Nashville Hot Chicken and Cornbread Waffles

Chelsea Hanson - 3rd. Place Winner

Ingredients

For the brine and chicken:

4 C hot water

1/4 C salt

2 Tbsp granulated sugar

8 chicken tenders (approximately 1 pound

 

For the cornbread waffles:

1 package Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread and Muffin Mix

2 Tbsp Martha White Yellow Corn Meal

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

2 Tbsp butter, melted

2 Tsp molasses or maple syrup

1/3 cup scallions, chopped, plus an additional 1/2 cup for garnish

Nonstick spray

 

For the spicy chicken coating:

1/2 C canola oil, heated

2 Tbsp cayenne pepper

3 Tbsp light brown sugar

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

 

For the creamy maple jalapeno sauce:

1/3 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

¼ cup buttermilk

½ of a 1-ounce packet dry ranch mix

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ cup pickled jalapenos

¼ cup fresh cilantro 2 tsp lime juice

2 Tbsp maple syrup

 

For the dredge:

1/2 cup Martha White Self-Rising Flour

1/2 cup Martha White Yellow Corn Meal

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp garlic powder 2 tsp paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Canola oil (for frying)

 

For the dip:

2 eggs

1 Tbsp buttermilk

 

 

Directions

1. Prepare brine by adding salt and sugar to hot water. Allow to cool, then add chicken tenders. Cover and keep at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 6 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.

2. Combine cornbread mix, corn meal, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and molasses or maple syrup

in a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup of scallions and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Heat ½ cup of canola oil in a microwave safe bowl on high for 1 minute, then add cayenne pepper, brown sugar, paprika, garlic, salt, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk to combine, then set aside.

4. In a blender or small food processor, combine all creamy maple jalapeno sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth, then set aside.

5. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Preheat Lodge Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle Pan over medium heat, then spray with nonstick spray. Spoon cornbread waffle batter onto grill pan with ¼ cup scoop to form 4-inch waffles. Flip with a fork when beginning to brown around the edges, approximately 2 minutes. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to baking sheet and keep warm in preheated oven until ready to serve.

6. Preheat Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet over medium heat, add ½ inch of canola oil. Remove chicken from brine. Pat dry with paper towels. Combine dredge ingredients in a shallow bowl. Mix eggs and 1 Tbsp buttermilk in a separate shallow bowl. Coat chicken tenders in flour and cornmeal mixture. Shake off excess, then transfer to egg mixture and coat. Transfer chicken back to flour and cornmeal mixture, coat again, then shake off excess. Fry chicken in hot oil, cooking 3-4 minutes per side.

7. When chicken tenders are golden brown, remove chicken from skillet, then transfer to bowl with spicy coating, and turn chicken in mixture to coat completely.

8. To serve, stack 2 waffles on a plate, top with 1-2 spicy chicken tenders, drizzle with creamy sauce, and sprinkle with chopped scallions.