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Challenge: Reinventing Breakfast

Crispy Fried Chicken Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffle Sandwiches with Sausage Gravy & Fried Egg

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I'm back on Today Show making a Chicken Waffle Sandwich from Rockit's brunch menu that is not only easy to prepare, but will quickly become a fan favorite in your home! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and sometimes you just need to treat yourself/friends/family to an indulgent and comforting morning meal!

Crispy Fried Chicken Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffle Sandwiches with Sausage Gravy & Fried Egg

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 45 min
  • Cooking Time: 1 hr


  • For Crispy Chicken Tenders:
  • 8 each raw chicken tenders, about 2 ounces each piece
  • 1 ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • For Sausage Gravy:
  • 1# ground pork shoulder
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flake
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoons ground black pepper
  • For Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffles:
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup butter, melted, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups whole milk


  1. For Crispy Chicken Tenders:
  2. Slowly heat the vegetable oil in a saute pan for frying to 325 degrees
  3. Set up in a shallow dish the panko bread crumbs, lightly crush them in hand to make finer
  4. In a second shallow dish place the beaten eggs, buttermilk and oregano
  5. In a third shallow dish mix the flour, salt and pepper
  6. Keeping one hand for dry and one for wet, dredge the tenders in the seasoned flour, then the egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumb mixture
  7. Carefully lower breaded tenders into the hot oil, turning once and frying until golden and cooked thru, about 5 minutes
  8. Check internal temperature of the chicken with an instant read thermometer, should be a minimum of 160 degrees
  9. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess oil
  10. For Sausage Gravy:
  11. Heat medium rondo to medium-high heat, add half of the butter
  12. Add the ground pork & season with half of the salt and half of the black pepper
  13. Cook until pork browns lightly
  14. Add remaining butter, melt, stir in flour to make a paste
  15. Whisk in the milk and heavy cream, reduce heat to low
  16. Add in remaining seasonings including the second half of salt and pepper, allow to cook slowly over very low heat, stirring every few minutes to ensure it does not burn or stick to bottom, for about 15 minutes
  17. Remove from heat and serve - can be chilled and held cold for up to 4 days and reheated
  18. For Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffles:
  19. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt
  20. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks
  21. Whisk melted butter and milk into dry ingredients
  22. Fold in egg whites
  23. Heat waffle iron, using a pan coating spray, lightly spray waffle iron
  24. Follow machine instructions for quantity and cooking times

Recipe Tags

Click here for my cooking segment with Kathie Lee & Hoda to see step by step instructions!


To assemble these savory sandwiches from Rockit Bar & Grill's brunch menu, you need:

8 crispy chicken tenders (see recipe above)

2 each cornbread waffles (see recipe above)

1 cup sausage gravy (see recipe above)

4 eggs

2 tablespoons butter

Pinch of kosher salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

Heat a nonstick griddle or pan to medium heat, add butter. Crack each egg into pan, season eggs with salt and pepper. Allow to slowly cook, sunny side up, until whites are set but yolk is still runny.

To complete:

Take one quarter of a toasted waffle and place two cooked chicken tenders on top, spoon about 2 tablespoons of sausage gravy over tenders, top with one sunny egg. Place another quarter of toasted waffle on top, spoon an additional 2 tablespoons sausage gravy over top. Repeat with remaining waffles, tenders, eggs and gravy. Serve & enjoy!!

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