Spicy Fried Chicken and Waffles Recipe

Fried chicken and waffles are the ultimate, savory dish. If you’re anything like me, fried chicken or waffles is probably a dish you’ve heard of but never tried.

Spicy Fried Chicken and Waffles Recipe

It’s not hard to see why it seems so strange – you can combine fried chicken and…WAFFLES! If you’ve ever had fried chicken and waffles, you will know it is the best sweet and savory combo. It’s also a great excuse to have breakfast at lunch or dinner.

A hole-in-the-wall restaurant inspired my recipe for spicy chicken and waffles in Sonoma, California. 

There was a warning on the menu about the spicy factor. It said, “This is really spicy, and if it’s not returned, we will kill you.”

How Spicy?

Although my chicken and waffles don’t have a lot of spice, they do have a kick. However, the sweetness of the Belgian waffles and maple syrup balances it out. 

This fried chicken recipe was inspired by a simple Nashville-style fried chicken made by Chef Spike Mendelsohn.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken 

I used buttermilk instead of milk and added cayenne pepper to the breading mixture of panko crumbs and breadcrumbs for an extra crunch. 

There are no additional steps required to create a spicy sauce or coating. The breading is fried with spicy flavors.

This recipe calls for scoring chicken tenders. This will allow for more even cooking. It also allows the breading, which gives the chicken tenders more crunch, to seep into the cut. 

First, coat the chicken with the buttermilk, then dip it in the spicy breading.

How to Fry Chicken ?

I highly recommend using a candy thermometer to get the oil to the correct temperature for frying.

The oil that is too hot (above 340°F) will cause the breading to burn and the chicken to be undercooked. This was something I learned the hard way. 

To fully submerge chicken tenders, you need to add enough oil. I use about 3-4 inches of vegetable oil or canola oil to fill my dutch oven. Before adding the chicken, heat the oil to 340 degrees F.

Add the tenders to a dutch oven. Fry for 3-4 minutes. To drain excess oil, remove the tenders with a slotted spoon. When the tenders cool/drain, they will continue to cook.

A Note about Timing Chicken and Waffles

You can make waffles while the tenders are drained to reduce stress. To keep the tenders warm while you make the waffles, place them in an oven on a baking tray.

Spicy Fried Chicken and Waffles Recipe

Quick Overview

  4. YIELD: 2

Fried chicken and waffles are the ultimate, savory dish.

Here are the ingredients for Spicy Fried Chicken

  • 6 Chicken tenders
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Two eggs
  • Three tablespoons hot sauce (I use Frank’s red hot).
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 32 ounces of canola oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for Belgian Waffle

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Before frying, remove chicken tenders from the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
  2. This will ensure that the cook times are exact.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients for the waffle batter in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk together the milk, egg yolk, butter, oil, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients with the milk mixture and beat until smooth.
  6. Keep in the fridge until ready.

For spicy fried chicken

Spicy Fried Chicken and Waffles Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F
  2. Mix two eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce in a bowl. Whisk and set aside. In a small bowl, combine panko crumbs and paprika. Set aside.
  3. Score the top of each chicken piece with a knife about 3-4 times diagonally at 1/4 inch thickness.
  4. Add oil to fry and attach a thermometer. Turn the heat up to medium-high until the thermometer registers 340F.
  5. Dip each piece of chicken into the buttermilk and then in the breadcrumbs. Continue this process.
  6. Put the chicken tenders in a dutch oven, fully submerged. Fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside for 5 minutes. After draining, place the chicken tenders on a baking tray and bake in the oven.

For the Waffles

Spicy Fried Chicken and Waffles Recipe

  1. Turn off the heat while the waffle iron is heating up. Spray the bottom and top of your waffle iron with cooking oil.
  2. Once the waffle iron is heated, cook the waffles until crispy and golden.
  3. Each waffle can be topped with 2 to 3 chicken tenders.
  4. Drizzle maple syrup over the top and serve with butter.
  5. Use a candy thermometer to ensure the oil is not too hot for frying.
  6. The oil will scorch the breading if it gets too hot.

Nutritional Facts

  • Calories: 1344
  • Sugar: 30g
  • Sodium: 1624mg
  • Fat: 44.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 20.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 128.5g
  • Fiber: 7.2g
  • Protein: 45.1g
  • Cholesterol: 437mg

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