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Nashville Fried Chicken: The Story Behind the Craze

Is there a more widely prepared and consumed main dish across almost all types of cuisine than chicken fried in one form or another? We're hard pressed to find something quite as ubiquitous - though dumplings in their various forms come pretty close!

We're not gonna lie; we're unapologetic fried chicken hounds. We love it in all its wondrous and varied forms; and we're always eager to try different recipes.

With our recent move to Toronto we lucked out and landed a new condo a short few blocks away from one of the city's best purveyors of Nashville Fried Chicken. Now unless you've been living under a rock these past five years you've at least heard about Nashville Fried Chicken. If you're lucky enough to have come across some that's prepared well you're likely a devoted fan, or an outright addict. And for good reason. We mean, c'mon, just look at this deliciousness served up by Chica's Fried Chicken. Like really LOOK AT IT!

It's sweet, spicy, smokey, crunchy - everything you need to set the fireworks off in the brain's pleasure centres.

But what makes Nashville Fried Chicken so intriguing for us is the story of how it came to be in "Music City". While the craze seemed to many people - including us - to "come out of nowhere" there is a fascinating history behind this cuisine - as there is with almost every cuisine in the world. If you're interested in delving into the complex relationship between food, race, and class and the story behind Nashville Fried Chicken this article is well worth a read. We hope you'll enjoy it as much as we did:


Rachel Martin left her hometown for eight years, then returned to find everyone talking about a dish she’d never heard of or eaten in the Nashville of her youth: hot chicken. Today, we learn how Nashville’s signature dish stayed hidden for decades in the city’s black communities — and then suddenly became a global obsession.


Now that you've had a taste of fact, here's some fiction: Nashville Chicken comes with a legend:

"The legend goes like this: In the 1930s, James Thornton Prince of Nashville, Tennessee, was a married man with a thing for other women. After one late night out too many, his lover at the time grew so resentful of his lecherous behavior that she decided to take revenge. She prepared him a plate of fried chicken like he always enjoyed, but after removing the crispy meat from the oil, she tossed it in tablespoons of cayenne pepper until it was coated in a hellishly hot, fire-engine-red glaze. She served Mr. Prince his meal and waited for the coughing and the tears. But they didn’t come. He loved the chicken."

Now that you can appreciate this dish fully, go out and find some to stuff in your face! If you find some you just love to death, don't forget to tell us about it:


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