I should probably confess that I’ve never actually had chicken and waffles at a diner, restaurant, etc….ever. I’ve eat my fair share of both fried chicken and waffles, but never ordered together. That’s okay though, right?! (I know it’s not okay and I should change this pretty soon). With that said, I really love chicken and waffles, ha! The combination of perfectly crisp and juicy chicken paired with a piping hot and fluffy waffle, all sitting under river pools of sweet maple syrup and melting butter…perfection.
I only fry chicken at home two times a year and one of those times always involves waffles. Since it’s only a couple times a year occurrence in our household, it’s usually a big ordeal. I always start by brining my chicken pieces. 8 out of 10 times I’m dealing with chicken (in any cooking capacity) I’ll give it a quick brine. Brining chicken is one of the easiest things to do and unlike a turkey you only need a few hours to really penetrate the bird with some really great flavor and to slightly tenderize the meat. You can also soak your chicken in buttermilk to tenderize your poultry, but I’m personally not a huge fan of this method. I just don’t think you get the same amount of flavor as you can from simple brine. Plus you can adjust the taste of your chicken by adjusting the ingredients in your brine.
The waffle batter can be made a few days ahead of time, which is a great time saver if you’re entertaining; just make sure to give it a good stir before using it, to mix up anything that may have settled at the bottom of the bowl. I really like this batter because it produces light and fluffy waffles, with a slightly crisp outer texture, which I really like.
Since it’s the holiday, I feel like we’re all able to get away with a little more decadence in our lives and these chicken and waffles really fit the bill. If you’re still looking for a fun-entertaining menu this holiday season, put on your fat pants and make these, everyone will love you even more for it! Enjoy! xx, Jenny
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Chicken and Waffles
- 8 cups water
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon black pepper corns
- 10 sprigs thyme
- 10 sage leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
- juice 2 lemons
- rind of 1 lemon
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 8 drumsticks
- peanut oil for frying
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups whole milk
- 2 large eggs, well beaten
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- pads of softened butter
- maple syrup
- For fried chicken: Place water, salt and honey into a pot and simmer until salt and honey dissolves. Stir in remaining ingredients and cool completely. Add 4 cups ice to mixture and add chicken. Brine chicken for 10 to 12 hours. Remove drumsticks from brine and completely pat dry.
- Pour peanut oil into a cast iron skillet, 2 inches high, and preheat over medium heat.
- Place flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and smoked paprika in a shallow dish and whisk together. Pour buttermilk into another shallow dish and dredge drumsticks in flour mixture. Shake access flour off chicken and dip in buttermilk. Repeat by dipping in the flour mixture followed by the buttermilk and the flour mixture again. Carefully drop coated drumsticks into the hot oil and fry on each side for 10 to 12 minutes or until skin has turned golden brown and chicken is cooked through. (juices should run clear when cut into). Drain into paper towels and lightly season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with waffles.
- For waffles: Preheat waffle iron to medium heat.
- Place flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add remaining ingredients and stir together with a fork until fully incorporated and no dry spots remain.
- Lightly spray the well of the waffle iron with cooking spray and pour ⅓ cup of batter into the center of the well. Gently close the lid and cook until golden brown. Serve immediately.
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How many pounds of chicken do you use for this recipe?
Nevermind! I see that you use 8 drumsticks. Thanks :)
I can’t wait to make this, it looks delicious! Will frying in a skillet have the same effect as using a deep fryer?
I usually prefer to use a skillet because you’ll have more control of the coloring, etc, but deep frying is just fine!
I grew up eating chicken and waffles — it’s a Pennsylvania Dutch staple. BUT…I don’t know anyone who has it with maple syrup. Most people here have it either with gravy OR butter and powdered sugar. FWIW, variations include creamed chicken with waffles or grilled (bone in) chicken instead of fried chicken.
Millie | Add A Little
Yaaaasss this is the best.
I have heard about Chicken And Waffles for so long now. It’ sabout time I tried them together. Thanks for the inspiration!
This looks fab. Could you tell me your thoughts on why you choose brine over buttermilk for the chicken? Is it tenderness? Interested as looking for a mini chicken and waffle recipe for my birthday and want to ensure I get the perfect result. Thank you
Both the buttermilk and brine will tenderize the chicken, but I really love the flavor you get from the brine as well!
Claire Jasmine Taylor
Thanks so much. I’m making this today! Chicken currently in the fridge in brine. I won’t have 10 hours as I woke up late (Saturday lounge!) but it will brine for 5 hours. I pierced skin chicken. Not sure if this was a good idea or not. Test and learn! Will report back.
My husband and I made a quick run to Whole Foods the other morning and on their hot bar were chicken and waffle sandwiches with bacon gravy.
Never has my inner fat kid been so damn happy.
Sammi @Sunshine Recipes
Chicken and waffles have been on my “to- eat” list for years! Have you tried the chicken and waffles potato chips? Personally, I’m not a fan.
What kind of waffle iron do you have?
A basic and inexpensive Cuisinart waffle iron (the round one). It works great!!