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Meet the American who gave us Nashville hot chicken, Thornton Prince, man of many passions. Blistering culinary trend boasts salacious origin story of jilted lovers, revenge, steamy oil and fried chicken

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Meet the American who gave us Nashville hot chicken, Thornton Prince, man of many passions.

Blistering culinary trend boasts salacious origin story of jilted lovers, revenge, steamy oil and fried chicken

By Kerry J. Byrne Fox News

Variety, they say, is the spice of life.

Tennessee tastemaker Thornton Prince was living proof.

A legendary local lothario in early 20th-century Nashville, Prince possessed an appetite for fried chicken — and the ladies.

His passions have made him a legend in American culinary circles.

Prince is the king of Nashville hot chicken.

 

A blistering food trend across the United States today, Nashville hot chicken comes with a bawdy origin story as hot and spicy as the steamy oil used to bathe Prince’s poultry.

“He was a loving man and he wasn’t bad on the eyes either,” great-grandniece, family historian and Los Angeles hot chicken chef Kim Prince told Fox News Digital.

Nashville hot chicken icon

“Tall, good-looking and handsome,” Thornton Prince is considered the father of Nashville hot chicken. A spurned lover sought revenge by serving him chicken doused with powerful spices — but Prince loved it so much he went into business selling fried chicken bathed in cayenne pepper oil. (Courtesy Kim Prince/Prince Family)

Born outside Nashville three decades after the Civil War, Prince was gifted with knee-buckling good looks, penetrating eyes, a lean build, a winning smile and a charismatic personality, by all accounts.

Women loved him. And he loved them back.

He was married five times and dallied with many other ladies along the way, according to sources.

“He was a loving man and he wasn’t bad on the eyes either.” — Kim Prince

One of those spurned lovers, according to oft-told lore, sought revenge by spicing up Prince’s favorite fried chicken — secretly, of course — with an intolerable amount of cayenne pepper.

Prince got the last teary-eyed laugh. The pig farmer, jack of all trades and man of many passions loved the rocket-fueled fried chicken.

He began selling it out of his home, fried in lard in deep cast-iron pots, just before or during the Great Depression.

He and his brothers eventually opened a restaurant, the legendary BBQ Chicken Shack, around the time of World War II. (There are conflicting reports about the actual year.)

Nashville hot chicken

A Nashville hot chicken sandwich at Party Fowl. The Music City is also a poultry paradise, as Nashville hot chicken, a longstanding local tradition, has captured the attention of food lovers across the nation.  (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

The scorned lady friend has been lost to history, known in hot-chicken coops of gossip today as “Girlfriend X.”

The story sounds too contrived and salacious to be true — as if born out of steamy southern-fried fiction, complete with mysterious vengeful lover.

Yet the story is the real deal, said Nashville native and historian Rachel Louise Martin, author of the 2021 book, “Hot, Hot Chicken: A Nashville Story.”

“The man really got himself around. He really was married all those times,” Martin told Fox News Digital.

Metal sign Nashville hot chicken

Nashville hot chicken, and the signs and smells of it, are ubiquitous in the Tennessee city. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

“He had multiple other girlfriends and there were several angry women in his past who might have tried to teach him a lesson.”

Thornton Prince, it turns out, may have cheated one of those women not once, but twice.

Grandson of a slave

Thornton James Prince was born near Franklin, Tennessee, on an unknown day in December 1892, according to records uncovered by historian Martin.

His parents, Thornton and Mary (Maury) Prince, were born in the years immediately after the Civil War. At least one grandparent, his maternal grandmother, Ann Currine, was an enslaved cook on the land in which her culinary legend grandson was born.

Nashville hot chicken

Nashville hot chicken traces its roots to Thornton Prince (far right, standing), seen here in a 1916 family photo. Prince was around 24 years old at the time.  (Courtesy Kim Prince/Prince Family)

“He was tall, good-looking and handsome,” Prince’s grandniece, Andre Prince Jeffries, told Fox News Digital.

Known around Nashville as Miss Andre today, she took over the original BBQ Chicken Shack in 1980 and renamed it Prince’s Hot Chicken “to recognize the family.”

Prince’s Hot Chicken now has multiple locations and is revered as the true taste of original Nashville hot-chicken. It has become in recent years a destination for culinary tourists from around the world.

“There were several angry women in his past who might have tried to teach him a lesson.” — Rachel Louise Martin

Miss Andre is old enough to remember the Prince of poultry.

“He was pleasant to look at. I remember that even when he was an old man and I was child. He had beautiful white hair and he was jolly, just like Santa Claus. He was full of laughs,” said Miss Andre.

She’s become a Nashville legend and de facto ambassador of the Music City’s southern hospitality and hot chicken history.

Nashville hot chicken

Prince’s Hot Chicken of Nashvile is operated by Andre Prince Jeffries, the grandniece of Nashville hot chicken icon Thornton Prince.  (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

Prince was born into a culture in which chicken played an essential role, stemming from an era when poultry was the only livestock slaves could own.

“Often called the preacher’s bird or the gospel fowl, echoing its sacred role among West Africans, slaves and their descendants laid the foundation for America’s love with the chicken that is now spreading around the world,” historian Andrew Lawler wrote in his 2014 book, “Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization.”

 

Girlfriend X provided the entrepreneurial Prince with an exciting new way to enjoy the common chicken dinner.

“Nashville hot chicken needs two things. Great Southern fried chicken and it needs to be dunked in hot melted spice,” Brian Morris, executive chef of Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, said in a promotional video for the 11-year-old Nashville chicken chain.

Hot chicken hotspot Hattie B's

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken was founded in 2012. It quickly proved a popular tourist destination for fans of spicy poultry while helping popularize the Music City specialty around the nation. Hattie B’s now has six locations in and around Nashville and six more around the country.  (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

He calls it a “whirlpool of love with a touch of heat.”

The basic formula is the same at every hot-chicken hotspot. But the spice mixture can vary dramatically from location to location — and to create different levels of heat.

“Nashville hot chicken needs two things. Great Southern fried chicken and it needs to be dunked in hot melted spice” — Chef Brian Morris, Hattie B’s

“The Prince recipe we hold closely to death,” said great-grandniece Kim Prince, who still speaks with her Tennessee accent despite living and working in Los Angeles, where she serves the family’s original recipe under the name Hotville Chicken.

“We’ve always wanted to tell the story,” she added, “in our own Prince family twang.”

Nashville hot chicken ‘ours and ours alone’

The story of Nashville hot chicken was, for at least a half century, told only in that Prince family Tennessee twang — and known only in the black Nashville neighborhoods served by the BBQ Chicken Shack as it moved from location to location.

Nashville hot chicken’s dramatic rise as a national phenomenon has unfolded suddenly here in the 21st century — perhaps not coincidentally with Nashville’s recent explosion as one of the fastest-growing cities in America.

Nashville hot chicken

Nashville hot chicken joints serve spicy chicken in every way imaginable, from traditional sauce-soaked fried chicken breasts to these deadly hot dry-rubbed wings from Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish in East Nashville. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

The city’s population has grown more than 20% over the past decade, just as hot chicken gained national and now international prestige.

Author Martin witnessed the rise of Nashville hot chicken in the blink of an education.

The Nashville native left the sleepy Music City for college in 2006 — having never heard of its namesake piquant poultry.

 

She returned after graduate school in 2013 to a booming city filled with newcomers from across the country seeking mild winters and affordable prices and where, Martin said, “everybody was talking about hot chicken.”

Local poultry pundits credit its national ascension to the first Nashville Hot Chicken Festival, held in 2006.

hot chicken historian

Nashville native Rachel Louise Martin is the author of the 2021 book, “Hot, Hot Chicken: A Nashville Story.” (Courtesy Rachel Louise Martin)

A wave of glitzy new hot chicken eateries soon opened in its wake, often well-funded with marketing budgets the Prince family never had.

Hattie B’s opened in 2012 and now boasts six locations in and around Nashville and six more around the country, including Las Vegas.

Party Fowl opened in 2014 and has six locations, mostly in Tennessee.

“Please wash your hands before rubbing your eyes or your babies.” — Warning at Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish

Hot chicken is now served at breakfast, lunch and dinner across Nashville, and has found its way onto the menu at sports bars and high-end dining spots.

Party Fowl offers hot chicken Cuban sandwiches, hot chicken tacos and hot chicken queso, among many other choices.

East Nashville hot chicken spot

Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish in East Nashville is one of the oldest hot-chicken eateries in the city. It is famous for serving perhaps the hottest hot chicken in America. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish, a no-frills cinder-block hut in East Nashville, opened in the 1980s.

It’s a beloved local landmark and one of the few eateries in town that served hot chicken before it was cool. Bolton’s offers what many believe is the hottest chicken in town — in any town.

“Please wash your hands before rubbing your eyes or your babies,” warns a sign above the order window.

 

Hot chicken now defines the Music City in ways even its traditional American tunes and songwriters have not.

“Nashville is also the home of country music. But nobody calls it Nashville country music,” former mayor Bill Purcell told Fox News Digital.

Kim Prince

Los Angeles chef Kim Prince, great grandniece of Nashville hot chicken patriarch Thornton Prince, sells the family’s original-recipe hot chicken in Southern California as Hotville Chicken. (Courtesy Kim Prince)

“But they do call it Nashville hot chicken. It’s the only indigenous food in the city. The only food invented here and nowhere else.”

Nashville hot chicken, Purcell beamed, “Is ours and ours alone.”

Search for Girlfriend X

Thornton Prince died of cerebral thrombosis on Feb. 15, 1960. He was 67 years old.

He’s buried at Boyd Cemetery in Franklin, Tennessee, said Kim Prince, not far from where he was born and where his grandmother once lived in bondage.

Thornton Prince

Thornton Prince is considered the father of Nashville hot chicken. His legend has grown in recent years as Nashville hot chicken has emerged as a nationwide phenomenon. (Courtesy Kim Prince/Prince Family)

Nashville hot chicken is served coast to coast, adopted by entrepreneurs far removed from Tennessee.

Dave’s Hot Chicken, based in California, was founded in 2017. It’s opened nearly 100 hot chicken eateries from Hollywood to Times Square in the six years since.

“I don’t think there’s been any new category in the food business that’s created more excitement over the years than hot chicken.” — Dave’s Hot Chicken CEO Bill Phelps

The newest Dave’s Hot Chicken opens Friday (Oct. 20) in Massachusetts.

“I don’t think there’s been any new category in the food business that’s created more excitement over the years than hot chicken,” Dave’s Hot Chicken CEO Bill Phelps told Fox News Digital last year.

Hot chicken purists, including members of the Prince family, recognize that their poultry patriarch did not invent what’s now a nationwide phenomenon.

Nashville hot chicken icons Andre Prince Jeffries and former Mayor Bill Purcell. Jeffries is the owner of Prince’s Hot Chicken, the originator of the piquant poultry, and Purcells helped popularize the local  specialty with the founding of the Nashville Hot Chicken Festival. (Courtesy Bill Purcell)

That honor belongs to mysterious Girlfriend X.

Historian Martin identifies five women in “Hot, Hot Chicken: A Nashville Story” linked to romances with Prince, one of whom she believes is the true but unwitting inventor of an all-American taste treasure.

 

Caroline Bridges, Gertrude Claybrook, Mattie Crutcher, Mattie Hicks and Jennie May Patton, each long deceased, are the likely double-crossed lovers who would have been tempted to seek revenge via hot chicken on the insatiable Prince.

Nashville hot chicken

Nashville hot chicken sandwich from Party Fowl in Nashville’; hot chicken patriarch Thornton Prince. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital/Kim Prince/Prince Family)

Purcell, the hot chicken enthusiast and former mayor, believes the final chapter in the Nashville hot chicken story is still to be written.

“The woman who first cooked the chicken, Girlfriend X, is lost to history,” Purcell said. “But she did indeed invent this thing.”

Kerry J. Byrne is a lifestyle reporter with Fox News Digital.

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Biden Cartel Commentary Corruption Economy Education Elections Links from other news sources. Polls

This is why they keep on indicting Trump. Latest Poll. Trump Beats Biden in Electoral Landslide.

Views: 17

This is why they keep on indicting Trump. Latest Poll. Trump Beats Biden in Electoral Landslide. Ever wonder why the Progressives don’t want Trump running again? The latest poll sheds some light.

The McLaughlin national survey finds Trump leads Biden 47% to 43%  up 2 points this month alone.

But here’s the really big news. In the key battleground states Trump leads Biden 49% to 41%.

If the election was today, Trump would defeat Biden in an electoral landslide.

Our poll – and other national surveys are confirming a huge turnaround for Trump.

Remember, Donald Trump never won the popular vote in the 2016 and 2020 national popular vote, and almost all polls had him losing the popular vote in both elections. But now our poll and others show him leading.

 

 

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Links from other news sources. Reprints from others.

Winning. Judge Presiding Over Trump’s Arraignment Bars Video Cameras From Courtroom

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Judge Presiding Over Trump’s Arraignment Bars Video Cameras From Courtroom.

Former President Donald Trump’s arraignment won’t be televised after a judge presiding over the case declined a request from media outlets to have video cameras in the courtroom.

Five pool photographers will be allowed inside the courtroom before the arraignment begins, but they will only be allowed to take still photographs for several minutes, Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan decided in a ruling (pdf) late Monday.

Any electronic devices, including cell phones and laptops, will not be allowed in the main or overflow courtrooms, Merchan wrote in the decision. But cameras will be allowed in the hallways of the courtroom building, located in lower Manhattan at 100 Centre St.

Trump, who was recently indicted by a grand jury in New York City, is set to appear in his first hearing in the case on April 4 at 2:15 p.m.

Media outlets, including CNN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, previously asked Merchan to allow them to broadcast the hearing.

“The gravity of this proceeding—the unprecedented and historic arraignment of a former U.S. President—and, consequently, the need for the broadest possible public access, cannot be overstated,” attorneys representing the outlets wrote in a letter to Merchan.

But Trump’s lawyers sought to keep cameras out of the courtroom and asked for the media outlets’ request to be denied. They told Merchan, per CNBC, that broadcasting the proceeding “will create a circus-like atmosphere at the arraignment, raise unique security concerns, and is inconsistent with President Trump’s presumption of innocence.”

Charges Under Seal

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg had convened the New York grand jury earlier this year. Bragg, a Democrat, had been probing a payment by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to adult performer Stormy Daniels. The payment was made in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. Daniels alleged Trump had an affair with her, but Trump has consistently denied any extramarital relationship with Daniels. Meanwhile, Cohen has said he spoke to the grand jury.

The exact charges in Trump’s indictment are currently under seal but appear to be centered on whether Trump made a $130,000 payment to Daniels and documented the payment as false business records—thereby committing a state offense—to cover up or commit violations of federal campaign finance laws.

Us-politics-justice-trump
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrives at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in New York City, on March 23, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Late Monday, Trump accused Bragg of having illegally leaked the contents of the indictment ahead of the arraignment. Trump’s accusation came about half an hour after Yahoo News published a report titled, “Exclusive: Trump to be charged Tuesday with 34 felony counts, but spared handcuffs and mug shot.”

The report, citing an unnamed source “who has been briefed on the procedures for the arraignment of the former president,” said that Trump “will be placed under arrest on Tuesday and informed that he has been charged with 34 felony counts for falsification of business records.”

Michael Bachner, a New York defense lawyer and former Manhattan prosecutor, told The Epoch Times that, by law, grand jury proceedings are secret, and whoever leaked information from the Manhattan grand jury could face charges.

People who serve on grand juries, officials involved in the proceedings, and even foreign language interpreters, if used, all take an oath of secrecy, Bachner said.

“The only person who can talk about what happened in the grand jury is the witness himself, because he has a First Amendment right to talk about what he said,” Bachner said.

When reports came out that Trump faced at least 30 counts, if those were accurate, the information could have only come from someone inside the grand jury room, the prosecutor’s office, the clerk of courts office or “somebody with knowledge,” Bachner said.

“And I’m troubled by that. Grand jury secrecy is extremely important to protect the rights of the defendant.”

Bragg’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the accusation.

NTD Photo
A supporter of former President Donald Trump waves as his plane takes off from Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., on April 3, 2023. (Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo)

Separately, late Tuesday, Trump’s lawyer Joseph Tacopina told Fox News’s Sean Hannity that he plans to file “a host of” motions to dismiss, including one based on prosecutorial misconduct and selective prosecution.”

Tacopina added that the defense team, after seeing the indictment, will also consider filing other motions, such as a venue change or statute of limitations considerations.

‘Searching for Crimes’

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz previously said that Bragg is stretching the law to get Trump.

“They’re searching for crimes to get him. They’re just rummaging through the law books and doing everything they can to get him, but I don’t think they’ve succeeded,” he told The Epoch Times in an interview earlier in March.

“It’s not a righteous prosecution. It’s not a just prosecution. And I think every libertarian, whether you’re conservative or liberal, should be opposed to it,” he said.

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Life

A tribute. The man, myth,legend. Rush has left the building.

Views: 28

A tribute. The man, myth,legend. Rush has left the building. I first heard Rush back in 1988. Not always a fan, but someone I always respected. Dead at the age of 70. His wife made the announcement.

“I, like you, very much wish Rush was behind this golden microphone right now welcoming you to another exceptional three hours of broadcasting,” Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, said on his show Wednesday. “For over 32 years, Rush has cherished you, his loyal audience, and always looked forward to every single show. It is with profound sadness I must share with you directly that our beloved Rush, my wonderful husband, passed away this morning due to complications from lung cancer.”

“As so many of you know, losing a loved one is terribly difficult. Even more so when that loved one is larger than life. Rush will forever be the greatest of all time,” she continued. “Rush was an extraordinary man. A gentle giant. Brilliant, quick-witted, genuinely kind, extremely generous, passionate, courageous, and the hardest-working person I know.”

 

 

 

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