Chicken for breakfast?! Oh yeah! Chicken and Waffles is a classic comfort food breakfast, and we’re showing you the best way to make it.
Where Did Chicken And Waffles Originate?
The origins of chicken and waffles are hotly contested. Some think it’s from jazz clubs like the Wells Supper Club in Harlem in the 1930s. To think that the likes of Sammy Davis Jr. or Duke Ellington were enjoying the same dish makes it an instant time traveler, which is probably the coolest part of the dish regardless of its origins.
Others think it’s a classic from the south created by African-Americans. Frying chicken was a classic Sunday dish. This was usually eaten with different types of quick bread like biscuits or corn bread which lends its way into waffles.
Yet others think it could be from the Los Angeles based restaurant, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, from the 1970s.
Some even think it’s from the Pennsylvania Dutch which is actually an entirely different type of chicken and waffles than we’re used to. They typically make it with pieces of chicken in a creamy brown gravy rather than frying it. While that has great flavor, when it comes to chicken and gravy, I recommend our Chicken Fried Chicken with a delicious white gravy instead.
No matter where you think Chicken and Waffles came from, I’m just glad this delicious dish exists. It makes such a good brunch.
Do I Need To Make Waffles From Scratch?
I highly suggest it and have included the waffle recipe I use in the instructions below. If you have a mix you prefer, you could absolutely use that and follow the packaging directions. Ready-made frozen waffles like Eggo aren’t ideal and don’t hold up as a base for the chicken as well.
You can make homemade waffles in advance though! Prepare your waffles, let them cool completely (a wire rack is great so they don’t steam and get soggy), them freeze them laying flat. Then when your fried chicken is almost ready, pop them into the toaster to defrost and warm up.
What Cut Of Chicken Do I Use?
I’ve used chicken breasts, cut into strips like chicken tenders. If you’d prefer chicken thighs or even fried chicken wings, go for it! Just keep in mind that the frying times will be different, so refer to the linked recipes for a better idea of times. No matter the cut, you want the internal temperature for chicken to be 165°F.
Serving Chicken And Waffles
For breakfast or brunch, I think a drizzle of maple syrup on top is the way to go. You could also serve with honey butter – try mixing in some cayenne pepper if you like a bit of a kick.
If you’re enjoying this as your dinner, you could pair it with savory Southern sides like collard greens and macaroni and cheese. Yum!Print
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Non-stick spray
- 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 and 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Maple syrup, to serve
- Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- Separate egg whites and yolks. Put egg whites in a small bowl and egg yolks in a large bowl.
- In bowl with the egg yolks, mix milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg white into stiff peaks.
- Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the yolk and milk mixture. Once combined, gently fold in the egg whites.
- Preheat oven to 250F.
- Heat a waffle iron over medium heat. Once heated, spray with cooking spray and add in about 1 cup of the mixture depending on the size of the iron and cook through according to waffle iron. When waffle is cooked, transfer it to a sheet pan and put it in the warm oven to stay warm. Continue until batter is gone.
- Butterfly the chicken breasts lengthwise. Cut into long 1″ wide strips.
- Combine buttermilk and egg in one bowl, whisking until incorporated.
- In another large bowl, sift together flour, paprika, salt, garlic powder and pepper.
- Heat a 12” skillet with high edges over medium high heat with vegetable oil filling the skillet about ½ full. Use a candy thermometer to determine when the oil reaches 350°F.
- While the vegetable oil is heating, dip chicken pieces in dry mixture, covering entirely, then the wet mixture and back into the dry mixture. Set these aside in a single layer on a large plate until ready to fry.
- Carefully place chicken in the vegetable oil, not crowding the skillet. Check the temperature of the oil once the skillet is full and adjust temperature if needed. Cook on both sides about 5-6 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Remove from skillet and place on paper towel lined plate.
- Serve chicken pieces on waffles and top with maple syrup. Serve warm.
Waffle Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.
This post originally appeared in April 2019 and was revised and republished in June 2022.