Recipe courtesy of Widza Gustin for Food Network Kitchen

Chicken and Plantain Waffles

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 30 min (includes brining and resting times)
  • Active: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Chicken and waffles is a perfect brunch staple for any event. These moist and flavorful waffles are made with a delicious blend of spices, plus ripe plantain, which adds a touch of sweetness and gives them Caribbean flair. A buttermilk brine gives the crispy chicken great flavor and it’s all topped off with a quick spicy honey that gets its kick from Scotch bonnet pepper.


Chicken Legs:

Buttermilk Brine:

Chicken Dredge:

Waffle Batter:

Spicy Honey:


Special equipment:
a waffle iron
  1. For the chicken legs: Place the chicken in a large bowl. Add the lime juice, 1/4 cup salt and 1 cup water to the bowl and allow the chicken to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse.
  2. For the buttermilk brine: Whisk together the buttermilk, cayenne, all-purpose seasoning, garlic powder, lemon zest and juice, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Add the thyme sprigs, garlic cloves and Scotch bonnet pepper.
  3. Transfer the rinsed chicken to the bowl with the buttermilk brine. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
  4. For the chicken dredge: Meanwhile, combine the flour, cayenne pepper, all-purpose seasoning, allspice, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  5. For the waffle batter: Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  6. Crush the plantain in a separate bowl with a fork or potato masher. Whisk in the buttermilk, olive oil, almond extract, vanilla extract and eggs. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  7. For the spicy honey: Combine the honey, lemon juice and Scotch bonnet pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a low simmer, adjust the heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  9. Fill a wide, deep pot with 2 1/2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. As the oil heats, remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk brine in batches, allowing excess brine to drip into the bowl. Place the chicken pieces in the bowl with the dredge and firmly press to coat the chicken. Shake off the excess flour and transfer the chicken to a wire rack.
  10. Working in batches, carefully add the coated chicken to the hot oil. Be sure to pay attention to the temperature as you’re frying and adjust the heat as needed. Fry the chicken on one side for 7 to 9 minutes, then flip. Repeat on the other side. Make sure the chicken browns evenly; you’re looking for a golden-brown color and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken should register 165 degrees F. Transfer to a clean rack to drain; season with salt. Transfer to the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  11. Meanwhile, cook the waffles: Preheat a waffle iron.
  12. Lightly brush the top and bottom of the waffle iron with butter. Pour in enough batter to cover about three-quarters of the surface of the iron (there should still be some iron showing). Close the lid gently and cook until the waffles are golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep the waffles warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  13. Top each waffle with 2 pieces of chicken, a drumstick and a thigh. Drizzle generously with spicy honey.

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.) Waffles can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.