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Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Chicken and Waffles

I love chicken and waffles. After years of searching, I found the best way to step this recipe up is to add cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and bacon to the waffles. It's amazing.

This recipe is inspired by a local cafe in our neighborhood that serves THE BEST chicken and waffles! So with that in mind as our north star, we tried to recreate it and we finally came up with this. The secret is the pickle juice in the marinade.

Serves: 2

Prep time: 60 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 80 minutes


For the chicken marinade:

  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on

  • 2 cups buttermilk

  • ¼ cup hot sauce

  • 1 Tbsp mustard

  • 1 Tbsp pickle juice

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp pepper

For the chicken breading

  • 1 ½ cup flour

  • 1 ½ cup corn starch

  • 1 Tbsp salt

  • 1 Tbsp paprika

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp onion powder

For the waffles

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 ¾ cups milk

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, chopped up

  • ½ cup jalapeno, chopped up

  • ½ cup bacon, cooked, and chopped


For the chicken:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, hot sauce, mustard, pickle juice (optional, for added flavor), salt, and pepper. Add in chicken pieces. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours. [Tip: If you do not have buttermilk, you can use regular milk and sour cream.]

  2. When ready to cook, pour the vegetable oil in a skillet until it is about 3/4 inch deep. Heat to 350 degrees. The chicken will drop the temperature of the oil so make sure to adjust accordingly.

  3. Prepare the breading by combining the flour, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and salt in a gallon sized resealable plastic bag or shallow dish. Mix it thoroughly.

  4. Working one at a time, remove chicken pieces from buttermilk mixture. Shake it gently to remove the excess. Place it in the breading mix and coat thoroughly. Tap off the excess.

  5. Place the breaded chicken into the 350 degree oil. Fry 3 or 4 pieces at a time. The chicken will drop the temperature of the oil so keep it as close to 350 degrees as possible. Fry each piece for 10-14 minutes, turning each piece about halfway through, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.

  6. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels. Let them rest for at least 10 minutes before

For the waffles:

  1. Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.

  2. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Sprinkle with cheese, jalapeno, and bacon. Cover with a bit more waffle mix. Cook until golden brown.

To serve:

  1. Top with syrup, hot sauce, or hot honey.


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