A classic Fried Chicken and Waffles recipe get a gourmet twist with savory roasted corn and green onion waffles and bacon-infused maple syrup. Marinated in buttermilk with pungent seasonings, this fried chicken dish is as flavorful as it is yummy. Leftovers from this brunch dish can easily make fun sandwiches.
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When I had first heard of this wonderful combo, of fried chicken and waffles, I’ll admit that I was super skeptical that it would work but I am so glad that I was proven wrong! I’m not really one to mix my sweet and savory but I’m so glad this dish opened my eyes to a whole new world.
I don’t think I’ll ever eat my breakfast sausage and maple syrup in the same bite, though. I can’t commit to that leap.
Before heading into the meat (haha) of the post, I wanted to answer some questions many people have about fried chicken and waffles.
Where Did Fried Chicken and Waffles Originate?
Chicken and Waffles has definitely become an iconic dish that started back in the early 1900’s in Harlem New York. The combo might sound weird but once you have it, there is no looking back! I promise you that!
Why are Chicken and Waffles a Thing?
Because it’s delicious… that’s why!
Why Do Chicken and Waffles Go Together?
Nobody knows… but they just do. It’s an undisputed fact.
Are Chicken and Waffles good?
Homemade Waffle Recipe
Do you remember my amazing Roasted Corn Fritters with Sriracha Mayo??? (if not, the post is here!) To die for, I know! I had so much fritter batter left over though and really didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do with it (I knew I didn’t want to eat a billion fritters, that was for sure!). My genius husband told me to freeze the batter and then come back to it when I thought of something.
Well, I thought of something!
I decided to make my own fancied up version of Fried Chicken and Waffles! Mind blown, I know! I have seen, and made, some homemade waffle recipes with whipped egg whites within the batter to help give it some body. I knew that this fritter batter would have a second life as waffles.
To get the recipe for the corn waffle batter, read this post! You’ll just pour some of the batter into a hot waffle iron, like this one that I love!
Choosing the Right Chicken Meat for Fried Chicken and Waffles
We all know that not all chicken meat is created equal. Some like light meat, while others like the dark. Myself personally, I like dark meat. It’s moist and has a deeper flavor than light meat has. I prefer to use chicken thighs for my fried chicken and waffles recipe. But you can definitely use light meat if that floats your boat!
Light meat does tend to cook quicker than dark, but all chicken meat should be cooked to 160 degrees!
How to Fry Chicken
Now as amazing as these waffles are, I can be the first to tell you that what will ruin this dish is horribly fried chicken! Let me teach you some key points to making amazing fried chicken.
- You need to show some love to the meat before breading it.
You can (and should) season the flour that the chicken is being breaded in but you should also season the meat before breading it. And I’m not talking just salt and pepper.
I wanted to use some chili powder to help play off the chile flavor in the syrup. I also wanted some earthiness from the oregano to offset the sweet.
If you feel like you want to marinate the chicken ahead of time, add the seasoning to some buttermilk and let the chicken marinate in that. The acidity in the buttermilk will help tenderize the chicken and lead to a very beautiful and wonderful thing.
- You need hot oil.
This helps ensure a crispy breading. There is nothing worse than soggy breading. Yuck! There is a careful balance you need to achieve in order to get crispy breading but not have raw chicken.
One suggestion is to fry the chicken and then let them “rest” in an oven set to 350 degrees to continue cooking. I would definitely make sure to drain the oil off of the chicken and season with salt before setting in the oven, otherwise, you get soggy chicken still.
No matter what, though, you must fry your chicken to a temperature of 160 degrees! We don’t want any salmonella poisoning going on here.
- Season. Season.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you need to season food right as it comes out of hot oil! Yes, we seasoned the meat; we seasoned the flour, but now we need to add a little finish of salt to the chicken to help really highlight the flavor at the first bite.
We season the meat, in the beginning, to infuse the meat with those flavors. We season the breading so that if/when it falls off the chicken, it’s just as delicious and can stand on it’s on. And we season hot foods to make sure our tongue gets a good first impression with our first bite.
Here is a tip with breading chicken that will help you work cleaner and avoid the huge gob of mess on your fingers. I learned this trick back when I worked at Conference Center and had to bread enough chicken for a 250 person dinner… Washing my hands every so often was not an option.
- Designate one hand for wet and one hand for dry.
This will save you on soap, paper towels, and water! It also is a HUGE time saver! Use one hand to transfer your chicken to the flour and then to the buttermilk. Use your other hand to flip the chicken in the buttermilk and back to the flour. Then use your dry hand to flip the buttermilk chicken in the four. Bam! Your hands won’t have a pound of milky flour stuck to your fingertips by the end of this!
Super Gourmet Fried Chicken and Waffles
A super gourmet thing to do would be to sous vide the chicken for about an hour at 158. This fully cooks the chicken and keeps it moist. All you have to do is to brown the breading, cutting down on frying time.
What I chose to do was to take my buttermilk and season it with the spices that were already going to in my chicken flour. I put my chicken thighs in there and then sealed it up. Once the chicken was cooked, I drained the buttermilk and the chicken was ready to be breaded and fried!
If you wanted to do light meat for your fried chicken and waffles recipe, you would only sous vide the chicken at 148 for an hour. The chicken will be thoroughly cooked and will retain some great moisture that is hard to find in fried light meat.
How Do You Serve Fried Chicken and Waffles
Traditionally, chicken and waffles are served with some warm honey. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t do honey very much. But I do love syrup! The addition of bacon and chiles to the syrup, I think really rounds out my take on this classic and plays off of the flavor of the corn nicely! If you are a honey lover, by all means, take the same idea but use honey instead! And per tradition, always serve fried chicken and waffles with a tall glass of Kool-Aid!
I really hope you all love this dish! I had a great time making it and was itching to share this with you. An idea of what to do with the leftovers (if there are any, let’s be honest!), make a Chicken and Waffle sandwich with Sriracha Mayo! It’ll rock your world, I promise!
If you really enjoyed this fried chicken and waffle recipe, be sure to leave a comment (and a rating) down below!
Happy eating everyone!
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- 1.75 # chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper
- all purpose flour, enough to cover the bottom of breading dish
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup milk
- vegetable oil, for frying
Bacon Chile Syrup
- 3 strips bacon
- 3 each chile de arbol, or any dried chile you like
- 3/4 cup maple syrup, if maple is not available, panacake syrup will do
- Season chicken with seasonings, making sure to evenly coat each piece. If marinating in buttermilk, use enough to cover chicken and let marinate up to a day in the fridge.
- Get oil heating in a pan with high sides over about medium high heat.
- Mix chile, onion, and garlic powders along with salt and pepper with the flour. Begin to bread chicken starting with flour, moving to buttermilk, and then back to the flour.
- Fry chicken, making sure not to crowd the pan. Flip once chicken is golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Continue frying until the chicken is evenly colored and cooked through (if using a kitchen thermometer, the temperature should read 160), about 5 more minutes. Drain and season.
For the bacon chile syrup
- Cube bacon and render in a small saucepan until crispy, about 5-7 minutes over medium heat. DO NOT DRAIN!
- Add syrup and chiles to bacon, lower temperature and let the flavors infuse over low heat until the waffles and chicken are ready.
For Roasted Corn Waffles
- Cook corn waffle batter in waffle iron until desired doneness. Make sure to spray iron well with nonstick cooking spray.
If Sous viding the chicken before frying, be sure to cook light meat at 148 degrees for 1 hour and dark meat at 158 degrees for 1 hour before frying.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 5 ounces
Amount Per ServingCalories 615 Total Fat 17g Saturated Fat 5g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 11g Cholesterol 94mg Sodium 618mg Carbohydrates 94g Fiber 2g Sugar 54g Protein 26g