This is it, guys. We’re getting messy today. There’s going to be some dirty dishes, hot oil, maybe some spilled flour and sticky maple syrup rings on your table. If you’re making this for brunch on New Year’s Day and you had a big time the night before, maybe you’re extra messy. It’s fine! We’re having fried chicken and waffles!
My version of this classic uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces for optimal chicken-to-waffle ratio in every forkful. The chicken soaks in a buttermilk/hot sauce mixture for an hour or overnight, if your schedule allows. Then it’s tossed in a paper grocery bag with flour and and a little salt. Once the chicken is all coated in flour, and you’ve preheated your oil to 350-ish, fry the chicken for about 5 minutes, until it’s golden brown and crispy.
Transfer the chicken from the oil onto a cooling rack set inside a baking sheet and sprinkle it with a pinch of salt.
Then, slide the pan into a warm 200 degree oven while you finish frying. I usually fry 1.5 lbs of chicken thighs in 3 batches. Give yourself a minute between batches to let the oil temperature come back up to 350.
The waffles can be made ahead and frozen (see note at the end of the recipe) but they’re easy to make in the hour the chicken is soaking in the buttermilk. The waffles can stay warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve. To start, melt a stick of butter in a medium bowl and let it cool a bit while you get the dry ingredients together. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Add the buttermilk and eggs to the bowl with the butter and whisk. Then, add your wet ingredients to your dry – don’t overmix it; the batter should be lumpy. Spoon or pour about 1/2 a cup of batter at a time onto your waffle iron and crank out your waffles. This recipe makes about 8 waffles.
To serve all of this goodness you made, put the waffle(s) down on the plate, with some soft butter if you like, and top it with 5 or 6 pieces of crispy chicken. Drizzle maple syrup all over and sprinkle on some chopped parsley and crushed red pepper flakes. Congratulations on your ultimate comfort food/perfect brunch menu item. Happy New Year to you!Print
Fried Chicken and Waffles
This recipe for Fried Chicken and Waffles delivers crispy, bite-sized pieces of chicken and fluffy waffles for the perfect forkful every time!
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 4–5 servings 1x
for the fried chicken
- 4 (about 1.5 lbs.) boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1” pieces
- 1 C buttermilk
- 2 T hot sauce
- 6 C canola or peanut oil
- 2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 T salt
- 2 T chopped parsley, for serving
- 2 t crushed red pepper flakes, for serving
- maple syrup, for serving
for the waffles
- 2 C all-purpose flour (10 oz. if you like to weigh things)
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t baking soda
- 2 T sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 C unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 2 C buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- non-stick spray for the waffle iron
for the fried chicken
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and set a wire rack inside a baking sheet, lined with a paper towel. This is to transfer your fried chicken to and keep it warm while you finish frying each batch.
- Set a large dutch oven over medium high heat with a thermometer attached and add the oil. Heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees.
- Combine the buttermilk and hot sauce in a zip-top bag or whisk it together in a bowl and add the chicken. Let the chicken soak in this mixture for an hour or up to overnight. An hour is just fine if you’re short on time.
- Combine the flour and salt in a paper grocery bag if you have one or a large bowl and add the chicken, tossing to coat all the pieces.
- Once the oil reaches 350 degrees, use tongs to carefully add 1/3 of the chicken pieces to the oil. Fry until it’s golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. To prevent the chicken from sticking together, stir it around occasionally with a long metal slotted spoon or a spider.
- Using a metal slotted spoon or a spider, remove the chicken to your wire rack and slide it into the oven while you repeat step 4 until all the chicken is cooked.
for the waffles
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and set a wire rack inside a baking sheet. This is to keep your waffles warm as you finish them.
- Preheat your waffle iron.
- In a medium bowl, microwave the stick of butter until melted, about 1 minute. Set it aside to cool slightly while you continue.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.
- Whisk the buttermilk and eggs into the bowl with the butter. It’s ok if the cold buttermilk makes the butter lumpy, just whisk enough to combine the eggs with the rest of the mixture.
- Add your buttermilk mixture to the bowl with the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula – don’t overmix it, the batter should be lumpy.
- Follow your waffle iron’s instructions for making the waffles – I spray mine with non-stick spray and add about 1/2 a cup of batter per waffle. As they cook, transfer them to the rack/baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.
Place one waffle (or more) on a plate, with some softened butter if you like, and top it with 5 or 6 pieces of crispy fried chicken. Pour maple syrup over the top and sprinkle with chopped parsley and crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
The prep time for this recipe is listed as 1 hour – that includes preparing and cooking the waffles in the hour that the chicken marinates. The cook time is listed as 30 minutes – that is roughly the time it takes to fry the chicken in 3 batches.
To make the waffles ahead of time and freeze them, prepare and cook all of the waffles then place them in a single layer on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for 1 hour. After 1 hour, transfer the waffles to zip top freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat the waffles, toast them in your toaster. Or if you want to reheat several at once, place them on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes.