What do you get when you combine crispy fried chicken and savory cheddar-laced waffles? The greatest sandwich in the history of the world—OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but we think these chicken and cheddar-waffle sandwiches are pretty damn delicious.
When dredging (aka breading) the chicken, you’ll notice the instructions call for a double-dip in both the buttermilk and flour. That’s to create extra craggy bits that will crisp up as they fry. To dredge like the pros, dedicate one hand for wet dipping and one for dry—that will keep your fingers from getting breaded like the chicken. (Psst: You can make the waffles ahead of time and freeze them for later.)
3 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons hot sauce
4 thin chicken breasts (about 1½ pounds)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Oil, for frying
1 recipe Savory Cheese Waffles (8 waffles total)
1 cup arugula
2 tomatoes, thickly sliced
1. Make the fried chicken: In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce. Add the chicken breasts and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator (and up to overnight).
2. In a large, shallow bowl, whisk the flour with the salt, pepper, baking powder and cayenne to combine.
3. In a large, high-sided skillet (preferably cast iron), heat 2 inches of oil over medium heat until it reads 350°F on a thermometer. While the oil heats, remove each chicken breast from the buttermilk and shake off the excess. Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat well. Dip the chicken back into the buttermilk and then back into the flour mixture.
4. When the oil is to temperature (you can test it by dropping in a piece of extra breading—it should sizzle and immediately float to the surface), add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken from the oil to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
5. Assemble the sandwiches: To build each sandwich, place a waffle on a plate. Top it with ¼ cup arugula and 1 or 2 tomato slices. Top with a piece of chicken and another waffle. Serve immediately.
Waffles (per waffle)