Fried Chicken and Melba Waffles Recipe

Chef’s Notes

For me, this dish represents tradition, serendipity, resourcefulness and home cooking. It’s a fun and delicious twist on a soul-food classic, and that’s exactly what I love to do: honor our roots while updating and elevating the genre. It can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Technical tip: If your waffle maker is lighted, be sure to check it. Otherwise, check the waffle after 2 minutes for color and consistency. For waffles, start with 1½ cups of flour before deciding if your dough needs more. As the saying goes, you can always add more, but you can never take away. What I normally do, and what I suggest you do, is to sample it to see if it’s puffy enough and moist enough inside. Based on this, you can decide whether to add more or not.

Possibility of exchange: You can substitute oat milk, coconut milk or almond milk.

Special equipment: A waffle iron.


For the waffles:


In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.


In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks and melted butter. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined. The batter should not be lumpy, but do not mix it too much.


In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until almost stiff and fold them into the batter.


Heat a waffle iron and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Pour a quarter cup of batter into the middle of the hot iron and close the lid. Cook, 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter, spraying the waffle again on the waffle maker before each addition.

For the fried chicken:


Put the chicken pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, poultry seasoning and garlic powder. Add the mustard and, using your hands (clean, of course), massage all the seasonings into the meat. Pour in the buttermilk, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.


When ready to cook, pour 3 inches of oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) and heat to 325 F over medium heat.


While the oil is heating, combine the flour and Sazonador seasoning in a large brown paper bag. Add a few chicken pieces at a time to the seasoned flour and shake the bag like you really want it.


Fry the chicken in batches until nicely browned and crispy on one side, about 15 minutes. Then flip and cook on the other side until the chicken registers 160 F on an instant-read meat thermometer, about 15 more minutes. As the pieces are cooked, transfer them to drain on paper towels.


Arrange the waffles, garnish with fried chicken and serve with the toppings of your choice (maple syrup, butter, etc.).