Special equipment: a waffle iron and a deep fryer or large pot
For the brine: Stir the seasoning salt into the buttermilk in a large bowl or baking dish. Add the chicken, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.
For the waffles: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Combine the milk, eggs and 1/3 cup melted butter in a blender and blend until frothy. Pour the egg mixture into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and nutmeg. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Stir in the pecans.
Heat a waffle iron. Brush both sides of the waffle iron with butter. Cook the batter in the waffle iron according to the manufacturer's directions. Place the waffles in the oven to keep them warm.
For the chicken: Fill a deep fryer or large pot with oil. (If using a pot, fill just less than halfway with oil.) Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, onion powder, chili powder, sweet paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper and stir well. Remove the chicken from the brine, shake off excess liquid, and then dip each piece in the flour mixture, coating each piece fully.
Fry the chicken in batches until browned and crispy and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Before each batch, make sure the oil has returned to 350 degrees F.
For the peach sauce: In small saucepan, warm the maple syrup. Remove from the heat and stir in the peach preserves and hot sauce.
To serve: Place a waffle on each plate, top with 2 chicken thighs and drizzle syrup over top. Serve extra peach syrup on the side.
This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Lauren Zilberman