Nashville Hot Thunder Chicken

Nashville Hot Chicken is a regional delicacy in Tennessee, but you don’t have to visit Music City to experience the cayenne kick. And you certainly don’t have to use chicken, either. Wild turkey is just as good in this recipe. Even if you can’t get to Nashville this year, whip up your own hot thunder chicken after a successful hunt this spring.


Turkey breasts or thighs, pounded flat 

Nashville Spice:

  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes 
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 
  • Marinade:
  • 1½ cups buttermilk 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 3 tablespoons *Nashville Spice

Egg Mixture:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon *Nashville Spice
  • 3 tablespoons Nashville Hot Sauce 
  • Flour Mixture:
  • 2 cups flour
  • All but 1 tsp of Nashville Spice 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • Nashville Hot Mop Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon ground red cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Nashville Spice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (or use hot oil from the fryer) 


  1. Nashville Spice: mix all ingredients and set aside to use in other areas of the recipe.
  2. Marinade: Whisk buttermilk, Nashville Spice in glass bowl until mixed, add bay leaf, turkey and cover. Place in the fridge for 3 to 12 hours. 
  3. Heat oil over medium high heat.
  4. In two bowls, mix flour in one and egg mixture in second. 
  5. Remove turkey from fridge, discard marinade.
  6. Start out by dredging each piece of meat in flour, egg, flour, then place in hot oil.
  7. Fry each piece until crispy and cooked fully, around 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from oil and drain.
  8. While turkey is cooking, start working on the Nashville hot mop, mix all ingredients until blended, taste and add more spice if needed. 
  9. After each piece of turkey is fried, brush on 3 coats of hot mop mixture. 
  10. Build each plate with white bread, turkey, top with dill pickles then drizzle with Nashville hot mop. 
Article Category