Listen As Radio Reporters Try To Tolerate Nashville Hot Chicken
Prince's hot chicken, before we started eating it. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Listen As Radio Reporters Try To Tolerate Nashville Hot Chicken

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Reporters Emily Siner and Blake Farmer bravely begin taking bites – all in the public interest. Credit: Nina Cardona / WPLN

The lore of hot chicken goes something like this: A womanizing uncle in the Prince family was out late one night, which made his lady friend mad. She decided to get revenge on him the next morning by pouring hot pepper on the fried chicken she was making him for breakfast. But instead of — or, perhaps, in spite of — scalding his mouth, he loved it. And thus the hot chicken craze was born.

Listen as Blake Farmer and I taste-test the original Prince’s signature dish and Hattie B’s newer, popular version and review it on tape.

Warning: You may get hungry:

Within the past few years, some brave souls outside of Nashville have attempted to replicate hot chicken. A restaurant in Brooklyn serves a dish “inspired by classic Nashville renditions” that’s fried with one of the hottest chiles in the world. A Chicago restaurant has a version that adds roasted garlic. And recently, cooking magazine Bon Appetit printed a recipe from Hattie B’s (although online commenters are skeptical that it’s the real deal).

"It's so hot," reporter Blake Farmer says, before attempting to wipe his face without rubbing his eyes. Credit: Nina Cardona / WPLN
“It’s so hot,” reporter Blake Farmer says, before attempting to wipe his face without rubbing his eyes. Credit: Nina Cardona / WPLN

Emily Siner

Emily Siner is an enterprise reporter at WPLN. She has worked at the Los Angeles Times and NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., and her written work was recently published in Slices Of Life, an anthology of literary feature writing. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On Twitter: @SinerSays
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