Homemade Chicken and Waffle Bites will make you the hit of the party! Sweet and spicy in every bite, you’ll want to make these over and over again.
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When I began the blog in 2012, my recipes were 99% main course dishes, with a few side dishes here and there. Finally this spring I decided to change that, to have a more well-rounded collection of recipes. I wanted to start with appetizers and beverages, and eventually add in desserts. My first appetizer recipe, Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms, was a huge hit with my friends. I also took one of my favorite main course chicken recipes and made it an appetizer, with my Baked Spicy Honey Chicken Wings.
About 15 years ago I was in Atlanta, and we ate at Gladys Knight’s Chicken & Waffles. That was the first time I’d heard of chicken and waffles as a dish. We visited Atlanta 4 more times over the next 3 years, and ate there every time. Chicken and waffles has since become a very popular dish in many restaurants.
While I really like chicken and waffles, it tends to be a heavy dish and I can never finish the whole thing at a restaurant. I decided to create Homemade Chicken and Waffle Bites, perfect for brunch, a party, or a gameday tailgate.
These Homemade Chicken and Waffle Bites are so delicious. The fluffy pancake is a very nice contrast to the crispy coating of the chicken. The jalapenos add extra kick, and the drizzle of honey at the end adds a sweet finish.
I didn’t have a waffle maker, so I decided to buy mini frozen waffles…until I couldn’t find them in any of my local grocery stores. So I went out to buy a waffle maker. That was another adventure because in August/September, college students buy out every small appliance in every store. I finally found a Waffle Maker that not only has removable plates, it only makes 2 waffles at a time! That’s perfect for a single person like myself, and the removable plates mean very easy cleanup.
KEYS TO THE PERFECT CHICKEN TENDERS
- I am a die-hard dark meat girl, but chicken tenderloins are perfect for Homemade Chicken and Waffle Bites
- Marinate the chicken in a combination of buttermilk and hot sauce to infuse flavor and moisture. This was the perfect opportunity to use one of the hot sauces from Caulfield Provision Company. The company is owned by my friends Pat & Connie, and they have a whole line of small-batch, hand-crafted hot sauces. Of course, you can use your favorite hot sauce
- You can never have too much flavor, so I also added Season Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper, and Chili Powder.
- For the crust I used a combination of Panko Bread Crumbs and Cornmeal
- I very rarely ever deep fry, so I pan fried the chicken in my favorite Nonstick Skillet instead. This still results in a beautiful, golden color, but with fewer calories.
THE FINAL TOUCHES ON HOMEMADE CHICKEN AND WAFFLE BITES
I pan-fried jalapeno slices to top the Homemade Chicken and Waffle Bites. Jalapenos add wonderful flavor and a great pop of color. I remove the seeds to reduce the heat, and the pan-frying also tones it down a little more.
Ever since I discovered Raw Honey, I haven’t looked back. I didn’t even know that regular store-bought honey has an aftertaste until I tried raw. Yes, it’s a little bit more expensive, but it’s well worth it. The great thing is that now you can find raw honey in many grocery stores.
Homemade Chicken and Waffle Bites are perfect as a party appetizer, or a snack. They are easy to make, and will be a hit with your friends. They are best when fresh out of the skillet/waffle maker, but still really delicious at room temperature. But let’s be honest, they won’t last that long!
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 2 lbs chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 Tablespoon hot sauce of your choice (more or less, to preference)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon season salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- avocado or canola oil, for frying
- 2 cups flour
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup avocado or canola oil
- 1 3/4 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- honey, to drizzle at the end
- 2 jalapenos, cut into slices (remove seeds to reduce heat)
Add chicken tenderloins, buttermilk and hot sauce into bowl. Allow to marinate in fridge for one hour. Remove from fridge. Add beaten egg, mix thoroughly, and allow to come back to room temperature for 10 minutes before frying
Mix flour, cornmeal, Panko, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, and season salt.
Lightly dredge jalapeno slices in flour and spice mixture. Set jalapeno slices aside
Drain buttermilk mixture from chicken. Dredge chicken pieces fully in flour and spice mixture.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add jalapeno slices and cook for about 2 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add chicken pieces to oil and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until chicken is golden brown on outside and cooked through. Remove and drain on paper towels
In large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
In separate bowl, add eggs, oil, milk, butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk well to lightly beat eggs and fully combine mixture.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold lightly. Don't overmix, or the waffles will be too dense
Cook waffles according to waffle maker instructions
Cut waffles into quarters. Top each quarter with a chicken tender and jalapeno slice. Drizzle with honey