Chicken and waffles is an American dish combining chicken with waffles. It is part of a variety of culinary traditions, including Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine and soul food, and is served in certain specialty restaurants in the United States.
Chicken and waffles, as a combined recipe, first appeared in the United States' colonial period in the 1600s in Pennsylvania Dutch country. The traditional Pennsylvania Dutch version consists of a plain waffle with pulled, stewed chicken on top, covered in gravy. A version using fried chicken is associated with the American South. The soul-food version of chicken and waffles grew in popularity after the opening of the Wells Supper Club in Harlem, New York, in 1938.
The exact origins of this dish are unknown. Waffles entered American cuisine in the 1600s with European colonists. The food's popularity saw a notable boost after 1789 with Thomas Jefferson's purchase of four waffle irons in Amsterdam.
Get your Chicken and Waffle Foodie T-Shirts at the bottom!
Yield: About 8 servings
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
2 cups (480 mL) buttermilk
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon hot sauce or chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
SEASONED FLOUR CRUST
3 cups (384 g) all-purpose flour
⅓ cup (43 g) cornstarch
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
SPICY HONEY BUTTER SAUCE
¼ cup (85 g) honey (you can sub maple syrup)
½ teaspoon chili powder (or more to taste)
4 tablespoon (57 g) unsalted butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick (1/2 Cup) butter, melted
4 egg whites
For the brine: whisk the buttermilk, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce, and smoked paprika together in a large mixing bowl.
Add the boneless, skinless chicken thighs to the bowl, making sure every thigh is covered in the brine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the chicken marinate in the buttermilk brine from 1 hour to overnight in the fridge.
For the sauce: in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat with honey, chili powder, and kosher salt. Whisk well until the mixture is incorporated and homogenized.
Lower the temperature to 'warm/low' heat and keep for serving.
For the chicken: in a dutch oven pot, heat oil to reach 350 degrees F
While the oil is heating up, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and seasonings. Take each chicken thigh from the brine and dredge into the seasoned flour. Thoroughly coat the chicken all over, then let rest on a plate for five minutes before frying.
Fry the chicken in the hot oil until golden brown, crispy, and cooked through completely, about 8-9 minutes. Preheat the waffle iron to the regular setting.
Carefully place fried chicken on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving.
For the waffles: Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, 2 egg yolks, and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and very gently stir until halfway combined. Pour in the melted butter and continue mixing very gently until combined.
In a separate bowl (or using a mixer), beat the egg whites with a whisk until stiff. Slowly fold them into the batter, stopping short of mixing them all the way through.
Scoop the batter into your waffle iron in batches and cook according to its directions (lean toward being a little deep golden and crisp!)
Serve the chicken on top of the waffles, then drizzle generously with spicy honey butter sauce or maple syrup.