Chicken and waffles is a subject of much debate. Often thought of as a Southern classic, but actually made famous by the Wells Supper Club in Harlem, which definitely ain’t the South, in 1938, which is not that long ago. Then consider the word “classic” as it relates to food. How long must a food exist before it’s considered a “classic”? Fifty years? A hundred years? Maybe the time is less important than the popularity. Is the cronut a classic? Is the McRib a classic? Maybe it’s a combination of time and popularity that makes a regular food into a classic food …
Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles opened in 1976 in LA. Gladys and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles, 1996, Atlanta. Lucky J’s in Austin and New York. And that’s just a few of the specialty restaurants. If you look around, you’ll see chicken and waffles showing up on breakfast and brunch menus all across the country — from soul food joints to Americana diners to fancy-pants, farm-to-table bistros.
For whatever reason, it’s a classic now. Typically, you’re looking at a buttery, crispy waffle or two that’s then topped with at least a couple pieces of crispy bone-in fried chicken (wings are common). For me, I prefer to use boneless chicken for ease of eating. For you, you may prefer to do it old-fashioned style and in that case try my fried chicken recipe here.
For the waffles, I used my standard waffles recipe but you can totally use a waffle mix if you want to. I shall judge ye not.
Ooh, and if you want to get crazy and try it with my slaw, here’s the spicy peanut coleslaw recipe. Okay, let’s get on with it. Video and recipe below!
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup frying oil (peanut, canola, shortening, alrd, etc)
- Maple syrup
- Marinate the chicken in the maple syrup, Tabasco, salt, pepper, and thyme for 30 minutes to an hour. (Make your waffle batter now and set it aside.)
- Whisk together egg and buttermilk in a shallow bowl.
- Combine flour and cornstarch in another bowl.
- Drain excess marinade from chicken. Dip in egg, then flour, and lay in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat oil in a skillet to 350ºF.
- Fry chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until dark golden brown and cooked through. To check, pierce with a knife tip and if juices run clear, you're good!
- Drain on paper. Sprinkle with a little salt. Set aside.
- Cook waffle batter in your waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions.
- Serve chicken on top of waffles with maple syrup.