Spicy Chicken N' Waffle Tenders

by Brandon Smith in , , , , , , , , , ,

Spicy Chicken N' Waffle Tenders with Maple Mustard Dipping Sauce

Spicy Chicken N' Waffle Tenders with Maple Mustard Dipping Sauce

I first tried this delicious chicken and waffle concoction at Popeye's Chicken. I know, Popeye's may not be SUPER gourmet, but they created a really interesting all-in-one take on this classic dish, and I was blown away be the sweet, spicy and salty play on the humble fried chicken tender. The dipping sauce they had, also brought the flavors in, with a delectable maple mustard sauce to bring it all home. It's been awhile since I've tasted this sweet, sweet dish, so I thought I should replicate it. Sabrina struck a goldmine when she said to use one of my most favorite cereals ever, Waffle Crisp! OMG, I just about died when she put that morsel in my brain to use Waffle Crisp in the batter. So, on it went, until my quest was fruitful, indeed. I think I nailed it, let me know what you think?

Mix up the dry rub for the chicken. 

  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper  
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground corriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 lbs of chicken tenders, trimmed of hanging tendon
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.  Toss chicken tenders with the olive oil, then add the rub, reserving about 2 tsp for the batter. Toss chicken until well coated, and chill in the fridge for about 2 - 3 hours.

Make the dredge and preheat the frying oil. 

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup ground Waffle Crisp Cereal, (I found it at Walmart)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp reserved rub
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbls whole milk
  • oil for frying

Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and milk.  Take chicken out of fridge, and toss each piece well in the flour mixture. Let rest for about 5 min., then dip each floured chicken tender in the egg mixture, shaking off excess. Dredge again in the flour mixture, and let rest on a sheet pan for about 10 min. Bring frying oil up to 350º in a large pot while you wait for the chicken, and make some dipping sauce.

Make the Maple Mustard Dipping Sauce.

  • 2 Tbls real maple syrup
  • 1 Tbls coarse grain mustard
  • 2 tsp mayo

Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl, let rest for about 15 min. 

Let's fry some chicken!

Fry the chicken strips in batches, keeping the oil at 350º, for about 3 - 4 min., until deep golden brown and cooked through. Let drain on paper towels, and season with some sea salt. Keep warm in 250º oven until ready to serve. Serve with Maple Mustard Sauce. 


Sriracha Bacon Bourbon BBQ Chicken Skewers

by Brandon Smith in , , , , ,

Sriracha Bacon Bourbon BBQ Chicken Skewers

Sriracha Bacon Bourbon BBQ Chicken Skewers

I came across this recipe, and I was intrigued by the use of uncooked bacon in the marinade. Raw bacon is pureed along with spices to form a paste, and is massaged into the chicken to create a flavor blast unlike anything I've had before. The spices in the rub, paired with smokey bacon create an amazing crust on the chicken once char-grilled. To top it off, the chicken gets glazed with a Bourbon BBQ sauce to make them even more delectable!

Start by getting the marinade together for the chicken skewers.

•  6 slices of uncooked Applewood bacon, cut into small chunks

• 2 Tbls of Mexi-rub (See recipe below)

• 2 Tbls brown sugar

• 2 lbs of chicken,  (I used a mix of boneless, skinless thigh meat and breast meat)


  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp grey sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

For the Mexi-rub, place all ingredients in a blender or spice grinder and blend until a fine powder is formed.

Cut chicken into 1/2" x 2" chunks and place in a zip top bag.

Place bacon chunks, brown sugar and Mexi-rub into a food processor and puree until a smooth paste form. This paste is rather sticky to handle, so scoop it into the same zip top bag, seal it and massage the chicken and the bacon paste together until well mixed. Place bag in fridge for at least 2 hours to marinate.

Meanwhile, prep the BBQ sauce: 

• 1 bottle prepared BBQ Sauce (I used Trader Joes Sriracha BBQ sauce, which is amazing btw!) 

• 1/4 cup good Bourbon like Makers Mark

• 8 wooden skewers

Pour the BBQ sauce into a small saucepan, along with the Bourbon, and give it a good stir. Place saucepan over medium-low heat, and bring to a simmer for about 5 min. until the alcohol taste diminishes and the sauce comes together. Set aside to cool. Put the wooden skewers in some water to soak for an hour.

Lets grill some skewers! 

Take the chicken out of the fridge and thread about 4 - 5 pieces of the bacon-infused chicken onto each skewer. If the bacon paste is being difficult about staying on the chicken, just keep applying it as you prep the skewers. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat. Grill skewers, turning a quarter turn until nicely charred, (about 2 min. per turn). Glaze the charred sides with the Bourbon BBQ sauce, until nicely coated.

Serve skewers with remaining BBQ sauce, and garnish with some thinly sliced green onions.

Source: http://hostthetoast.com/bacon-bourbon-bbq-...