If life is all about balance, what better dish than fried chicken and waffles? A little sweet, a little savory. Chicken is protein, so that’s healthy, right?! Balance, guys, balance. For this go, I opted for cheddar and chive waffles and WOW. They. were. great!
Cheddar and chive waffles are one of my favorites, and they really taste amazing with the fried chicken. Sometimes, you don’t really want a super sweet waffle to go with that crispy chicken, amirite?!
I always thought fried chicken and waffles was just about one of the strangest dishes I had ever come across, but one bite and you realize just how great a combination it is. I think, too, when you opt for a savory waffle, you easily slide right into brunch or lunch or breakfast-for-dinner territory. I’m all for it.
First, let’s chat about these waffles! While your chicken is chilling in the batter in the fridge, you can start up the waffles. This dish is all about the timing. If you can get the waffles done before frying your chicken and then keep said waffles warm in the oven, you’ll be able to serve this with all the components being warm. If you’re really brave, you can totally make the waffles while you fry the chicken. I, however, am not that brave.
The waffles are so simple to make – I cheated and used a box mix and added a cup of cheddar cheese and 2 tbsp of chopped chives. That’s it! So easy, right? I kept them in the oven at 250 while I fried up the chicken.
Now, let’s talk about the secret to this flaky, craggly fried chicken. First, you salt the chicken (I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs) and pop them in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight. (I also only did this for 5 hours and it was fine!) Then you dredge them in the flour. Then, you mix a few tablespoons of the buttermilk mixture into the flour bowl. Once you dredge the chicken in the buttermilk mixture, you press the moistened (sorry) flour mixture onto the chicken and chill for at least 30 minutes. THAT, friends, is how you get the craggly little bits!
As the chicken was coming out of the oil, I sprinkled on salt, which I think makes the fried chicken really have that melt-in-your-mouth thing that’s just to die for.
Definitely a great project recipe for brunch! Definitely suggest keeping the sides simple, like a little salad, fruit salad, something bright and fresh to compliment the fried chicken and cheddar chive waffles. And mimosas! What would brunch be without mimosas!
Fried Chicken & Cheddar Chive Waffles
- 2-3 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 c all purpose flour
- 1/2 c cornstarch
- 1.5 tbsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tbsp paprika
- 3 tsp cayenne
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1.5 c buttermilk
- 8 c vegetable oil, for frying
Cheddar Chive Waffles
- 1 serving favorite waffle mix my box makes about 6 waffles
- 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp chives, chopped, plus more for garnish
- maple syrup, for serving
- Salt chicken and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
- When the chicken is ready, mix flour, cornstarch and spices in a medium bowl and set aside for dredging.
- Beat egg in a separate bowl; add buttermilk and mix well to combine.
- Dredge all the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and place on a rack.
- Pour 4 tbsp of the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and mix to make chunky pieces.
- Dredge the chicken in the buttermilk. Then, pat the buttermilk-flour mixture onto each chicken piece – this is how you get the craggly pieces!
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
- While the chicken is chilling, prepare the waffles by making your waffle batter according to the box instructions, adding 1 c of cheddar and 2 tbsp of chopped chives. Stir well to combine.
- Make your waffles according to the waffle maker instructions; place in a warm oven to keep hot.
- While making your waffles, start to heat the oil for frying until it reaches a 350 degrees (use a thermometer!)
- Fry the chicken pieces until deep golden brown about 5-8 minutes, turning the pieces frequently. Transfer to a wire rack set over paper towels to drain.
- Monitor the heat while frying to keep it at 350 consistently.
- When the chicken comes out of the fry, toss salt over it. Serve hot with warm waffles and maple syrup, plus chives for garnish.