Maple Brined Fried Chicken with Cornbread Waffles

The most flavorful fried chicken and waffles you will ever have! Tons of maple syrup, cinnamon, and jalapeno flavor all on a cornbread waffle.


For the brine: – 8 chicken drumsticks – 1/4 cup kosher salt – 1/4 cup maple syrup – 2 tbsp sugar – 2 tbsp dried thyme – 1 tsp black peppercorns – 2 bay leaves – 1 head of garlic, sliced in half crosswise – 6 cups water Fried chicken: – 2 cups buttermilk – Canola oil for frying Waffles: – 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix – 1 egg – 2 tbsp canola oil – 1/2 cup buttermilk Jalapeno Cinnamon Syrup: – 1 cup maple syrup – 1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped – 1 cinnamon stick

For the brine, add all ingredients except the chicken to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cover and remove from heat to steep for 30 minutes. Remove lid and let cool completely. Strain the liquid and pour into a gallon sized plastic bag. Add drumsticks. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, up to 36.

When ready to fry, remove chicken from brine and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken in a bowl and pour 2 cups buttermilk over it to soak.

Heat enough canola oil in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven to be about 2 inches deep. Over medium high heat, bring the oil to 325-350 degrees. Be careful to keep it in this range throughout the entire frying process.

Shake excess buttermilk off chicken and add to hot oil. Do not overcrowd the skillet, fry in batches if needed. Keep an eye on the temperature throughout the frying process to make sure it doesn't exceed 350 degrees.

Fry drumsticks for 10 minutes, then flip over and fry for another 10. Remove to a cooling rack set over a sheet pan when done frying.

While the chicken is frying, add syrup, jalapeno, and cinnamon stick to a small saucepan. Set to medium low heat to steep. Strain before serving.

Preheat your waffle iron. Whisk together all ingredients for waffles. For Belgian waffles, this will yield two waffles. Prepare waffles according to the instructions for your waffle iron.

To assemble, top half of a waffle (if Belgian) with two fried drumsticks. Pour a generous amount of maple syrup over the top.