The Secret To Crispy, Craveable Chicken And Waffles Is Using The Same Batter

With the right cooking technique, crispy chicken and fluffy waffles may have more in common than a final drizzle of maple syrup. Sure, that last addition — whether of Bourbon maple syrup or hot honey – acts as a great unifier that threads the sweet with the savory. But pancake mix likewise creates a commonality between the two foods. Use the mix not only to make waffles but also to coat — then bread — chicken, and you'll upgrade both your flavors and your frying. 

"It's common for a standard breading method to be wet, dry alternating, using buttermilk or egg," Jarrel McRae, the executive chef and director of food & beverage at The Foundry Hotel's Benne on Eagle in Asheville, North Carolina, told Tasting Table. "However, in my experience, egg or buttermilk will burn before the chicken is cooked correctly. When using water in a prepared pancake mix to create batter and dry dredge, the ingredients will hold up in frying temperatures."

Nobody wants burnt chicken and waffles, so follow McRae's advice for crispy fried chicken. And, since you're already making waffles, pancake mix will save you time and money. Simply double up on the mix, and you can make your own chicken and waffles.

Toss chicken in wet pancake batter, then coat with dry pancake mix

If you can never choose between a sweet or a savory breakfast, this recipe's for you. Chicken and waffles allow you to have it both ways — so long as you use your pancake mix in both its dry and batter form. 

According to McRae, you'll first employ pancake mix as a batter for your chicken. To start, you'll need the mix and a few pieces of boneless chicken — as well as powdered sugar and Cajun spices. These two additions will enhance your poultry's flavor and balance alongside waffles when the time comes to pair the two together. Before you use your pancake mix, mix it with water until the powder becomes a batter. It should be the texture of buttermilk, said McRae.

Once your chicken has been thoroughly coated, toss it in dry pancake mix, along with more Cajun spices. From there, your chicken should be set to fry. To ensure it fully cooks, aim for a temperature of about 165 degrees Fahrenheit, recommends McRae. Once the edges crisp up, you can expect slightly spicy, slightly sweet, and more than slightly fried chicken, ready to complement the fluffiest of waffles. Before you dig in, however, make sure to add a final sprinkle of salt — and, of course, a drizzle of maple syrup.