- 4 (4–6-oz [112–168-g]) boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 tbsp (15 g) seasoned salt 2 cups (470 ml) buttermilk
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour 11⁄2 tsp (8 g) seasoned salt 1 cup (115 g) panko bread crumbs
- 3–4 quarts (2.7–3.6 L) oil, for frying
- 4 Crispy and Fluffy Waffles (recipe follows), Unsalted butter, softened Maple syrup Homemade Sriracha (recipe follows)
CRISPY & FLUFFY WAFFLES:
- 2 eggs 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cups (415 ml) milk
- 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp (12 g) sugar
- 4 tsp (20 g) baking powder
- 1⁄4 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp (8 ml) vanilla extract
- Pan spray
- 12 oz (340 g) red jalapeños, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 4 oz (112 g) red serranos, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 8 oz (224 g) green jalapeños, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp (25 g) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp (30 g) brown sugar
- 1–2 tsp (6–12 g) salt
- 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) distilled white vinegar
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- To make the chicken, take a heavy-duty zip-top bag and cut open one side of it. Place the chicken pieces in the bag, leaving it slightly open so as not to create an air bubble. Using a small frying pan or rolling pin, pound into even 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) thick pieces. Place the pounded chicken in a medium-size bowl, sprinkle with the seasoned salt and pour in the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 4 hours and up to overnight.
- To make the breading, in a large bowl, combine the flour, seasoned salt and bread crumbs, and stir until well mixed.
- When ready to fry, heat the oil in a heavy skillet until 360°F (182°C) on a frying thermometer. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, but do not shake off the excess buttermilk. Place the marinated chicken into the breading mix and press the breading into the chicken. Press both sides in the breading and shake off the excess. Carefully place the chicken in the oil and fry 3 to 5 minutes, until cooked through or the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C) in the thickest part of each piece. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel–lined plate.
- To serve, place the fried chicken on top of the cooked waffles. Top with butter, maple syrup and Sriracha.
Chef Tip: You can substitute chicken thighs or even whole pieces of chicken in the recipe. You can double the breading and use it to fry up one whole fried chicken cut into 8 pieces.
- Preheat a waffle iron to 400°F (200°C).
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs until fluffy. Add the flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla and beat just until smooth. Transfer the batter to a 4-cup (960-ml) measuring cup to make it easy to pour.
- Spray the preheated waffle iron with pan spray. Pour the batter onto the hot waffle iron and cook until golden brown, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve hot.
- Place the peppers, garlic, both sugars and salt in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer the mixture to a clean container, cover and let sit at room temperature. A mason jar with a loose-fitting lid or a clean bowl with plastic wrap will work. Fermentation should begin in about 2 days. When bubbles begin to form, stir your “mash” once or twice a day to combine and help settle. Continue until the mixture stops bubbling, 6 to 8 days.
- Transfer the mash to a blender, add the vinegar and purée until very smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve. Add the xanthan gum and purée again until smooth and thick. Store your sauce in squeeze bottles in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Chef Tip: If you love really spicy Sriracha, reverse the proportions of the serrano and jalapeños. And if you think that’s not going to be hot enough for you, substitute the chiles for Scotch bonnets and Thai chiles. I’m not responsible for the burning of your mouth or bottom if you go this route!