My chicken and waffles recipe features homemade cornmeal waffles and fried chicken prepared in buttermilk brine. It’s the ultimate combination of savory and sweet flavors and makes for an indulgent meal!
Chicken and waffles is one of those classic American recipes that have become famous over the years. The exact origins of this dish are constantly debated, but when I lived in San Diego, I had always heard of the famed Roscoe’s up in Los Angeles. It has an almost cult following — for good reason. After a visit… They really knocked it out of the park!
Whatever its origins, it’s one of my favorite meals to enjoy on the weekend. The sweet and savory combination makes for the perfect brunch, and I’ve also been known to serve it for dinner! I just love the blend of crunchy fried chicken with the sweetness of the waffles. Drizzled with a bit of honey or maple syrup? Sign me up!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Chicken – Opt for boneless and skinless chicken thighs for your chicken and waffles recipe.
- Buttermilk – This is the main ingredient for the brine for your chicken. It acts as a marinade and adds much to the final results! It’s also used in the waffle batter.
- Hot Sauce – You can use Tabasco, Frank’s Hot Sauce, or your preference in your brine.
- Garlic and Onion Powder & Smoked Paprika – You’ll add these savory seasonings to the brine as well.
- Salt – You’ll use salt for the chicken as well as for the waffle batter.
- All-Purpose & Rice Flour – This is the base of your fried chicken coating. You’ll also use the all-purpose flour in your waffle batter. The combination is crucial for my chicken and waffles recipe.
- Poultry Seasoning – To add even more flavor to your fried chicken!
- Black Pepper – The final touch for your poultry — and your waffles.
- Butter & Vegetable Oil – You need both for frying. Set some extra butter aside for the waffle batter too.
- Cornmeal – The special ingredient for your waffles. It’s so much more delicious than using all-purpose flour on its own.
- Baking Powder & Soda – These ingredients help the waffles rise and also give them a fluffy texture.
- Sugar – For a bit of added sweetness in the waffles.
- Eggs – To hold your batter together.
- Hot Honey – This is optional, but I love using hot honey instead of maple syrup on this dish. To make it, you’ll need:
- Hot Sauce
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN AND WAFFLES
1. Prepare The Chicken. Place the chicken in a bowl or sealable plastic bag and cover it with buttermilk and brine seasonings. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but no longer than 4 hours for the best results. As it marinates, add both of the flours, poultry seasoning, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl. Remove the chicken from the brine and dredge each piece in the seasoned flour so that it’s coated on both sides. Next, preheat your oven to 200°F.
2. Fry It Up! Add your vegetable oil of choice to a Dutch oven or a deep skillet, then add in the butter until the oil starts to shimmer. Place the chicken (4 pieces at a time) into the oil and butter mixture and fry for 8-9 minutes. Check to make sure that the internal temperature is 165°F and cook for longer if necessary. You can place them in your preheated oven to keep them warm while you whip up the waffles.
3. Make The Waffles. Preheat your waffle maker and coat it with a nonstick spray. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk. Mix together your wet ingredients in another bowl and then add them to the dry mixture. Whisk until well-combined. Pour ⅔ cup of batter into each waffle mold and cook according to the instructions on your waffle maker (cooking times vary depending on the brand).
4. Serve. If you want to try my special hot honey, simply melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the honey and hot sauce. Serve the waffles and your garnish of choice immediately with the fried chicken on top!
How Long Can Chicken Marinate in Buttermilk?
A minimum of 1 hour, but 4 to overnight is best as the acid in the buttermilk starts to break down the texture of the chicken, creating a mushy feel. Also, according to USDA, it is safe to marinate chicken in buttermilk for up to 48 hours if you place it in the fridge.
Do You Put Syrup On Chicken and Waffles?
It’s all about personal preference! I personally love putting maple syrup or my special hot honey on mine. You can also add regular honey, extra butter, or another condiment of your choice!
What Goes With Chicken and Waffles?
This is a hearty meal on its own, but if you’re looking to pair it with other dishes there are plenty of options. Sometimes I like to serve it with creamed spinach, cornbread, baked mac and cheese, or buttermilk biscuits for a Southern American feast!
Are Waffle Mix And Pancake Mix The Same?
These two breakfast treats use essentially the same ingredients — the difference comes in the quantity that you use. Waffle batter has more sugar, butter, and eggs in it, while pancake batter is a bit lighter.
This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking November, 2013, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in August, 2022.
Fried Chicken and Waffles
- 8 chicken thighs boneless and skinless
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 tbsp Tabasco or Franks hot sauce
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp butter
- vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup all -purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter melted
Hot Honey (optional)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tbsp Tabaco or Franks hot sauce
- Add chicken to bowl or sealable plastic bag and cover with buttermilk. Marinate for 1 hour (the lactic acids tenderize the chicken), but no longer than 4 hours.
- Mix the flours, poultry seasoning, salt and black pepper together in a bowl. Shake excess buttermilk from chicken and dredge each piece in the seasoned flour to coat well on both sides. Set aside on tray. Preheat oven to 200°F.
- Add enough oil to a Dutch oven or deep skillet to measure 2 inches. Add butter and heat oil until it almost shimmers. Place the 4 pieces of chicken per batch in the butter and oil and fry for 8-9 minutes. Check internal temperature is 165°F or cook longer (See Note 1-4). Drain on paper towels, cover loosely with foil or place in warm oven while making the waffles.
- Preheat waffle maker and coat with nonstick oil spray.
- Whisk together the Dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- In another bowl whisk Wet ingredients and pour into the Dry ingredients. Whisk until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour about 2/3 cup batter into each waffle mold, then cook according to waffle maker directions. Serve waffles immediately with hot fried chicken, maple syrup or hot honey.
- In a small saucepan melt the butter with the honey and hot sauce. whisk until combined and keep warm until serving.
Allow your chicken to come to room temperature before dropping it right into the hot oil. Cold, from the refrigerator, chicken will drastically alter the oil temp quickly.
Get the oil temperature up to 350°-375°F before adding chicken. The temperature will drop when chicken goes in. Fry and keep it at a continuous 320-325°F.
Don’t over crowd your frying pan, you want to fry the chicken, not steam it! Chicken is done when it reaches 165°F internal temperature.
Remove from hot oil and place on wire rack to cool. Season with salt if you like.
- Hot Honey is NOT included in the Nutrition count as it’s optional.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.