The Marty Smith Podcast: Marty Tries Nashville Hot Chicken and Hilariously Recalls the Aftermath

by Chris Haney
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If you missed The Marty Smith Podcast this week, first of all, shame on you. But that also means you missed a hilarious story that Marty shared on the show about trying Nashville Hot Chicken for the first time and the aftermath of that decision. Let’s just say the popular local specialty from Music City won this round.

To start out, let’s make sure everyone knows what Nashville Hot Chicken is before getting into Marty’s story. Hot chicken is a type of fried chicken that’s well-known in Nashville. You’ll find it served most often in sandwich form. The key ingredients: fried chicken, pickles, and bread.

Some might compare hot chicken to buffalo chicken, but there are some key differences. The main difference is that Nashville hot sauce is sweeter since it has more added sugar. It’s also a heavily spiced, cayenne pepper-based paste that makes up the “dry” sauce compared to buffalo being more of a “wet” sauce.

Similar to buffalo sauce though, you can get your hot chicken served with various heat levels. So, that means you can choose a sauce level with some heat all the way up to it’s hotter than hell heat. Now that that’s out of the way, we’re handing things over to the guys.

“I have a question for you, Marty. How’s your stomach doin’ after hot chicken?” The Marty Smith Podcast producer Travis Rockhold asked our host.

“I knew this was coming,” Marty hilariously responded as he shook his head. “I thought we might try to get outta here before we broached this.”

Thankfully, Travis and co-host Wes Blankenship didn’t let Marty walk away from this one. They pressed him further for the story and our host obliged.

‘The Marty Smith Podcast’ Host Breaks Down His Hot Chicken Experience

As most of you know well, Marty works for ESPN and also hosts Marty & McGee and SEC Nation. The two shows went on the road last week to Nashville for the Vanderbilt versus Wake Forest football game. Of course, when you’re in Music City, country music isn’t the only staple in town. Nashville hot chicken is a must-try menu item when in the area. So, Marty and his ESPN crew got food from one of the most popular hot chicken joints in Nashville – Hattie B’s.

Over the weekend, the ESPN crew got an assortment of hot chicken from Hattie B’s. Instead of the classic sandwiches though, they just went with a ton of hot chicken tenders for everyone to share. They ordered them in four levels of heat: mild, medium, hot, and shut the cluck up.

“So, we decided to have a [hot chicken] tolerance contest live on TV,” Marty explained. “So, we all tried the various levels of hell. And hot was really, really hot… and hot made my lips tingle I mean for hours after we were done. It just kinda wouldn’t go away. It was a sensation that clung on.”

Travis made a good point. Normally, you’d have the bread and pickles to somewhat offset the heat. Yet with the chicken tenders, you’re just getting straight fire to your tastebuds.

“They kept tellin’ us, ‘Just don’t let it touch your lips. Don’t let the hot sauce touch your lips.’ Well how do you eat a tender without it touching your lips?” Marty amusingly asked. “I looked over at [ESPN commentator] Jordan Rodgers one time, his entire lips are coated with that powder. And I was like, ‘Oh, man, he’s in for it.'”

“You broke the one rule,” Wes joked.

“I was worried about my own bite. But it hurt like hell goin’ in, and it was 10 times worse comin’ out,” Marty concluded.

It sounded like Marty’s ESPN co-host Ryan McGee handled the hot chicken the best out of the group. Either that or he contained his pain the best. But the guys talk about hot chicken, NASCAR, college football and so much more on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. Make sure to check out the full show in the video above, or listen to their full conversation on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.

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