Award-winning chef, author and recipe developer Virginia Willis has a new cookbook out that will revitalize your love of Southern cooking like never before. Grab a copy and prepare to bake, batter and biscuit your way to a more delicious dinner. This Nashville hot grilled chicken ditches the calories, not the flavor. 

Nashville is famous for many things—country music being at the top of the list. It’s also famous for spicy-hot fried chicken, supposedly first made by a woman who was mad at her good-looking man for being out on the town all night. The story goes that Thornton Prince came home from carousing and wanted something to eat. His wife whipped up a batch of ultra-hot spicy chicken. But her plan backfired—he loved it. Prince’s Hot Chicken was born and soon caught on to other chicken shacks. For many years, the picante poultry was solely found on the menu of African American establishments, but then some of those country singers found out about it and word got out. In a unique turn of events for the South at that time, because the restaurant was black-owned, white musicians would buy their chicken from the side door while blacks used the front entrance.

Typically, the breading mixture is hot with cayenne pepper, and then, to take the chicken over the top, the fried chicken is bathed in fiery-hot spiced oil. I’ve adapted the classic recipe for grilling instead of frying, so it’s healthier and easier for weeknight cooking.

Reprinted with permission from Secrets Of The Southern Table