COLESLAW

We are going to work backward with this recipe! Although the chicken is obviously the star of the recipe, making the sauce and coleslaw comes first so the chicken can be enjoyed straight from the fryer. Since fried chicken can be a bit heavier and in this case with Nasvhille-style, very spiced, it’s important to add some refreshing more tangy elements. The coleslaw adds a nice crunch and refreshing taste while the sauce adds a creamy texture but is also a bit tangy.

Let’s start with the sauce! In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, ketchup, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper until well combined. The color will be a light pink/orange color. Raising Cane’s sauce is my favorite to enjoy with fried chicken so this recipe is meant to be a copycat. Cover and set aside until we need it!

As for the coleslaw, combine shredded cabbage and carrots in a bowl, then dress it with a mixture of mayonnaise, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Let the coleslaw chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving, allowing the flavors to develop. You can buy a coleslaw blend from the grocery store or just purchase cabbage and carrot and shred it yourself. Now that those components are prepared, we can move on to the chicken!

THE CHICKEN

The journey to crafting the perfect Nashville hot chicken sandwich begins with the chicken itself. Start by marinating boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs in buttermilk for at least an hour, or preferably overnight, in the refrigerator. This step not only tenderizes the chicken but also infuses it with flavor. For the crispy coating, create a seasoned flour mixture by combining all-purpose flour with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and paprika. For an extra crunch, consider adding a touch of cornstarch or panko breadcrumbs to the mix. Dredge the marinated chicken in the seasoned flour until fully coated, then fry it in hot oil until golden brown and crispy on the outside, yet juicy on the inside.

Now, let’s turn up the heat. Nashville hot chicken wouldn’t be complete without its signature spicy seasoning. In a bowl, mix together cayenne pepper, paprika, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. To create a paste, add vegetable oil or melted butter to the spice mixture. For those who crave even more spice, a splash of hot sauce can be added to the mix. Adjust the spice level according to your preference, ensuring it strikes the perfect balance of heat and flavor.

ASSEMBLY

Now that all the components are ready, it’s time to assemble the sandwich. Toast soft buns until golden brown and warm. Spread a thin layer of the spicy sauce on the bottom bun, then top it with a piece of crispy fried chicken. Add a few slices of tangy pickles and a generous spoonful of coleslaw. Finally, crown the sandwich with the top bun and press down gently to secure all the layers.

Serve your Nashville hot chicken sandwich alongside your favorite sides, such as crispy fries, creamy coleslaw, or a refreshing cucumber salad. Pair it with a cold beer or a tall glass of sweet tea to help cool down the heat. With its perfect combination of crispy, spicy chicken and tangy toppings, this iconic Southern dish is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.

Craving More Chicken? Try These Recipes Out!

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Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich

The hot chicken craze is taking over the food scene like wildfire but let me tell you, the best Nashville chicken you can get is the one you make at home and even better! From the crispy flakey fried chicken to the creamy coleslaw and tangy sauce, this sandwich is built to perfection in the flavor AND texture department. Now let’s dive into the secret formula for Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches!

The hot chicken craze is taking over the food scene like wildfire but let me tell you, the best Nashville chicken you can get is the one you make at home and even better! From the crispy flakey fried chicken to the creamy coleslaw and tangy sauce, this sandwich is built to perfection in the flavor AND texture department. Now let’s dive into the secret formula for Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches!

30 minutes
1 hour
1 hour 30 minutes
4 to 6 sandwiches

Ingredients

CHICKEN
  • 2 large chicken breasts, about 1.5 pounds
  • peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
DRY
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
WET
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
SPICY OIL
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cayenne powder, add more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 3/4 cup frying oil
COLESLAW
  • 3 cups coleslaw blend or 2 cups shredded green cabbage, 1/2 cup purple cabbage, 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, adjust to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
SAUCE
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
OTHER
  • 4 brioche buns
  • unsalted butter, for toasting buns
  • pickles

Instructions

MAKE THE COLESLAW
  1. To a large bowl, add the cabbage blend, mayo, mustard, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and sugar.
  2. Mix together well until everything is evenly combined.
  3. Cover and transfer to the fridge until the end.
MAKE THE SAUCE
  1. In a small bowl, combine mayo with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Mix together until creamy and it turns a light pink-orangeish color. Set aside.
CHICKEN
  1. Cut the breasts in half if they are too thick. Then cut the breasts into individual filets, about the same size as your buns.
  2. Pat the chicken dry very well with a paper towel.
DRY
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, mustard powder, black pepper, and baking powder. Set aside.
WET
  1. In a deep bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, hot sauce, pickle juice, and baking powder.
  2. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the wet batter into the dry and mix around to create a flaky texture. Set aside.
BREADING AND FRYING
  1. Dip each filet first in the dry, then into the wet, then back into the dry - using one hand for the wet only and one hand for dry only. Make sure to let any excess fall off before dipping into the next.
  2. Once all the filets are breaded, allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before frying.
  3. Heat oil to about 350°F in a frying pan, about 1.5 to 2 inches high.
  4. Drop the filets in, making sure not to overcrowd them. Fry in 2 to 3 batches. Fry until golden brown all around, about 7-8 minutes, making sure to flip over halfway.
  5. Transfer to a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
  6. Reserve 3/4 cup of the frying oil in a cup.
SPICY OIL
  1. In a deep wide bowl, add the frying oil along with brown sugar, chili powder, cayenne, dry mustard, garlic powder, and salt. Mix together well.
  2. Dunk each filet in the spicy oil and transfer to a plate.
ASSEMBLY
  1. Butter the buns and toast them in a pan over medium heat or in the oven at 350°F for 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Assemble the toasted buns with the sauce, fried chicken, coleslaw, and pickles. Close up and enjoy warm!
5 based on 1 reviews

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS RECIPE?

Rate + Review

This recipe was amazing! I did leave out the cayenne cause I have a few littles. My husband and teenage daughter couldn’t stop saying “Wow!” I also appreciated some of tips that will help in other recipes too. My daughter said we need to pin it and write it down, so we never lose it. 😊Can’t wait to make it again- thank you so much!!

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