Whether you like them savoury, sweet, or with a touch of Southern flare, waffles are all the rage right now. They’re a staple dish that are undoubtedly found in any restaurant in brunch-obsessed Toronto. Speaking of brunch, it’s a meal that I have a love-hate relationship with. Sure, it’s the perfect remedy after a night out, but I need a reason other than standard bacon and eggs for me to get out of bed in the morning. Especially in this extreme cold that has pleasantly reminded everyone that winter is here to stay a little while longer.
Chicken & waffles has always been one of those things that seemed tempting, but I’ve never actually indulged in. I could only imagine that it lives up to the hype. What’s not to love? Waffles? Good. Crispy fried chicken? Goooood. A drizzle of maple syrup and hot sauce? Gooooooood. (Anyone else get that Friends reference???)
Of all the ways to cook chicken, popcorn chicken definitely reigns supreme for this dish. Nobody wants to deal with cutting around the bone of a honkin’ drumstick or thigh. Popcorn chicken is quicker to cook (no worry of undercooked chicken), much easier to actually eat, and pretty cute. Place a few pieces on the waffles and top with heavenly maple syrup and Sriracha. Now that’s brunch that I can get on board with! So go ahead and get your brunch on with these popcorn chicken & cornmeal waffles!
- 4 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thighs; cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 tsp each salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Vegetable oil or olive oil for frying
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking power
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp each chili powder and cumin
- 1 egg
- 300 ml buttermilk
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced; plus more for garnish
- Maple syrup & Sriracha (optional)
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Let marinate for 1 hour. Dip chicken pieces into flour, then the buttermilk, and back into the flour again. Rest chicken on a baking sheet for 15 minutes.
- Heat oil to 350°F and fry chicken in batches until they’re golden brown and crispy (4-5 minutes). Ensure you don’t overcrowd the pan. Drain chicken on a paper towel.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until smooth. Stir in one green onion. Stand to rest while the waffle maker heats up. Cook waffles according to the manufacturers instructions, until golden brown and crisp.
- Serve hot with popcorn chicken, maple syrup, and Sriracha (optional). Scatter green onions on top and serve with a lime wedge.