Everything You Need to Know About Nashville Hot Chicken

The story behind this signature dish and how to eat it
 

Photo courtesy of Squire Fox/August

The origins of Nashville’s now-famous hot chicken date back to the 1930s. As local legend goes, a scorned woman was seeking revenge on her womanizing significant other, Thornton Prince, so she doused his chicken with cayenne pepper, hoping it would be inedible. But it turned out Prince loved it and decided to open a restaurant: Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. This family-run shop is still around today, now helmed by the original owner’s great-niece, André Prince Jeffries.

Here’s how it’s served:

  • A quarter chicken breast, freshly fried.
  • Two slices of white bread.
  • Side of pickles.
  • Choice of sauce: mild, medium, hot, and, for the truly brave, extra hot.

Tip: Don’t be a hero—go for mild or medium on your first time.

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