Recipes

Southern-Style Chicken and Waffles

If you like buttermilk fried chicken tenders and cornmeal waffles, then Southern-Style Chicken and Waffles are for you! If you don’t need to fry a whole fowl, this clean chook and waffles recipe is the solution with pan-fried chicken tenders and crisp, gentle buttermilk waffles from scratch.

Southern-Style Chicken and Waffles
Southern-Style Chicken and Waffles

INGREDIENTS


FOR THE BRINE
2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons hot sauce – such as Crystal
FOR FRYING THE CHICKEN
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup buttermilk
canola or peanut oil for frying
FOR THE WAFFLES
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk well shaken
2 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons butter melted
1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
1 bunch scallions sliced, white and pale green parts only
1 tablespoon minced chives
GARNISH (OPTIONAL)
Maple syrup
chives minced
cheddar cheese shredded

INSTRUCTIONS


FOR THE BRINE
Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Place one chicken breast at a time in the center of the plastic wrap and fold half the plastic over the top of the chicken. Use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound the chicken to an even 1/2″ thickness. Set aside.
In a zip lock baggie, add the buttermilk and hot sauce, seal the bag and massage the ingredients together. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them to the brine. Seal the bag. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
TO FRY THE CHICKEN
Preheat the oven to 250°.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator half an hour before you start to fry. This is so that the chicken isn’t ice cold when you put it in the fryer — which would dramatically reduce the heat of the oil and cause the chicken to soak up the grease, instead of frying in it.
Set up two shallow bowls for dredging. In one bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Add the buttermilk to the other bowl.
Slice the chicken breasts into 1″ wide strips.
In a medium heavy-bottom skillet or dutch oven, heat about 1″ canola or peanut oil over medium to medium-high heat, until its between 350°-375°.
Working in batches, dip chicken strips in buttermilk, then into flour mixture – back into the buttermilk and finally into the flour mixture. Tap off excess flour and gently place chicken strips into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan — only cook 3-4 strips of chicken at a time. Fry for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally with tongs until the chicken is crispy and a deep golden brown. Transfer cooked chicken to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Place the baking sheet in the oven to keep chicken warm.
FOR THE WAFFLES
In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
In a smaller bowl add buttermilk, eggs, butter, and maple syrup. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Stir in the cheddar cheese, sliced scallions, and chives.
To make the waffles, preheat the waffle iron. Lightly coat with vegetable spray if necessary. Scoop batter onto the center of the waffle iron. Close the lid and bake until browned and crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Place waffles on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you continue cooking the rest of the batter.
To serve: Stack 2-3 waffles on a plate topped by 2-3 strips of chicken, maple syrup, shredded cheese, and chives.

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