There are few American foods more iconic than chicken and waffles, but the appeal is universal no matter where you come from. Our version uses panko, which is a white breadcrumb that is more jagged (like icicles) than round and makes a super crunchy crust.
For the sriracha chicken: Stir the buttermilk, sriracha, 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a small baking dish or medium bowl. Set aside.
Place a 12-inch-long piece of plastic wrap over a cutting board. Place a chicken breast on the plastic, drizzle with some olive oil and cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Using a mallet, small frying pan or rolling pin, pound the breast until it is about 1/2-inch-thick. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper to taste.
Place the pounded breast in the buttermilk brine. Repeat with the remaining breast. Cover the dish or bowl with plastic wrap and soak for 4 hours to overnight.
For the light and crispy honey waffles: Preheat a waffle iron to approximately 400 degrees F or its highest setting.
In a medium bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt together. In a small bowl, whisk the egg until golden and fluffy, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, oil, honey and vanilla.
When the waffle iron is hot, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the ingredients just come together as a batter, about 30 seconds; it's okay to have tiny pockets of flour.
Spray the preheated waffle iron with cooking spray. Using a small cup measure, pour in the correct amount of batter onto the waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. If not serving immediately, you can hold the waffles in a 200-degree-F oven on a rack.
Meanwhile, pour 3 to 4 inches of frying oil into a heavy medium pot. Heat the oil until it registers 365 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer.
In a separate medium bowl or baking dish, combine the breadcrumbs, flour and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir until combined.
When ready to fry, remove a chicken breast from the buttermilk but do not shake off the excess buttermilk. Coat the breast in the breadcrumb mixture and press it firmly onto the chicken. Shake off excess. Carefully place the chicken in the oil and repeat with the remaining breast. Fry until cooked though and an instant-read thermometer inserted into a breast registers 160 degrees F, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a wire rack-lined baking sheet to drain.
To serve, place the fried chicken on top of the waffles. Serve with softened butter, maple syrup and sriracha.
It’s important to pound the chicken breasts to a thickness of 1/2 inch to ensure that they fry evenly.