Classic Chicken And Waffles With Bourbon-Maple Syrup Recipe

For some, brunch is a weekly tradition. It can also be pricey and stressful, especially when your local hotspot is packed to the gills with hangry, hungover people. One easy way to avoid all that? Making brunch at home. Sure, you'll have dishes to do, but the end result will be more satisfying than any overpriced plate of eggs. Chicken and waffles is a sweet-and-savory brunch showstopper that will surely wow any friends and loved ones you serve it to. It's filling, flavorful, and unique.

"To make these homemade chicken and waffles you just need three elements: perfectly juicy fried chicken strips, fluffy and crispy waffles, and a delicious boozy syrup," recipe developer Jess Case says. 

That may sound simple at first, but it's important to note that this recipe is a bit of a project, as you'll be making every component from scratch. "This recipe has a lot of steps and requires time management, but is so worth it," Case adds. "The waffles are so big, fluffy and crispy. Dress it up with some delicious hot Bourbon-maple syrup and serve with fresh squeezed orange juice or Mimosas."

Get your chicken and waffles ingredients in order

Yes, this recipe has a long ingredient list, but don't be scared, as most of these are pantry staples or easy-to-find items. You'll need chicken, specifically, sliced boneless chicken breasts, but the grocery store cut called "chicken tenders" should work fine too. You'll need vegetable oil for frying, plus flour, salt, buttermilk, paprika, onion powder, pepper, and chili powder for the brine. The waffles need flour, baking soda, vanilla, separated egg whites and egg yolks, sugar, salt, milk, and salted butter. 

Finally, the Bourbon-maple syrup is made from, unsurprisingly, maple syrup, Bourbon, plus salted butter. You can optionally add some cinnamon and cayenne, as well. 

Brine the meat

Your first step here is brining your meat. Mix together some flour, salt, onion powder, paprika, pepper, chili powder, and buttermilk, then submerge the chicken pieces in the mixture. Cover it and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight if you can. When it's ready, prepare a bowl of seasoned flour and cover each chicken piece with it.

Fry the chicken

It's frying time! Heat half your oil in a Dutch oven until it's hot enough to fry, then pop a few chicken pieces in at a time. Don't crowd the pan as too many pieces of chicken will make the oil drop in temperature. Flip the chicken over after about five minutes and keep it in the oil until crisp and golden. 

Take the meat out and put it on a wire rack-lined baking sheet to drain. Voila — the chicken portion of the recipe is done. Case notes that you can make the chicken the day before if you're the type to plan in advance.

Prep the waffle batter

Your chicken is done, now onto the waffles. Make sure your waffle iron is heating up, then combine the sugar, salt, flour, and baking powder in a bowl. In a different bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, and vanilla, and add that to the dry ingredients. Only stir this mixture a couple of times, since you're not done yet. 

Next, use a hand mixer to whip your egg whites until the mixture forms firm peaks on the whisk attachments. Slowly incorporate this into your main mixture, and you've officially made waffle batter.

Make the waffles and Bourbon-maple syrup

Coat your waffle iron in the nonstick spray of your choice, then transform that batter into delicious, golden waffles. While that's happening, make your syrup: Bring the maple syrup and Bourbon to a boil in a small saucepan. Lower the heat to a simmer until it starts to look syrupy, then add your remaining butter. Add a pinch of cinnamon and cayenne, if you prefer. Is your mouth watering yet?

Assemble and serve your hot, fresh chicken and waffles

At long last, you've done it. You've made chicken, waffles, and Bourbon-maple syrup. Place a waffle on your plate and top it with two pieces of crispy chicken. Drizzle that warm Bourbon-maple syrup all over and dig in. If one of your brunch guests is a no-show and you end up with extras, no worries. "Just reheat the chicken, it would still taste delicious! The waffles are best as soon as they are cooked, but you can still toast them for leftovers to get them to crisp up again," Case says.

Classic Chicken And Waffles With Bourbon-Maple Syrup Recipe
5 from 41 ratings
These homemade chicken and waffles combine three elements: perfectly juicy fried chicken strips, fluffy and crispy waffles, and a delicious boozy syrup.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chicken and waffles close-up
Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • For the fried chicken
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika, divided
  • 1 teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
  • 1½ pounds chicken breast, sliced into tenderloins (about 8 pieces)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • For the waffles
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • For the Bourbon-maple syrup
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ⅛ cup Bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
Optional Ingredients
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne
  1. To make the brine, whisk the buttermilk, ¾ cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon onion powder, ¾ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon chili powder together in a large mixing bowl
  2. Put the chicken strips in a medium-size bowl and submerge them in the buttermilk brine. Cover the bowl and let the chicken soak at least 1 hour to overnight in the fridge. The longer it soaks, the crisper it will be.
  3. In a Dutch oven pot, heat half of the vegetable oil until it reaches 350 F.
  4. While the oil is heating up, in a mixing bowl, whisk together ¾ cup flour, and the rest of the seasonings. Take each chicken strip from the brine and dredge it in the seasoned flour. Thoroughly coat the chicken all over, then let rest on a plate for 5 minutes before frying.
  5. Fry the chicken in the hot oil (no more than about 4 strips per batch) until it's golden brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to flip the chicken over halfway through. It should be cooked through completely, about 10 minutes. Let it rest on top of a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath to catch any oil drips.
  6. For the waffles, preheat your waffle iron. Sift the dry ingredients -- flour, sugar, baking powder and salt -- into a bowl.
  7. Whisk together the milk, vanilla, and 2 egg yolks in a separate bowl. Pour it over the dry ingredients and stir gently until halfway combined. Pour in melted butter and continue mixing until fully combined.
  8. Using a mixer, beat 4 egg whites with a whisk attachment until stiff. Slowly fold it into the batter using a rubber spatula, and mix until well combined.
  9. Spray your waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop the batter into your waffle iron in batches and cook until it's a deep golden color. Keep it warm on a baking sheet in the oven in a warm setting.
  10. For the Bourbon-maple syrup, add the maple syrup and Bourbon in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil then lower it to a simmer for about 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Turn off the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter. Add in an optional pinches of cinnamon and cayenne, if you'd like a little heat.
  11. To serve, place 2 chicken strips on top of a waffle. Pour the warm Bourbon-maple syrup over everything and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Calories per Serving 1,807
Total Fat 109.6 g
Saturated Fat 21.7 g
Trans Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 387.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 103.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 44.0 g
Sodium 1,409.0 mg
Protein 96.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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