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How To Make Nashville Hot Chicken

How To Make Nashville Hot Chicken

Warren Bell
How To Make Nashville Hot Chicken

Our easy, 30 minute hot chicken wings recipe.

I’ve always been a fan of hot chicken wings, usually the Buffalo variety where baked or grilled wings are tossed in butter and hot sauce (Frank’s, please) and served with blue cheese dressing and the pointless scourge, celery. (My wife is allergic, it’s a thing.)  There are countless variations on the hot wing formula, just as there are countless hot sauces, all sweat and runny-nose inducing, and varying in degrees of painful to delightful.

Enter Nashville hot wings.  About two years ago, restaurants like Howlin’ Rays, 24 Hot, and Cuckoo Rooster started popping up in Los Angeles, featuring a more Southern-fried breaded chicken sauced with a very cayenne-forward spice mix, crunchy and delicious, and very, very hot.  Like, be-careful-when-you-order hot.

One global pandemic later, I needed to know how to make Nashville wings at home.  After a few mostly delicious experiments, I landed on a recipe that’s a bit messy, but easy and best of all, very fast.  Other than the wings themselves, everything is in your pantry, so you can be eating some amazing spicy chicken a half hour from now.

The spice level is easily controlled by adjusting the amount of cayenne in the spice mix.  The amount listed here (3 tablespoons) is a good solid mild-to-medium.  You can go as high as 6 tablespoons for full fire. More than that, you’re on your own.

This recipe feeds two, use multiples for more.

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 pounds chicken wings (about a dozen)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • Ground pepper
  • Canola oil as needed

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp. cayenne powder
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup of the cooking oil

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, salt, garlic powder and paprika in a bowl.  Whisk the eggs in a second bowl with a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.
  2. Pat dry the chicken wings with a paper towel. Dredge the wings in the flour mixture, shake off the excess, then dip into the egg.  Again, shake off the excess and dredge in the flour mixture, then set aside.  Repeat until all the wings are ready.  (This process will be a mess.  I wear disposable gloves.)
  3. Put a large skillet or Dutch oven on medium high heat.  When hot, add oil to fill to about ½ inch deep.  When the oil is hot (a drop of water sizzles immediately), add wings to oil and fry, turning occasionally.
  4. While wings cook, combine the cayenne, chili powder and brown sugar in a bowl.
  5. When wings are browned and crispy on all sides and thickest part of drummettes register 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, remove and place on a platter or small baking sheet lined with paper towels.
  6. Carefully scoop a cup of the hot cooking oil from the pot and whisk into the spice mixture.  With a barbecue brush, paint the wings on all sides with a glaze of the spices and oil.  Serve immediately.
How To Make Nashville Hot Chicken
30 Minute Nashville Hot Chicken
Author: Warren Bell
Ingredients
  • 1-1.5 pounds chicken wings about a dozen
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • Ground pepper
  • Canola oil as needed
For the sauce:
  • 3 tbsp. cayenne powder
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup of the cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Combine the flour, salt, garlic powder and paprika in a bowl. Whisk the eggs in a second bowl with a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.
  2. Pat dry the chicken wings with a paper towel. Dredge the wings in the flour mixture, shake off the excess, then dip into the egg. Again, shake off the excess and dredge in the flour mixture, then set aside. Repeat until all the wings are ready. (This process will be a mess. I wear disposable gloves.)
  3. Put a large skillet or Dutch oven on medium high heat. When hot, add oil to fill to about ½ inch deep. When the oil is hot (a drop of water sizzles immediately), add wings to oil and fry, turning occasionally.
  4. While wings cook, combine the cayenne, chili powder and brown sugar in a bowl.
  5. When wings are browned and crispy on all sides and thickest part of drummettes register 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, remove and place on a platter or small baking sheet lined with paper towels.
  6. Carefully scoop a cup of the hot cooking oil from the pot and whisk into the spice mixture. With a barbecue brush, paint the wings on all sides with a glaze of the spices and oil. Serve immediately.
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