Nashville hot chicken dressing

From Sarah and Kara's Recipes

The awesomest thing that can possibly happen to fried chicken.

Hot chicken, tell me what I'm missing.


  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp pickle brine


In a tempered glass container (like a measuring cup), mix oil, sweet and smoked paprika, black pepper, cumin, garlic, onion, salt, and 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper. Put container in microwave and heat oil to about 350F - about 3 minutes in an 1100-watt oven. Remove oil and very slowly add 2 tbsp pickle brine from your favorite pickles -- it will boil as added and you want to avoid creating a volcano. Stir in sugar -- add this slowly as well, because it will cause the water in the brine to boil up again. Let cool for 2 minutes, then add an additional 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper. When cooled to just above room temperature, add the last 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper. The goal is to toast about half the cayenne pepper in the oil, extract the heat from some of the rest, and leave a little more to be fiery in powder form.

Prepare fried chicken (or imitation fried chicken) however you like, then brush with this dressing. The spices will settle to the bottom and need to be stirred up. Serve with soft white bread and the cheapest dill pickle slices you can find.

This makes a good sized batch of dressing and can be refrigerated for several months as long as it's kept clean.


Tradition mandates a 3:1 or so mixture of lard and butter for the oil in this recipe. I've listed peanut oil here to help us cater to the vegans in our lives, but that can easily be changed out for something else, as long as it's either neutral tasting or tastes like delicious, delicious pork fat. We made an amazing-tasting batch one time with walnut oil, but it was so expensive that I don't think I'll do it again.