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Nashville-Style Hot Chicken Sandwich

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches
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Ingredients

5 tablespoons cayenne

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 

1 teaspoon chile powder 

1 teaspoon granulated garlic 

1 teaspoon paprika 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 

12 cups vegetable oil 

1 cup buttermilk 

1 tablespoon favorite hot sauce 

2 large eggs 

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 Hawaiian rolls

Butter, for spreading

Dill pickles, for topping

Iceberg lettuce, for topping

Mayonnaise, for spreading 

Directions

  1. In a large heat-resistant bowl, whisk together the cayenne, brown sugar, chile powder, granulated garlic, paprika, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture on all sides of the chicken. Transfer the chicken to a container and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Leave the remaining spice mixture in the bowl.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil until a deep-fry thermometer inserted in the oil registers 350 degrees F. Position a wire rack on a baking sheet.
  3. Whisk together the buttermilk, hot sauce and eggs in a shallow bowl. Put the flour in a second bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dunk the chicken first in the buttermilk mixture, then dredge in the seasoned flour and coat thoroughly. Gently drop the chicken into the oil, in batches if necessary, and fry until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to the wire rack.
  4. Carefully add about 1 large ladleful (6 to 8 ounces) of the frying oil to the reserved spice mixture to let it bloom. Be careful, as it will bubble aggressively. Whisk until smooth. Brush the fried chicken with the bloomed spiced oil as desired.
  5. For the sandwich build: Meanwhile, halve the Hawaiian rolls, spread with butter and toast on a griddle. Put the hot chicken on the griddled buns, top with pickles, lettuce and a schmear of mayo.
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