I made these last night and they were outstanding! This is a Harlem classic. Legend has it, back when Harlem was a jazz club mecca, people would play or listen to jazz until the wee hours of the morning, and they would be starved when the clubs closed around 4 am. Since it was so late, or so early, depending on how you looked at it, they could never decide if they wanted dinner or breakfast. So the cooks at the local restaurants would combine the two, and hence you get Chicken and Waffles! I admit, I was a little skeptical when I first heard of this dish. But, I love fried chicken, and I love waffles, so how bad can they be together, right? Not bad at all, friends. This was awesome. Try it soon, you’ll love it! Traditionally this dish is made by cutting up a whole chicken into 8 pieces, like you would a typical meal of fried chicken. Matt and I both prefer dark meat to white, so I just used thighs and legs. But, use whatever you want. I’ve even seen this dish on a menu using chicken tenders. I’ll write it the way I made it though. Enjoy!
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks
3 cups buttermilk, divided
1 tbs hot sauce, like Texas Pete’s
2 cups of flour, more if needed
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs sweet paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
Salt and pepper
Canola oil, for deep frying
2 cups waffle mix
Water, as needed to thin the batter
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbs melted butter
Powdered sugar and maple syrup, for serving
Trim the chicken pieces if necessary. Lightly season them with salt and pepper. Pour 2 cups of buttermilk in a large bowl. Add in salt, pepper and hot sauce. Submerge the chicken pieces. Leave out at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
In another large bowl, mix the flour with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, and cayenne. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in enough oil to deep fry the chicken safely. Test it by dropping in a pinch of flour. When the flour immediately rises to the surface and bubbles, it’s ready. If it doesn’t rise or bubble, the oil is too cold. If it immediately burns, the oil is too hot.
While the oil is preheating, dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mix, making sure they are completely coated. You want to leave them in there for a good 10 minutes to ensure the coating sticks when they are cooked.
Fry the chicken, (shake off any excess flour first) in batches if necessary (don’t overcrowd the pan!), until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 160 F. This takes about 15 minutes. Remove, and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
While the chicken is working, make the waffles. In a mixing bowl, mix together the waffle mix, 1 cup buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. If the batter looks too thick, add some water to thin it out. When the batter looks good, add the melted butter and whisk to combine.
Preheat your waffle maker to manufacturer’s instructions. Spray with cooking spray if necessary. I think mine is nonstick, but I always grease it anyway. Not taking chances!
Make the waffles, removing each to a plate. You should have at least 4 waffles.
To serve, put one waffle on a plate. Top with two pieces of chicken. Dust the whole thing with powdered sugar and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve hot.