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The Origin Story Of Nashville’s Hot Chicken All Comes Down To Fidelity

Have you heard about hot chicken? Do you know about how it has taken over the world culinary scene? If not, you can learn about the southern food craze right here. To be brief: Authentic Nashville Hot Chicken is a super spicy, extra juicy, fried chicken breast served on a slice of white bread with dill pickle chips. And while countless food establishments, including KFC have put their own spin on the simple meal, the original Nashville Hot Chicken can be found at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack.

It is at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack that customers line up before doors open to burn their mouths with uniquely satisfying, savory pain. According to NPR, the Prince family has been selling hot chicken for 70 years and they are thought to have conceived the dish. ‘How?’ you might ask.


The conception of hot chicken is all part of one unfaithful man’s fiery punishment. After stepping out on his lady, the great-uncle of current owner Andre Prince, Thornton Prince, was served a plate of fried chicken doused in hot pepper. And despite the bird’s blazing bite, great-uncle Thornton Prince was a sucker for pain. Legend has it, Prince shared his meal with friends and decided to open a late-night chicken shack.

For years, people from all walks of life have patronized Prince’s, including Grand Ole Opry entertainers and both black and white customers during the segregation era. Chicken bringing people together! One customer interviewed by NPR said he’d been eating at Prince’s for 52 years. And if you’re starting to think there might be a huge secret recipe, you’d be wrong. “There’s no secret — there’s a ton of cayenne in here,” said Timothy Davis, author of The Hot Chicken Cookbook.”

While hot chicken joints have popped up in New York, Los Angeles, Alabama, and even Australia, there’s only one Prince’s — forged from the spice-induced tears of a cheating husband — so add it to your summer road trip destination list if you, too, savor the pain of excessive spice.

(Via NPR)

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