Andre Prince, owner of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack of Nashville, TN, says eating Nashville hot chicken “is a punishment and a joy.” She knows that as well as anyone, as it was the philandering ways of Andre’s uncle Thornton that is responsible for the creation of the dish. The rapscallion’s wife punished him one day by loading his fried chicken with cayenne pepper. Unfortunately for her, the pain turned to pleasure, so much so, in fact, that uncle Thornton opened the chicken shack and began selling the stuff to the public!
Like many people who have tried Prince’s chicken, we adore this bird beyond all reason. One word of warning, though: they sell it in versions that range from mild to extra hot. We’re hot food veterans but the medium we sampled was very hot and the hot was scorching. We won’t be sampling an extra hot leg and thigh anytime soon. Listen to this six-minute piece about Nashville hot chicken by Debbie Elliott, which was aired on this morning’s NPR radio show, Morning Edition: