Chicken and Waffles

Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
4 servings

The very definition of comfort food: crispy, crunchy fried chicken; mouth-watering waffles; all topped off with a bourbon pancake syrup.



Fried Chicken

boneless, skin-on chicken thighs
cups buttermilk
2 ½
cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
tbsp seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
tsp paprika
tsp freshly ground black pepper
tsp ground dried thyme
tsp cayenne pepper, plus more if needed
cup milk, plus more if needed
Vegetable oil, for frying
Special equipment: a deep-fry thermometer


cups all-purpose flour
cup sugar
tbsp baking powder
tsp kosher salt
1 ½
cups milk
tbsp vanilla extract
large egg whites + 2 large egg yolks
tbsp (1 stick) salted butter, melted
- 2 jalapenos, chopped


cup pancake syrup
cup bourbon
tbsp (1/2 stick) salted butter
tsp cayenne pepper


Step 1

Thoroughly rinse the chicken, then cover all the pieces with 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk. Soak in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours.

Step 2

When you’re ready to fry the chicken, remove the bowl from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes to take off the chill.

Step 3

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 360ºF and mix the breading. Put the flour, seasoned salt, paprika, pepper, thyme and cayenne (extra cayenne if you like heat) in a very large bowl and stir together well.

Step 4

In a small bowl, combine the milk and remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. Pour into the flour mixture and, with a fork, gradually mix until there are little lumps throughout. This will adhere to the chicken and make for a crispier breading. If necessary, add a little more flour or milk to the bowl in order to make it slightly lumpy.

Step 5

Heat 1 1/2 to 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 365ºF. Lower the heat slightly, if necessary, to keep the oil from getting hotter.

Step 6

Working in batches, thoroughly coat each chicken piece with the breading, pressing extra breading onto the chicken if necessary. Place the breaded pieces on a plate.

Step 7

Add the chicken to the oil 3 or 4 pieces at a time. Make sure they aren’t sticking together, then cover the skillet and fry for 5 to 7 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the chicken isn’t getting too brown. Turn the pieces over, cover again and cook 3 to 5 minutes more. All the while, monitor the temperature of the oil to make sure the chicken doesn’t burn. Transfer the fried chicken pieces to a baking sheet (they will not be completely cooked through) and continue frying the rest of the chicken.

Step 8

Bake the thighs for 15 minutes to finish the cooking process. Sometimes I’ll cut into the thicker part of one of the larger pieces, just to make sure the chicken is cooked through. (If any pink juice or meat is visible, the chicken needs to continue cooking in the oven.) Cover and keep warm.

Step 9

Preheat the waffle iron to the regular setting. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Step 10

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla and 2 egg yolks. Pour over the dry ingredients and very gently stir until halfway combined. Pour in the melted butter and chopped jalapenos and continue mixing very gently until combined.

Step 11

In a separate bowl (or using a mixer), beat the 4 egg whites with a whisk until stiff. Slowly fold them into the batter, stopping short of mixing them all the way through.

Step 12

Scoop the batter into your waffle iron in batches and cook according to the manufacturer’s directions (lean toward being a little deep golden and crisp!). Keep warm.

Step 13

Pour the pancake syrup and bourbon in a small pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, then the cayenne.

Step 14

To serve: Place 2 chicken thighs on top of a waffle. Pour the warm sauce over everything and serve immediately.

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