Spicy Maple Syrup Is Your Secret For Elevated Chicken And Waffles

Chicken and waffles will forever be a quintessential brunch dish. The sweet and savory Southern classic never gets old, and we will never tire of finding ways to spruce it up. Whether you give it a squeeze of strawberry jam or add a pat of spiced honey butter, it never hurts to add a little something extra to the dish. If you prefer yours with a fiery kick, though, you'll find that spicy maple syrup is the perfect way to upgrade chicken and waffles.

The combination of buttery waffles and savory chicken makes an excellent flavor duo, but bringing in an element of heat turns it into the most delectable ménage à trois. When heat is needed for chicken and waffles, hot honey or hot sauce usually sit at the top of the list, but spicy maple syrup is the better choice. The subtle vanilla, caramel, and woodsy nuances throughout the syrup are tied together with a fiery ribbon that uplifts the saccharine condiment. When the maple syrup is infused with cinnamon or nutmeg, the hot pepper amps up the spice, giving even the driest chicken and waffles a sumptuous taste.

You can pick up a bottle of spicy maple syrup from the grocery store, but making your own is as easy as whisking hot sauce into the syrup. A tangy hot sauce works well in classic chicken and waffles with bourbon-maple syrup, brightening the heady combo. Once the bourbon-syrup mixture has cooled down, stir a splash of hot sauce into the syrup.

What peppers work best for spicy maple syrup?

Peppers that align with maple syrup's sweetness are the perfect choice for the condiment. In our classic chicken and waffles recipe, we suggest adding cayenne to the bourbon-maple syrup. The pepper is lightly fruity and sweet, with a heat level that isn't too overwhelming. It provides the syrup with a slight smokiness, matching the depth of the maple syrup. If you have a low spice tolerance, though, paprika is a good option. It shares a similar sweetness to cayenne but has a subdued bite. Although the earthiness makes it mild, paprika has a rich smoky flavor that pairs well with bourbon-maple syrup.

The depth of both peppers shows up well in maple syrup, making the spicy condiment a delicious addition to more complex waffles like sweet and savory sweet potato waffles. With your waffle batter in the waffle maker, heat the mixture of spices and maple syrup in a saucepan until it boils and thickens. For something earthy like fried chicken steeped in sweet tea served with waffles, a zesty pepper is just the brightness the dish needs. Sprinkle ground lemon drop or scotch bonnet peppers into the syrup for a citrusy punch.