It’s easy to make delicious fried chicken and waffles at home – all you need is an air fryer, a waffle maker, and a few simple ingredients!Jump to Recipe
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In honor of national maple syrup day, we just had to bring back our Maple Bourbon Syrup for an upscale Fried Chicken and Waffles! To be perfectly honest, this was the first time either Nicole or I had chicken and waffles. Neither of us really understood this odd combination. However, after making this meal, now we absolutely get it.
This dish perfectly complements itself. Not only does the combination of sweet and savory really make an excellent flavor combination, but also the crispy chicken pairs perfectly with the fluffy waffle. But we didn’t stop there. A drizzle of our Maple Bourbon Syrup along with crispy bacon and fresh scallions elevated this dish from a classic comfort food to an upscale date night dinner.
As always, an important aspect of a good date night dinner is the ease in which it comes together. We want to make sure we spend less effort cooking and more time enjoying our fun night together.
This Fried Chicken and Waffles recipe comes together with just 5 easy components:
- Mini waffles
- Air fryer chicken nuggets
- Maple Bourbon Syrup
- Bacon bits
- Scallions, for garnishing
The only components that require real cooking are the Maple Bourbon Syrup (which is basically just simmering maple syrup and bourbon, super easy) and the chicken nuggets.
In order to make the air fryer chicken nuggets, we use the same easy strategy as our Air Fryer Chicken Tenders:
- Cut the chicken into bite size pieces, about 1 inch chunks
- Coat the chicken in flour, egg, then panko bread crumbs
- Air fry the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes at 375, flipping halfway through
I know we talk up our air fryer a lot, but seriously it is a much easier and healthier way to achieve the perfectly crispy chicken nuggets. And that perfect crisp is key to our chicken and waffles.
This comforting classic turned out to be a much easier dinner than we expected. If you time it right, and are good at multitasking, each component can be made at the same time as each requires minimal attention. We hope you try this fun and easy Fried Chicken and Waffles the next time you’re craving brunch for dinner (or dinner for brunch).
Fried Chicken and Waffles
Maple Bourbon Syrup
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp maple bourbon
- 1 lb raw chicken tenders sliced into 1.5" nuggets
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp garlic powder
- ¾ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp ground red cayenne pepper
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp milk
- 1 to 2 cups panko
- 2 cups Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix
- 1½ cups cold water
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ lb bacon fried and chopped into bits
- 1 small bunch scallions sliced
- Prepare the Maple Bourbon Syrup.* Add maple syrup, butter, and maple bourbon to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Set aside to cool.
- While the Maple Bourbon Syrup is simmering, prepare the chicken. Lightly grease air fryer basket with cooking spray and preheat to 375 degrees. In a shallow dish, whisk together flour and seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper). In a separate shallow dish, whisk together egg and milk until well-combined. Fill a third shallow dish with about 1 cup of panko.
- Coat chicken nuggets in the flour mixture, then shake off excess flour and transfer to egg wash. Coat completely in egg wash, let excess egg drip off, and transfer to panko. Coat evenly in panko, shake of excess breadcrumbs and set aside. Repeat until all chicken nuggets are coated.
- Cook chicken nuggets in a single layer in the air fryer for about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through and working in batches if necessary.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the waffles.* Mix together the pancake mix, cold water, egg, and vegetable oil in a large bowl until combined (batter will be slightly lumpy). Lightly grease and preheat a mini waffle maker, then cook waffles in batches and set aside.*
- Once chicken and waffles are done cooking, prepare each dish with three waffles and a handful of chicken nuggets. Top with a drizzle of Maple Bourbon Syrup, bacon bits, and scallions and serve immediately.