Party-Ready Chicken and Waffles

Party-Ready Chicken and Waffles

WIW: Party-Ready Chicken and Waffles

2 tsp. yeast

½ C. warm water

1¾ C. milk

6 T. melted butter

2 eggs

½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 C. all-purpose flour

1 T. sugar

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cinnamon

Canola or peanut oil, for frying

1¼ C. all-purpose flour

2 T. cornstarch

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 T. dried Italian herb seasoning

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 C. buttermilk

1½ lb. chicken tenders, cut into bite-size (about 1-inch) pieces

Hot sauce, to taste

Make the batter: In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk with the melted butter, eggs and vanilla to combine. Gradually mix in the yeast mixture. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, salt and cinnamon to combine. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.   In a deep, medium-size pot, heat about 3 inches of oil over medium heat until it reads 350°F on a thermometer. While the oil heats, make the waffles. Let the waffles cool slightly, then cut them into bite-size (about 1-inch) squares and place them in a 250°F oven to keep warm. Make the fried chicken: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cornstarch, cayenne pepper, Italian herb seasoning, salt and black pepper to combine. Pour the buttermilk into a shallow, medium-size bowl. Toss the chicken pieces in the flour mixture to coat. Working in batches, dip the floured chicken into the buttermilk, then return it to the flour and toss to coat. Working in batches, add the breaded chicken to the hot frying oil. Don’t overfill the pot with chicken, as it will bring down the temperature of the oil. Fry until the chicken is golden brown and floats on the surface of the oil, 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed if the chicken is browning too quickly. Remove the chicken from the oil and drain on several layers of absorbent paper towels. Let cool slightly, then place a piece of chicken on top of a waffle square and secure with a toothpick. Serve immediately with hot sauce on the side.

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