Baked Nashville Hot Chicken

Can’t make it to the Music City anytime soon?  Then try out this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken at home!

Can't make it to the Music City anytime soon? Then try out this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken at home!We don’t eat out at fast food restaurants very often.  Occasionally, we’ll grab a sandwich if we’re on a road trip, but that’s usually the extent of it.  But we had to make an exception recently.  We had to try out KFC’s Nashville Hot Chicken.  We piled into the car with Robbie on a Saturday night, and rode up to KFC for dinner.  (On a side note, I had to stop and appreciate yet another way that our lives are different now that Robbie is in the picture.  What used to be trendy dinners and drinks with my wife have now become trips to KFC at 5:30pm.  And we wouldn’t have it any other way.)  

But back to the fried chicken.  I’m a southern boy, and I love fried chicken.  It’s hard to find good fried chicken in our area, although we do have one place about 30 minutes away that’s worth the occasional trip.  But even that place doesn’t serve Nashville Hot Chicken.  What is Nashville Hot Chicken you ask?  Well, I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question before last summer.  But now I am quite familiar with this Nashville treat.

Can't make it to the Music City anytime soon? Then try out this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken at home!My sister has lived down in Nashville for years, and my mother recently moved there as well.  We usually take a few days off and head down for a long weekend sometime in mid-summer.  Last year, we were sitting around my mom’s house, and the idea of going out to eat came up.  My sister mentioned a place that served spicy fried chicken.  That’s all it took.  We were back in the south, and the thought of going out to get fried chicken sounded like an excellent idea!

On the way over to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, my sister told us about Nashville Hot Chicken.  It’s a simple idea really.  Delicious, perfectly fried chicken with a kick.  And here’s the thing: you can order your chicken at varying levels of heat.  There’s southern-style (no heat) all the way up to ‘Shut the Cluck Up’ (which is labeled as ‘Burn Notice’) on the menu.  My brother-in-law loves spicy foods (he grows his own ghost peppers for fun), so of course he went with the Shut the Cluck Up.

Can't make it to the Music City anytime soon? Then try out this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken at home!The heat behind Nashville Hot Chicken is no joke, guys.  You think you like spicy food?  Then the mild or medium is probably the best place to start.  Just looking at my brother-in-law’s chicken made my eyes water.  In his defense, he ate it all.  But he said he probably would drop back to a lower spice level next time.  (For the record, he’s admitted that a meal was too spicy only one other time in his entire life.)  However, he did get a bumper sticker as proof that he made it through his plate of Shut the Cluck Up.

Laura and I stuck to the medium and mild versions, and we were quite happy.  I enjoy spicy foods, but I don’t need them to melt my face off, either.  The other day, I decided to try and whip up some Nashville Hot Chicken at home.  I was tempted to pull out the fryer and go all out, but then I switched it up and went with this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken instead.

Can't make it to the Music City anytime soon? Then try out this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken at home!So what makes Nashville Hot Chicken hot?  Well, there’s a bit of spice in the batter.  But the real secret is brushing a bit of the spicy frying oil on the chicken once it comes out of the fryer.  Since I didn’t have any of that frying oil, I whipped up a similar version using olive oil instead.  And then I brushed that on the top of the baked chicken once it came out of the oven.

One bite of this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken, and I knew I had something good.  I also knew that I had gone overboard with the cayenne pepper.  It snuck up on me.  I think my exact words were, “Ouch.  That’s hot.”  I toned the heat level back a bit, and I’m quite pleased with how this one turned out!

Can't make it to the Music City anytime soon? Then try out this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken at home!We’ll still go out and get hot chicken when we visit my sister and Mom in Nashville, but this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken will certainly hold us over in between.  Oh, and in case you’re wondering, we weren’t impressed with the KFC version.  Go with this baked version…or better yet, take a trip to Nashville for the real thing.  The Music City is one cool place to visit!

Can't make it to the Music City anytime soon? Then try out this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken at home!

Baked Nashville Hot Chicken

Can’t make it to the Music City anytime soon?  Then try out this Baked Nashville Hot Chicken at home!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 532kcal

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • tsp black pepper

For the Dry Dip

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

For the Wet Dip

  • 1 large egg
  • cup buttermilk
  • ½ Tbsp Louisiana-style hot sauce I used Tabasco

For the Coating

  • 1 cup Panko-style breadcrumbs

For the Spicy Oil

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1-3 tsp cayenne pepper see note
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

For serving

  • White sandwich bread
  • Pickle slices

Instructions

  • Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towel. Rub/press salt and black pepper into both sides of chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick cooking spray; set pan aside.
  • Using a medium bowl, whisk the Dry Dip ingredients (flour, salt and pepper) together until well blended; set aside.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk the Wet Dip ingredients (egg, buttermilk, hot sauce) together until well blended; set aside.
  • Place the Panko crumbs on a plate or in a third shallow bowl.
  • Working with one chicken breast at a time, dredge the chicken in the Dry Dip, then dip into the Wet Dip and finally dredge in Panko. (Tip: Press the Panko crumbs gently into the chicken so they stick.) Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
  • Place chicken breasts on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes. Flip chicken over and continue baking for 10-12 more minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked. (Note: Baking time will vary based on thickness of chicken breasts.)
  • While chicken is baking, whisk together all ingredients for Spicy Oil (olive oil, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika and garlic powder). Once chicken is fully baked, brush tops of chicken with Spicy Oil.
  • Serve hot chicken on white sandwich bread topped with pickle slices.

Notes

Adjust the amount of cayenne to your personal preference. Or make two half-batches of the Spicy Oil with different levels of heat. We found that 1–1½ teaspoons of cayenne pepper was noticeably spicy without killing your taste buds. But feel free to play around here!

Spiced® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that spicedblog.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

49 Comments

  1. The ‘Shut the Cluck Up’ is by far the most enticing (and deadly) level they have to offer! Have you seen the series on First We Feast/Complex’ YouTube channel, where they invite celebs to eat a series of chicken wings while they conduct the interview?

    They go from mild hot sauces to incredibly hot…very funny. Can’t remember the name now, but search for it:)

    Thanks for the link!

    1. You’ve got to be seriously ready to go in for the Shut the Cluck Up…they just smelled hot (and not temperature hot…)! I’m not familiar with the First We Feast/Complex series, but it sounds hilarious. I’m definitely heading over to check it out as soon as I finish this note. Thanks so much for the comment, Fernando!

    2. I just watched the Key & Peele video…and I am crying laughing over here, Fernando! At one point, Key interrupts and says, “Sean, I’m having a stroke.” Hahaha…thanks for the early morning laugh!

  2. ‘Shut the Cluck up’? Sounds tempting, but I think I’d have to go with the medium spice just to ease my way up. Hubby & I LOVE our spice, though. My mouth is watering over this recipe, David! The idea of brushing with spicy oil is brilliant. I’ve actually had a real craving for something like this lately and would love to try your recipe. Right up my alley. I’ve never been to Nashville, but can only imagine how awesome it would be to visit, especially to try recipes like this. Perhaps one day 🙂 Can’t wait to make this one soon. Pinned!

    1. Even the medium is super intense, Dawn! They definitely don’t compare to your run-of-the-mill medium chicken wings. But this is seriously a fun recipe. I want to try making a full-on fried version sometime soon now. 🙂

  3. Hi David! You know you’ve got my attention here! I’m like you…I like spicy but not so much that it incinerates my taste buds! I have not tried the hot chicken when I have been in Nashville, but I believe it will have a place in my next visit! My son will game, he likes spicy food too! Nashville has so many great places to indulge in food trips! Some of the best are those little joints like Bro’s Cajun!! They have the best red beans and rice and they have crawfish! 🙂

    1. Yes, put Hattie B’s (they have several locations) on your Nashville to-do list. But beware…start very mild here as the spicy is legit spicy. I’ve heard great things about Bro’s Cajun, and I might have to finally get there on the next trip down there (which is coming up soon here)! 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness this sounds so amazing! I have never been to Nashville, but I feel like this gives me yet another reason to go. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. David , you brought back my Nashville days. Hattie B’s, Mcdougal’s, Prince they got the best fried chicken, absolutely a must try. You should be at Nashville for the hot chicken festival on 4th July.
    Your recipe inspires me to bring those flavors in my house

    1. Wait…there’s a hot chicken festival!?! How have I not heard about this yet? We’re heading down there soon, but I’m afraid we won’t be there for the 4th. But we’ll definitely be eating some more Nashville Hot Chicken while we’re there. Yum! Thanks for your comment, Rahul!

  6. Nashville seems to have many delicious things; unfortunately I haven’t tried most of them. This chicken is something I would definitely like to try. Well, I’d like to try the version with a little of cayenne (That’s a note for you, David, if you decide to make some for me). And lastly: you know my mailing address, don’t you?:)

    1. Ummm, I think I lost that address somewhere, Ben. Haha! But yes, a trip to Nashville is advised. It’s a really fun city…but like everywhere else in the south, it gets crazy hot in the summer! We’re heading back to visit in a few weeks, and I can’t wait! 🙂

  7. I’m a huge fan of chicken waffle…or any fried chicken. This baked nashville hot chicken sounds so legit and it covers all my favorite. And I can double my portion since they are baked, right?

    1. Yes! I’m with ya on the chicken waffle…but really it’s just the fried chicken. The chef at the fried chicken place near us actually beat Bobby Flay in a fried chicken throwdown…so I’m a little spoiled. It’s still a 30-minute drive though, so I don’t make it up there too often. And they don’t have Nashville hot chicken. On a side note, you can absolutely have double since it’s baked! 🙂

  8. Phew- When I first read the post title, I thought you’d gone to Nashville for chicken- Glad to hear it’s a little bit closer to home!

    Okay, the fact that there is spice in the batter- Consider it done. Australia has the ‘zinger’ range like..once a year and I go crazy. Not anymore with this recipe!

    1. Well, I wouldn’t mind going to Nashville for chicken. There is nothing quite like Hattie B’s! You should consider Nashville as your next stop on the great Arman blog tour!

  9. Duuuude – I am flabbergasted!!! You don’t like foods that melt your face off???? Whaaaaattt????
    🙂
    Seriously kidding! Tho am super impressed that your BIL grows his own ghost peppers – I have some habaneros growing – but no ghost peppers!
    BTW, I’d pick your baked Nashville hot chicken over KFC’s any day of the week – dude, (like Alton Brown would say) this is some serious good eats!

    1. I know, right? I kinda like still having my taste buds intact after eating a meal. Call me crazy like that! Growing your own habaneros, eh? I’m impressed! I only have some wimpy jalapenos growing in my garden…haha!

  10. I would definitely like to try Nashville Hot Chicken – never even heard of it before but it sounds fantastic. ‘Shut the Cluck up’ would probably not be my choice – in all honesty I can’t take too much spice at all so I guess I would have to go for the ‘Southern Style’. Such a great idea to create your own version where you are in complete control of the spice level 😉

    1. Hey, I went for the Southern Style chicken myself, Miriam. I like a little bit of spice, but I just wanted some good, classic southern fried chicken. 🙂 And now I’m craving fried chicken for dinner tonight…thanks for that one! Haha!

  11. Shut the Cluck Up?!?! That’s hilarious! Chris would love that because he can snack on ghost peppers just for fun too! I’m sure your version is just as delicious, if not better than the original in Nashville! And we don’t even need to talk about the KFC….

    1. So my sister’s husband’s name is Chris, too…what’s up with people named Chris chowing down on ghost peppers?? 🙂 You guys should totally take a trip over to Nashville sometime…and sport the Shut The Cluck Up bumper sticker on the way home!

  12. Hold. Me. Back. Nashville Hot Chicken that looks this good? I mean look at all that crunch appeal on the outside. I’d try that Shut the Cluck Up for sure. While at the Tabasco tasting rooms last month I tried a bottle labeled “Scorpion” and brother, that was 40,000 Scovilles HOT. I believe regular Tabasco is 2500… But surprisingly I survived. Ha!
    Dig this Spicy Oil thing, gotta try this. 🙂

    1. Hah…now you’ve gotta try making Nashville Hot Chicken with the Scorpion hot sauce. I used regular Tabasco, and it was perfect for me. Oh, and you definitely need to take a video when you chomp into that chicken coated with Scorpion sauce. I’d watch that!

    1. Well now you have to go back to Nashville sometime, Kathy! And get fried chicken…and more fried pickles. I’ve made fried pickles here at home, and they turn out well. I had no idea those were a southern thing until I moved up north. Go figure! 🙂

    1. Yeah, I’m not a fan of Olympic heat either. I do enjoy spicy stuff now and then. I’ll just sit back and watch other fools…uh, I mean brave warriors…melt their faces off. Hah!

    1. Oh man, I am jealous that you have Hattie B’s right there in town with you, D. We’re heading back to Nashville in a few weeks, and I’ll definitely be stopping by again. But I gotta say that this baked version was a fun adaptation. Not the same as the real thing…but then again, it’s baked and not fried so I felt a little better about it. 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment!

    1. No, you shut the cluck up, Dannii! 🙂 How bad do you want to do another trip around the States right about now? We’re heading to Nashville to visit my sister in a couple of weeks, and I’m about ready to get out of town for a couple of days!

  13. Mmmmmm! You definitely got summer right David! I’ve never been to Nashville, but even the look of these southern fried chicken fillets are making me want to come visit!

    1. Thank you so much, Lucie! Nashville is a pretty awesome town. We’re heading back down to visit my sister and mom in a couple of weeks, and I know some Nashville Hot Chicken will be on the list. 🙂

  14. I thought I remembered you having a hot chicken post! Thank goodness- I’ve been craving it! Just another thing our families have in common- my sister lives in Nashville too! She took me to The Southern for my first hot chicken and waffles. I know it sounds crazy but the heat with the sweet syrup was phenomenal! Oh- and you won’t believe it but I found a BBQ place in Rochester (Henrietta) that serves Southern Sunday Brunch! Full of Cajun goodness, bread pudding, greens, all things “home”! Give it a shot if you’re ever this way- the name of it is, appropriately, Sticky Lips.

    1. Say what? You have a sister in Nashville, too!? How funny is that? 🙂 Oh, man, now I’m craving The Southern. Thanks for reminding me about that place! And a place in upstate NY that serves legit Southern food? That’s worth making the drive over! Not sure when I’ll be out in Rochester again, but I’m definitely adding Sticky Lips to the list. And now I’m hungry for some down-home cookin’! 🙂

      1. Great- since you’re in the mood- how about a GOOD recipe for biscuits and sausage gravy? Haven’t been so lucky finding that here. 😢

        1. Oh man, you’re on a roll today, Marla! 🙂 So I don’t have a good recipe myself. I make my Southern Buttermilk Biscuits and then Laura handles the sausage gravy. (I know, I know…a Northerner making gravy…haha.) So that gets you about halfway there. (Yes, it’s the easy half, but then again a bad biscuit ruins everything!)

          1. Oh my gracious! Just made the chicken and wishin’ I had made some waffles! DAVID!!! This is delicious! I may go may some waffles right quick…….

        2. Awesome! I’m so glad you made this one…and I’m so glad it turned out well, Marla! You can totally play with the heat, too. One of the times we made it, I might have gotten a little overjealous with the cayenne. Oops. Haha! And, yes, waffles are a must with this one. I should’ve thought about that when I made these for the blog! 🙂 Thanks again!

  15. This is the BEST chicken EVER!!!! I love it and have made it quite a few times! The spicy oil seasoning tops it off. I don’t put the brown sugar in my or nor the salt, it’s salty enough….justsaying for my taste.

    1. Hey there, Jill! Thank you so much for the kind words. 🙂 I absolutely love Nashville Hot Chicken, but I wanted to come up with a way to make a baked version instead of frying the chicken here at home. I’m really glad you enjoy this one, and you have no idea how much I appreciate you coming back to leave a comment. Thank you!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating