Mini Fried Chicken & Cheddar Jalapeno Waffles

4 to 6 servings
  • Fried Chicken:
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, cut into bite-size (about 1-inch) pieces
  • Waffles:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Nonstick spray
  • In a deep, medium-size pot, heat about 3 inches of oil over medium heat until temperature reads 350°F on a thermometer.

  • Meanwhile, make the waffles. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, jalapeno, salt and 1 cup of the grated cheese.

  • In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in the buttermilk and vegetable oil.

  • Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

  • Heat a waffle iron and spray with nonstick spray. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the batter into the waffle iron and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. (Follow the manufacturer's directions. You may need to adjust amount of batter based on your waffle iron.)

  • Transfer the waffles to a wire rack set over a baking sheet and quarter. Repeat with the remaining batter.

  • Make the fried chicken: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper to combine. Pour the buttermilk into a shallow baking dish.

  • Toss the chicken pieces in the flour mixture to coat. Working in batches, dip the floured chicken into the buttermilk, then return it to the flour and toss to coat.

  • Working in batches, add the breaded chicken to the hot frying oil. Don't crowd the pot with chicken, as it will bring down the temperature of the oil.

  • Fry until golden brown and the chicken rises to the surface of the oil, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oil and drain on a

  • paper towel lined plate.

  • Just before serving, turn the broiler to low. Scatter the remaining 1 cup grated cheese over the waffles and broil just until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly, then place a piece of chicken on top of a waffle square and secure with a toothpick.

  • Serve immediately with hot sauce on the side.

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