It’s a Southern thing. But it’s taking over mainstream. Chicken and waffles.
The best fried chicken I’ve ever had was from Gus’s Fried Chicken in Memphis, TN. I shared it with my friend Laura straight out of the paper bag on an old picnic table at The Shacks. She’d ordered it for us hot and spicy. Just the way I pretty much like everything.
Then last year, I took the whole dang family back to the South where we hit up more than one fried chicken joint and really went for the gusto with chicken and waffles at Hattie B’s—served only on Sunday.
These two meals are what food memories are made of.
Then we came home. My man couldn’t get that chicken and waffles breakfast out of his head. And ever since he’s been working on perfecting his version.
And today friends, this recipe is it.
Today we’re talking about chicken and waffles, but in a portable, slider kind of way. Mini chicken burgers if you will. With a little heat, and loads of flavor.
This fried chicken emulates the flavor we had in the South—it packs just a bit of heat. They’re not reach for a glass of milk hot, but just right thanks to the Cholula® Original Hot Sauce mixed with buttermilk brine.
So he had the fried chicken figured out. And I did my part by making the mini waffles. But where our real flavor challenge came into play was in creating the frosting on the cake, er, the sauce on the sliders.
We had four different Cholula hot sauce flavors to play with. And of course he had to “taste test” each one of them with a piece of fried chicken. It’s all in the name of research, right?
On to the sauces…
We played spicy with sweet, creamy with heat and came up with four awesome variations that gave each slider its own distinct taste.
Cholula Original hot sauce paired with maple syrup.
“Oh yes. That one definitely brings out the sweetness.”
Cholula Chipotle hot sauce mixed into strawberry jam. Or any jam really. Just think of what an orange marmalade would be like.
“Oh, I like that one a lot. Yummy texture.”
Cholula Green Pepper hot sauce gave a bite to Miracle Whip. I know, he’s a fan of Miracle Whip through and through. But regular mayo would work well, too.
“Mmmm. That’s good. But what do you think about adding a bit more? Okay. That’s perfect.” (Guess who’s adding her two cents?)
And finally, Cholula Chili Garlic hot sauce mixed into two kinds of mustard for a real puckery kick.
“Whoa. That is tasty.”
The best part of our little cooking challenge was mixing and matching the sauces on the sliders.
The Cholula Original hot sauce maple blend topped with the Cholula Green Pepper hot sauce was an especially tasty combo.
And then he did what every red blooded American man does.
He put an egg on it.
About the recipe
This recipe calls for just 2 chicken skinless, boneless breasts for the whole shebang. My husband butterflies the breasts first then gently pounds them out to 1/4 inch thick. Of course I questioned this, as any wife will do, because it seemed really thin, but he confirmed that is the best thickness because the chicken puffs up when it cooks. Jeff’s tip: When pounding chicken be careful not to rip it apart.
The chicken is brined overnight in a mixture of buttermilk and Cholula Original hot sauce. Then, the reserved buttermilk mixture is used again when flouring the breasts. You’ll want to do this process twice for extra crispy chicken. BUT! Be sure to shake off any excess flour so they don’t become gummy. Jeff’s tip: If flour gets too clumpy, sift out the clumps with a fork or slotted spoon.
After taking the chicken from the refrigerator, let it rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. This will make it so the batter adheres best the chicken when frying because cold chicken and hot oil do not mix.
We use a cast iron skillet to fry the chicken in. Canola oil is cheap and works well. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan and cook the chicken in stages, allowing the oil to come back to 375 degrees F between each batch. Jeff’s tip: Keep pans under and alongside the frypan so you don’t drip grease all over the stove.
I used a whole wheat waffle mix for the waffles and originally intended to use my belgian waffle maker but they made the sandwich way too high. Instead, a regular waffle iron works best. For slider size, just a bit over 1/8 cup of batter per waffle works best. If you’d like to make a sandwich size, a scant 1/4 cup works well.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats and #UncapRealFlavor.
- 3 cups waffle mix (according to the package directions)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups buttermilk
- ½ cup Cholula® Original Hot Sauce
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- Canola oil for frying
- 12 eggs (optional)
- Filet the chicken breasts in half, then cut into 2 inch squares and pound out to ¼ inch thick pieces. Place in a large freezer bag. In a bowl, mix the buttermilk and Cholula Original hot sauce and pour over the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to overnight.
- To make the waffles, preheat a regular waffle maker. Mix the batter and place ⅛ cup in the center of the iron. Cook for 3 minutes or according to your maker's instructions. Set on a cooling rack and repeat until you have about 24 mini waffles. Waffles can be made ahead, frozen and then toasted before serving.
- To fry the chicken, remove the chicken from the fridge and allow it to rest in the bag at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the bag, and pour the reserved buttermilk mixture into a shallow bowl. Stir the flour, kosher salt and garlic powder until combined and pour half of the flour mixture into another gallon freezer bag. Dredge 4-5 chicken pieces in the reserved buttermilk mixture, shake off the excess, then place the pieces in the bag with the flour and shake until well coated. Repeat the process one more time. Place the coated chicken pieces on a wire cooling rack with a tray underneath and let the chicken rest for 15 minutes. Repeat with all of the chicken pieces.
- Add ¾ inch of oil to a heavy bottomed cast iron pan and heat to 375 degrees F.
- Add 3-4 pieces of chicken to the oil at a time, careful not to overcrowd. Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and transfer the chicken to a sheet pan layered with paper towels and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Skim the oil as needed. Bring the oil back to 375 degrees before cooking the next batch.
- Keep the chicken warm in a 250 degree oven.
- Stack the chicken in between the waffles and drizzle or serve with dipping sauces.
- Top with a fried egg if desired.
- For the Spicy Maple Syrup Sauce
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Cholula Original Hot Sauce
- For the Chipotle Jam Sauce
- ¼ cup jam of your preference
- 1 tablespoon Cholula Chipotle Hot Sauce
- For the Spicy Pepper Mayo Sauce
- ¼ cup Miracle Whip dressing or mayonniase
- 1 tablespoon Cholula Green Pepper Hot Sauce
- For the Spicy Mustard Sauce
- ⅛ cup stone ground mustard
- ⅛ cup yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon Cholula Chili Garlic Hot Sauce
- Mix the ingredients together and drizzle or serve as a separate dipping sauce. Double any of the recipes if you like a lot of sauce.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope this inspires you to get into the kitchen and make something good.
This post was sponsored by Cholula® Hot Sauce. For quick tips, recipes and creative ways to Uncap Real Flavor™ visit Cholula.com.
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