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Challenge: Reinventing Breakfast

Hot Chicken and Jalapeño Bacon Cheddar Waffle

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A twist on the classic Nashville hot chicken: a crispy fried boneless chicken breast, served on top of a spicy jalapeño, bacon, and sharp cheddar waffle with a fiery maple syrup sauce.

Hot Chicken and Jalapeño Bacon Cheddar Waffle

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 4 hr 15 min
  • Cooking Time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CHICKEN:
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
  • ½ cup pickle juice
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper hot sauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • vegetable or peanut oil for frying the chicken
  • FOR THE MAPLE HOT SAUCE:
  • 1 cup Grade A maple syrup
  • 3-4 Tb cayenne pepper hot sauce
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • FOR THE WAFFLES:
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 to 1¼ cup milk
  • 4 Tb butter, melted
  • 1 cup sharp cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled (4 slices)
  • 3 Tb fresh or pickled jalapeño, minced
  • Optional garnish: sliced pickles

Preparation

  1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Marinate the chicken breasts in the pickle juice in the refrigerator in a covered container for 4 hours.
  2. After marinating the chicken, remove container from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Set up a breading station with two shallow dishes. In one dish, combine the beaten egg, whole milk, and hot sauce. In the other dish, combine the flour and salt.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pickle juice and dip into the egg-milk mixture first, then dip into the flour-salt mixture.
  4. Pour 2-3 inches of oil into a large cast iron pot or pan and heat the oil to 350F degrees over medium-high heat. Fry each chicken breast for about 8 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature registers 165F degrees. Drain on a wire rack over a sheet pan.
  5. FOR THE MAPLE HOT SAUCE: In a small pan over medium heat, combine the maple syrup with the cayenne pepper hot sauce, cayenne powder, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Reduce to low and keep warm.
  6. FOR THE WAFFLES: Pre-heat the waffle iron to the desired waffle setting. I used a soft waffle setting at 4.5.
  7. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, milk, and melted butter until well combined. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix together just until the batter comes together. Fold the cheese, cooked bacon, and jalapeños into the batter.
  8. Lightly grease the waffle iron, if needed, and cook per the iron's directions. Mine took about 3-4 minutes. Extra waffles can be refrigerated for 1-2 days and frozen for up to 1-2 months.
  9. To assemble the dish, place one waffle on a plate, one fried chicken breast on top of the waffle, and pour a ¼ cup of the maple hot sauce over it all.
  10. Grab a big fork and knife and dig in!

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