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André Prince Jeffries, owner of Prince’s Hot Chicken, on pickles and hot chicken

Illustration of a stack of hot chicken pickles
(Jade Cuevas / Los Angles Times)

Pickles and hot chicken go together like lemons and tea — it’s a natural part of it. I don’t know who started it but it was always done that way as far as tradition is concerned. That’s the way it was presented to me, and it’s been in my family forever. We started the business in 1936.

If you go to McDonald’s you can always see the two pickles on that sandwich or hamburger. It’s always two pickles. If you want extra pickles, you’re going to pay for it. We’ve always charged $1 for an extra side of pickles. Now we charge $1.50. We sell whole dill pickles with the sandwiches.

Some customers come in just for pickles and sauce. They just want our sauce poured over the pickles. They don’t want chicken.

We don’t make them ourselves; we don’t have that kind of time. We’ve always used dill pickles. We only use the ones with the ridges.

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Pickles don’t get the credit they deserve. They take the spicy flavor of the chicken and interrupt it. It’s a distraction, but it’s a good one. We’ve noticed more women order the whole dill and more women eat the chicken hot and extra hot.

André Prince Jeffries is the owner of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville. Her niece, Kim Prince, runs Hotville Chicken in Baldwin Hills Crenshaw.

Where to find different kinds of pickles in L.A., including kimchi, pickled herring, achaar, kosher dills and more.


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