Love heat?? This spicy Nashville style sous vide fried chicken is crunchy, smoky, juicy and hot, hot, hot.
To make it, first you sous vide chicken then fry it the traditional way, or by air fryer. The best part is that if your new to frying, sous viding then frying chicken is almost a fool proof way to start. It will always be thoroughly cooked through. Let’s go sous vide then fry some spicy chicken!
Thanks Chef Eryn!! This recipe today is special. It’s from a friend – none other than Le Cordon Blue trained Chef Eryn Hagood who has graciously shared it with friends of Sip Bite Go.
What’s Nashville Style Chicken?
You might be wondering: why Nashville style chicken is so popular?
While it’s newly taking over the internet, this type of extremely spicy chicken has been served for over 70 years at Prince’s in Nashville. Known to some as the “Hot Chicken Shack”, this chicken even has been recognized by the elite James Beard Award peeps.
See my guide to the best sous vide chicken recipes.
What’s in Nashville super spicy chicken? Why so good?
And as you know, us foodies just love extremes. Which is the best word to describe this chicken experience. It’s extremely crunchy.
And has an extremely scorching spice combo that’s deep and complex in flavor… it’s smoky, spicy, and sweet because of the brown sugar.
That’s the flavor combination that makes spicy Nashville chicken unbelievably good. If you can handle the heat!
Steps for sous vide style Nashville hot chicken
- Sous vide chicken – first, you sous vide the chicken with just a little salt
- Hot Nashville fried chicken batter – then you batter the cooked sous vide chicken for frying
- Frying the chicken – find details in the recipe or use the air fryer to fry sous vide chicken
- Nashville hot oil seasonings – this is a ridiculously spicy oil brushed on the chicken after frying
- Dipping sauce – a creamy way to balance the bold spice
Sous vide time and temp for fried chicken
Since the chicken is cooked in the sous vide bath at 155 degrees F for 2 hours – it’s completely cooked and just needs to be battered and fried to be “finished”.
You’ll see this note in the recipe, but I often cook sous vide chicken breast at 140 degrees and thicker pieces like the thigh at 155 degrees.
Getting that crunchy fried chicken texture
Go all in for the perfect fry on the chicken. This recipe calls for a liquid batter and a seasoned flour mix to coat the chicken and give it that fried crunchy texture.
The wet batter is made of buttermilk and flavored with Louisiana Hot Sauce. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use an egg.
The seasoned flour is made of a bunch of spices plus flour. Eryn says that at this step she likes to taste the dry flour mixture.
Sounds extreme, but she wants to make sure the Nashville sous vide fried chicken batter is nice and flavorful – – just like you’d expect from a chef!
How to sous vide then fry chicken
As mentioned, cook time for sous vide Nashville hot chicken in Eryn’s recipe is 155 degrees F for 2 hours. Then you move on to the technique for frying chicken after it’s fully cooked.
In the recipe below, you’ll find tips for frying the chicken on the stove in vegetable oil. And you’ll also learn how to air fry chicken after sous vide cooking if you want to finish it that way.
Did you know frozen food cooked sous vide style is a thing? As a new parent, I don’t have forever to cook dinner. So on many nights I make sous vide frozen chicken breast without thawing it first. It’s a game changer.
The final touch: super spicy Nashville hot oil
Eryn whipped together a “hot oil” (the extremely, very over the top, spicy type of hot) and brushed it on the chicken right when it came out of the fryer. You can also buy a pre-made Nashville seasoning blend online.
The base of the oil is a bunch of spices – cayenne pepper, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, kosher salt.
Yup, this is where it gets super spicy, folks!! It uses so much cayenne pepper, that I triple checked Eryn was serious!
If you’re level of heat tolerance plateaus at about buffalo chicken level, then you’ll want to tone down the spices. This chicken is so much hotter than you’d imagine! I only use a little of the super hot spices and love it that way. It calls for multiple tablespoons of cayenne.
Reminder from Eryn: Did you mention anything about quartering the cayenne if you don’t want to curl up in a ball the next day
Like, who the heck is consuming THAT MUCH cayenne pepper at once??
In the recipe, you’ll see that the spices are mixed together ahead of time. Prepping ahead is a fantastic option which is why I recommend this recipe as one of the most interesting sous vide dinner party ideas.
Then after the sous vide chicken fries, a little oil from the fryer (used to cook the sous vide fried chicken) is added to the spices.
See details at the end of this post for the Nashville hot oil recipe.
Love all things wings? Try these sous vide bbq chicken wings if you’re also cooking for some people who can’t quite handle this level of heat.
Dipping sauce details
Although the dip Eryn shared is intended for the fries and onion rings served which she likes to serve with sous vide fried chicken – I’m the condiment queen. So I had to know about the dip.
Eryn said the tangy dipping sauce is “similar to the one you’d have with a blooming onion at Outback Steakhouse. It’s 3 tablespoons mayo, 1 tablespoon ketchup, 1 teaspoon creamy horseradish”.
You’ll find directions on how to make the dip in the spicy Nashville fried sous vide chicken recipe below.
Like breaded chicken? Check out this crispy Italian chicken.
Huge thanks to chef Eryn for sharing her recipe!! She is classically trained, Le Cordon Blue, and has a ton of experience cooking at country clubs. These days, she works in restaurant management and enjoys cooking for her family in Sarasota, Florida.
Chef Eryn has so graciously offered to share her info if you have any questions about this recipe.
Find new ways to enjoy your favorite food with sous vide cooking. Get inspired with my new book – The Home Chef’s Sous Vide Cookbook.
So can you handle the spice??
Let me know if you try this sous vide fried Nashville chicken dish from Erin. And good luck if you use all the spices as directed. The spice mix I made for my fried sous vide chicken was filled was toned down a lot. And it was STILL so freakin’ hot!
I love seeing photos of delicious food. And you know about my obsessions with sous vide. So find me @sipbitego on Instagram and show me what you’re cookin.
Spicy Nashville Style Sous Vide Fried Chicken
Sous vide chicken
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 tsp salt
Hot Nashville fried chicken batter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp Nashville hot sauce
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- oil for frying optional
Nashville hot oil seasonings (for after frying)
- 4 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp mayo
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp horseradish creamy
- Preheat sous vide machine to 155ºF. (Or try what I did when I made Eryn's recipe at 140 which is my go-to sous vide temperature for chicken breast)
- While the sous vide bath preheats, season the chicken chicken breast with salt and pepper. Vacuum seal chicken in a flat layer and drop the bag in the sous vide bath at 155ºFfor 2hours.
- While the chicken cooks, prepare the batter (for frying). Make a breading station by setting out two large bowls. One bowl is for wet ingredients. The other is for dry. In the “wet ingredient” bowl, whisk together buttermilk and Nashville hot sauce. Store in the fridge until it’s ready to use. Then prepare the dry mix. Add together flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to the other bowl and stir. Set aside.
- During this time, also mix together the spicy Nashville hot oil seasonings: ***see notes*** cayenne pepper, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, kosher salt. Later you’ll add some of the fryer oil to this mix. For now, set it aside.
- And if you’re going to make the dipping sauce, now is the time. Whisk together the mayo, ketchup, and creamy horseradish. Refrigerate.
- When the chicken is done cooking, remove the bag of sous vide chickenfrom the water. Remove the chicken from the bag and pat dry. This is important to help the breading stick in the next step.
- Add chicken to the wet batter bowl (the liquid should cover the chicken) and marinate for 15 minutes. With tongs, remove one chicken at a time from the marinade and dredge it in the flour mixture, covering it completely.
- Fry chicken. Consult the method you’re using to fry the chicken correctly. On the stove top, fry the chicken in vegetable oil filled up in a large pot at 375 degrees F. To sous vide then air fry the chicken, also set the air fryer to 375 degrees F. Each method will take 5-10 minutes for the chicken to lightly brown.
- Once the chicken is done frying, transfer it to a drying rack to cool. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil (the oil from the pot is great if you fried the chicken on the stove) to the Bashville hot oil seasonings mix. Brush on the chicken after frying it.
- Plate and serve spicy Nashville style sous vide fried chicken with hot sauce, dips, a brioche bun if you want to turn it into a sandwich, and your favorite sides.