Fried Chicken And Waffle Sliders Recipe

Though the true origins of America's favorite comfort food–turned-breakfast are a little unclear, it's not hard to guess how chicken and waffles came to be. Buttermilk-brined fried chicken is a staple in Southern kitchens that's usually served for dinner with a side of collard greens. Waffles, on the other hand, have been a breakfast favorite since the German and Dutch brought them to America and landed them in diners across the nation. It's easy to assume that, somewhere along the line, a Southern chef may have used a spare piece of chicken to accompany the remnants from breakfast, and the iconic dish was born. Drenched in maple, butter, gravy, or some combination of both, chicken and waffles soon became a comfort classic.

In this recipe written with recipe developer Michelle McGlinn, the classic chicken and waffle duo is turned into mini-sized sandwiches in just a few easy steps. Though not a breakfast for a quick weekday morning, the recipe is fairly simple, requiring only a trusty frying pan and a waffle iron. Topped with a melty, sweet maple butter and infused with fresh rosemary, these sliders elevate chicken and waffles into a new dish — one that can be eaten with your hands.

The ingredients needed for fried chicken and waffle sliders

It's easiest to think of this recipe as three parts: The chicken, the maple butter, and the waffles. For the fried chicken, you'll first need buttermilk, cayenne pepper, salt, and 8 small skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Thighs are the juiciest and easiest to make into sliders, but you can also trim chicken breasts into slider-sized pieces. From there, you'll need flour, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and canola or vegetable oil for frying. With the chicken ingredients down, gather a good maple syrup and some softened butter for the maple butter, then head to the pantry for the remaining waffle ingredients: sugar, baking powder, an egg, milk, melted butter, and either fresh or dried rosemary.

Step 1: Prepare the brine

Combine the buttermilk, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl.

Step 2: Soak the chicken

Add the chicken and soak for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Step 3: Combine the breading ingredients

When ready to fry, combine the flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Step 4: Heat up the frying oil

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet to 350 F.

Step 5: Dredge the chicken in flour

Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture.

Step 6: Fry the chicken

Add the chicken to the hot oil, working in batches as needed, and fry until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 7: Drain excess oil

Drain on a wire rack.

Step 8: Mix the maple butter together

To make the maple butter, vigorously mix the softened butter and maple syrup until smooth.

Step 9: Sift the dry waffle ingredients

To make the waffles, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.

Step 10: Combine the wet ingredients

Combine the beaten egg, milk, and melted butter in another medium bowl.

Step 11: Bring the batter together

Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and add the rosemary. Stir until just combined.

Step 12: Add the batter to the waffle maker

Add ½ cup batter to a waffle maker.

Step 13: Cook the waffles

Press and heat until browned and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat to make 4 waffles.

Step 14: Break the waffles apart

To assemble the sandwiches, break the waffles into 4 pieces.

Step 15: Add chicken

Add a piece of chicken to one waffle piece.

Step 16: Assemble into a sandwich

Spread with butter, then top with a second piece of waffle to make a sandwich.

Step 17: Repeat and serve

Repeat with the remaining chicken and waffles to serve.

Fried Chicken And Waffle Sliders Recipe
No Ratings
Give your brunch table a dash of uniqueness with hand-held chicken and waffle sliders, which offer a fun, creative presentation for the classic dish.
Prep Time
2.33
hours
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
8
sliders
chicken and waffle sandwich on table
Total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • For the fried chicken
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 quart canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • For the maple butter
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • For the waffles
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
Directions
  1. Combine the buttermilk, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add the chicken and soak for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  3. When ready to fry, combine the flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet to 350 F.
  5. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture.
  6. Add the chicken to the hot oil, working in batches as needed, and fry until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Drain on a wire rack.
  8. To make the maple butter, vigorously mix the softened butter and maple syrup until smooth.
  9. To make the waffles, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  10. Combine the beaten egg, milk, and melted butter in another medium bowl.
  11. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and add the rosemary. Stir until just combined.
  12. Add ½ cup batter to a waffle maker.
  13. Press and heat until browned and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat to make 4 waffles.
  14. To assemble the sandwiches, break the waffles into 4 pieces.
  15. Add a piece of chicken to one waffle piece.
  16. Spread with butter, then top with a second piece of waffle to make a sandwich.
  17. Repeat with the remaining chicken and waffles to serve.
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Why are my waffles soggy?

Everyone knows that what makes great chicken and waffles is perfectly moist, crunchy chicken combined with crispy, fluffy waffles. Though there is some wiggle room in the slider sandwich version, where a soggy waffle can simply be viewed as an extra-soft bun, the ideal texture is crispy with a soft interior. Achieving this starts first with the batter, which needs to be sifted and gently mixed to avoid air pockets that deflate when heated and lead to a dense, chewy waffle. The next-most important step is to properly heat the waffle maker so that it is hot when you add the batter. If the batter is added to a cool or even warm waffle iron, it will cook slowly, never crisping on the exterior during the short cook time.

After all the careful prep work of creating a crispy waffle, the final trick is to cool them properly. If you stack the cooked waffles on top of one another, the steam will cause them to deflate into limp, soggy cakes. To avoid this, transfer each waffle onto a wire rack so that air can circulate underneath each waffle and ensure that the crisp exterior remains. If you don't have a wire rack (or your only one is being used by the chicken), arrange the waffles on a paper towel–lined baking sheet, instead.

Can I make fried chicken in the oven?

Deep frying is a cooking technique that requires submerging a food in an oil hot enough to dehydrate, cook, and eventually brown or crisp the starchy exterior. The hot oil is the key in the unique process, reacting differently than hot air (except in the case of an air fryer). An oven doesn't cook food quite the same way, so to make "fried" chicken in an oven, the recipe has to change a little.

You can start the recipe the same way, by soaking the chicken in buttermilk, which will tenderize the meat and prep it for dredging. The coating is where the recipe changes, since plain flour won't form a crispy crust in the oven. To replicate the crispy crust, add breadcrumbs to the dredging mixture. You can use plain breadcrumbs or panko for an extra crunch. As you dredge, press the breading firmly into the chicken. Then, get the oven hot (425 degrees Fahrenheit) and arrange the chicken on a baking sheet coated in butter, making sure each piece is separated. Cook the chicken until browned, flipping once. This method might not be fried chicken, exactly, but it will yield crispy, tender chicken with a lot less oil, saving you — and your kitchen — the mess.