Fried Chicken and Waffles

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Nothing says soul food like Chicken and Waffles. Well-seasoned crispy chicken fried to golden brown perfection with sweet waffles drizzled with maple syrup is sure to be a hit for any occasion.

Fried Chicken and Waffles

If you’ve never had chicken and waffles, life hasn’t hit the pinnacle that it truly can be. Because when you get buttermilk fried chicken and buttermilk waffles drizzled with maple syrup and hot sauce. Life starts to look different.

Now, this isn’t just any type of southern-style chicken. This crispy fried chicken is marinated in buttermilk, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. My goal was to put as much flavor in the chicken as I legally could.

The homemade buttermilk waffles are made with melted butter, eggs, sugar, baking powder, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. I like to whip up my waffles while the chicken marinates in the fridge. Then I keep them warm in a 200°F oven until I finish frying my chicken.

Other times, I just double the waffle recipe to keep some in the freezer so I can have a quick breakfast or brunch. Who needs Eggos when you have an incredible waffle recipe?

This is my simpler chicken and waffles recipe because I created a chipotle fried chicken and chocolate waffle recipe a while back. So if you love spicy and chocolate, this is an excellent recipe for brunch.

overhead Chicken and Waffles2

What are Chicken and Waffles?

Fried chicken and waffles is a dish that is a popular breakfast, lunch, and dinner option in the African-American community. It has become popular all across the United States.

For clarity, waffles are Dutch, so we have them to thank for introducing America to waffles. Also, during colonial times, enslaved people were in charge of cooking, and fried chicken originated from fricasseed chicken. Think chicken and gravy. It makes sense why older recipes would call for gravy to be made with the grease the chicken was fried in.

The most famous restaurant that sells chicken and waffles is Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles, California. Herb Hudson opened the restaurant in 1976 and is a Harlem native. No wonder he brought Harlem’s famous pairing to the west coast.

A famous Jazz nightclub named Wells Supper club in Harlem opened in 1938. The shared story is that jazz musicians would arrive after dinner but too early for breakfast, so the kitchen would serve them fried chicken and waffles.

We can thank Mr. Wells for starting the trend because when his well-friends like Sammy Davis Jr. and Nat King Cole raved about the combination, it became a staple for visitors in New York City.

The same thing happened for Mr. Hudson in Los Angeles; famous visitors like Stevie Wonder and other Motown legends would visit when they were in town and helped spread the popularity of the dish.

What Ingredients do you need for Chicken and Waffles?

Before you start whipping up this fried chicken and waffles recipe, look at this list of ingredients to ensure you have everything you need for finger-licking fried chicken and waffles.

Buttermilk

The buttermilk is going to tenderize the chicken and add an incredible flavor.

Buttermilk

The buttermilk is going to tenderize the chicken and add an incredible flavor.

Chicken Tenders

I like to use chicken tenders because you can cut through them and get the perfect chicken and waffle bite.

Flour

We need unbleached all-purpose flour for the seasoned flour and waffle batter.

Oil

I prefer to use peanut oil for frying chicken, as it’s healthier and gives the chicken a lovely golden brown crust.

Seasonings

I use kosher salt, black pepper, granulated onion powder, granulated garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.

Hot Sauce

You can add hot sauce to your buttermilk brine if you like, but for me, it’s strictly for garnish.

chicken and waffles side shot

How to make chicken and waffles recipe?

My fried chicken and waffles recipe is incredibly easy to follow and scrumptious. It will be a hit with any size group!

Southern Fried Chicken

In a medium bowl, combine spices; add half to a large bowl with flour and the remaining to another large bowl with the buttermilk. Whisk the buttermilk and spices together, add chicken tenders, cover, and place in the fridge for 1 hour to let the chicken marinate.

Remove chicken from buttermilk; heat oil to 325°F degrees over medium-high heat in a large skillet or dutch oven.

Dredge chicken in flour, and buttermilk, then flour. Shake the excess flour off each piece before dipping. Doing a double dredge is going to yield some very crispy chicken.

Fry chicken in hot oil for 12 minutes until golden brown; rotate chicken halfway for even browning. If frying in batches, keep the finished chicken hot in a 200°F oven. Drain chicken on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Buttermilk Waffles

While the chicken is marinating, mix flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract together; pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Heat the waffle maker to the desired temperature and spray it with cooking spray. Pour enough batter to cover the bottom of the waffle iron, close the waffle iron, and cook for 3-4 minutes, depending on the desired color.

Place cooked waffles on a baking sheet with lined-parchment paper in a 200°F oven until all waffles are made. Add one or two waffles to a plate, spread softened butter over them, place two fried chicken strips, and pour maple syrup and hot sauce over the chicken.

Two plates of chicken and waffles

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are the best practices, techniques, substitutes, and flavor builders you’ll need for fried chicken and waffles.

  • To create crags of crispy bits on your chicken, squeeze the chicken slightly as you dredge it in flour.
  • You can use chicken breasts, wings, or chicken thighs as a swap for chicken tenders if you don’t mind bone-in chicken pieces.
  • To make this one of your favorite savory dishes, garnish chicken with a mix of chopped garlic and parsley.
  • You can use canola, vegetable, or avocado oils to fry chicken.
  • Feel free to use gluten-free flour in the seasoned flour for the chicken and waffles for a gluten-free chicken and waffles.
  • You can use your chicken wings or breasts as a swap for chicken tenders. If you do, increase your cooking time to 15 minutes.
  • Bulgarian buttermilk is the best buttermilk on the market.
  • You can drain your chicken over a wire rack. You can use one of your oven racks if you don’t have one.
  • For fluffy waffles, let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes. This allows the gluten to absorb more liquid.
  • I do not recommend using apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to make quick buttermilk.
  • You do not need a Belgian waffle iron for this recipe; any waffle iron will work.
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Overhead chicken and waffles

FAQs

Here are the top questions readers have about making fried chicken and waffles.

Do you put syrup on chicken and waffles?

Yes! You pour syrup over the chicken and waffles. I like to pour syrup on my waffles, then add my chicken and a little more.

What goes with fried chicken and waffles?

There are several things you can pair with chicken and waffles, depending on what meal you’re serving.
You can serve a fruit salad, cheese omelet, cheese grits, buttermilk biscuits, or arugula salad for breakfast and brunch.

You can serve collard greens, mac and cheese, candied yams, or southern green beans for dinner.

Why do chicken and waffles go together?

The combination of sweet (waffles) and salty (fried chicken) is just a flavor pairing that makes tastebuds and bellies happy! Both are easy to prepare, and people of all ages can enjoy them.

Where did chicken and waffles originate?

The exact person who invented chicken and waffles became mainstream and popular in a Jazz nightclub in Harlem named Wells Supper club in 1938. The legend is that jazz artists would come after dinner but before breakfast, and the kitchen would serve them fried chicken and waffles.

So we can thank Mr. Wells for starting the trend because his well-known friends like Sammy Davis Jr. and Nat King Cole raved about the combination, and it became a staple for visitors in New York City.

What do you put on chicken and waffles?

The options are limitless on what you can put on chicken and waffles. The most common is maple syrup, hot sauce, or honey, but you can use barbecue sauce or honey mustard. You can add chopped bacon to your honey to create a honey bacon syrup.

To create new flavor combinations, you can also create different flavored kinds of butter by mixing in cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, or fresh herbs with room-temperature butter.
close up of chicken and waffles

How do you serve chicken and waffles?

You serve chicken and waffles hot! Waffles are the base, then you pile the chicken on top and serve the syrup at the dinner table.

Is chicken and waffles breakfast or dinner?

The great thing about chicken and waffles is that they can be served at all times of the day, and it can be served for a hearty breakfast or dinner. The option is entirely yours!

How long do you fry chicken?

Each piece of chicken takes different amounts of time to fry. Wings, thighs, and legs all take about 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken, and breasts take about 10-12 minutes, depending on the size.

What is the best chicken to use for Southern fried chicken and waffles recipe?

In my opinion, the best chicken to use for Southern fried chicken and waffles is tenders. Only because you can cut through the tender and waffle for the perfect bite. Others prefer to use chicken wings and eat the wings and waffles separately. The most common piece served is wings and chicken tenders.

How do you store leftover fried chicken and waffles?

Fried chicken is best eaten (hot) right out of the grease but will remain fresh in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge. It’ll remain fresh in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.

Ready to heat up your leftovers? You can reheat cooked fried chicken uncovered in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes or reheat it in an air fryer at 300°F for 6 minutes. 

Waffles are best eaten immediately, but they will remain fresh for 3 days in the fridge. Keep them in a freezer-safe container and freeze them for 3 months. Reheat the waffles in the toaster for 1-2 minutes.

close up chicken waffles with syrup

More Soul Food Recipes

Since you love soul food as much as I do, here are a few more classics to add to your dinner table.

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Here are my steps for getting organized and moving fast in the kitchen.

Step 1: Get all ingredients for chicken and waffles on the counter.

Step 2: Put everything measured into individual bowls.

Step 3: Follow the recipe and get ready for the best chicken and waffles recipe you’ve ever enjoyed.

Fried chicken and waffles are the perfect meal to cure your soul food cravings. The combination of crispy, salty chicken and sweet, light waffles is guaranteed to please everyone at the table. Make sure you try this recipe for yourself and leave a comment below with your thoughts. Don’t forget to rate the recipe after you’ve tried it!

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fried chicken and waffles with syrup pour

Fried Chicken and Waffles

Kenneth Temple
Nothing says soul food like Chicken and Waffles. Well-seasoned crispy chicken fried to golden brown perfection with sweet waffles drizzled with maple syrup is sure to be a hit for any occasion.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine Soul Food, Southern
Servings 8 persons
Calories 434 kcal

Ingredients
  

Fried Chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1-1.5 lbs. chicken tenders
  • 2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • oil for frying

Buttermilk Waffles:

  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cooking spray
  • Grade A maple syrup

Instructions
 

Chicken:

  • In a medium bowl, combine spices; add half to a large bowl with flour and the remaining to another large bowl with the buttermilk. Whisk the buttermilk and spices together, add chicken tenders, cover, and place in the fridge for 1 hour for the chicken to marinate. Remove chicken from buttermilk; over medium-high heat in a large skillet or dutch oven, heat oil to 325°F degrees.
  • Dredge chicken in flour and buttermilk, then flour, and shake off the excess of each piece before dipping. Doing a double dredge is going to yield some very crispy chicken. Fry in hot oil for 12 minutes until golden brown; rotate chicken halfway for even browning. If frying in batches, keep the finished chicken hot in a 200°F oven. Drain chicken on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Waffles

  • While chicken is marinating, mix flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract together; pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Heat the waffle iron to the desired temperature and spray it with cooking spray. Pour enough batter to cover the bottom of the waffle iron, close the waffle iron, and cook for 3-4 minutes, depending on the desired color. Place cooked waffles in a 200°F oven until all waffles are made.
  • Place cooked waffles on a baking sheet with lined-parchment paper in a 200°F oven until all waffles are made. Add one or two waffles to a plate, spread softened butter over them, place two fried chicken strips, and pour maple syrup and hot sauce over the chicken.
  • Serve warm with chicken and maple syrup.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
Here are the best practices, techniques, substitutes, and flavor builders you’ll need for fried chicken and waffles.
  • To create crags of crispy bits on your chicken, squeeze the chicken slightly as you dredge it in flour.
  • You can use chicken breasts, wings, or chicken thighs as a swap for chicken tenders. If you don’t mind bone-in chicken pieces.
  • To make this one of your favorite savory dishes, garnish chicken with a mix of chopped garlic and parsley.
  • You can use canola, vegetable, or avocado oils to fry chicken.
  • Feel free to use gluten-free flour in the seasoned flour for the chicken and waffles for a gluten-free chicken and waffles.
  • You can use your chicken wings or breasts as a swap for chicken tenders. If you do, increase your cooking time to 15 minutes.
  • Bulgarian buttermilk is the best buttermilk on the market.
  • You can drain your chicken over a wire rack. You can use one of your oven racks if you don’t have one.
  • For fluffy waffles, let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes. This allows the gluten to absorb more liquid.
  • I do not recommend using apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to make a quick buttermilk.
  • You do not need a Belgian waffle iron for this recipe; any waffle iron will work.
 
Storage:
Fried chicken is best eaten hot out of the grease but will remain fresh in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge. It’ll remain fresh in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.
Ready to heat up your leftovers? You can reheat cooked fried chicken uncovered in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes or reheat it in an air fryer at 300°F for 6 minutes.  
Waffles are best eaten immediately, but they will remain fresh for 3 days in the fridge. Keep them in a freezer-safe container and freeze them for 3 months. Reheat the waffles in the toaster for 1-2 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 434kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 23gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 2164mgPotassium: 486mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 694IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 197mgIron: 4mg
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