saltine chicken & waffles bites with a hot honey drizzle
It's the holidays and 2020 has been rough for so many this year. I am looking for ways to give back all the blessings that I have had this year. Besides neighborhood drives and things, I wanted to do something where my friends and family could participate in especially when feeding the thousands of children and families that not only won't get a Thanksgiving feast but also go hungry more times than not. I came across another contest that Tasty was holding in conjunction with Feeding America. I would simply need to create a recipe using one of their featured Nabisco brand products and submit it. Once that happens, starting November 30th, people can vote for their favorite recipe. The best part!? EVERY vote will provide 10 meals to Feeding America to a maximum of 500,000 meals! How amazing is that??
Now, although I would like for you to vote for me because the recipe that I came up with is DELICOUS...I don't even care! As is the motto for all of 2020, JUST VOTE! Seriously, set your alarm/appointment on your phone each day to vote - my recipe or anyones! I would love all 500,000 meals to be given out to those that need it!
I took lots of yummy pictures of the recipe that I created after it was done so I apologize for that now! I was on a mission to get this done so that I could post it and get the word out. I will, of course, post more pictures and a reminder along with a link to where you can vote on November 30th, but I wanted to get this done so that I can ramp up participation until then!
I saw on the website that many of the submissions were sweet treats. Now I love sweet treats as much as the next person but I LOVE appetizers more than anything! So, I wanted to do something a bit different that I could actually serve for my next get together (I know...not sure when that will be but I am always trolling for new ideas!). Now, this concept isn't new - fried chicken and waffles is one of my favorite brunch items to eat. Even the concept of serving these as appetizers aren't new but as always, they are so dang cute! I decided to work within these parameters to come up with a new twist to this appetizer with a new balance of flavors to it. The featured Nabisco brand product that I choose to go with were their saltine crackers.
They are crisp, flaky and sea salty. In order to make them shine, I put a bunch of them into a zip lock bag and beat them with a rolling pin. It was super satisfying ya'll. What I was left with was the perfect coating for my air fried chicken!
For the chicken itself, I used chicken thighs that I cut up in bite size pieces, dipped them in a mixture of mayo and a slight touch of salt along with some garlic powder. Once they were coated thoroughly, I tossed them into the ziplock bag with the saltine crumbs and that was that. I added them to my Air Fryer with a light mist of avocado spray and let them cook. They turned out golden, salty and crispy! The perfect addition to the mini Belgian waffles that I made. Now, I was absolutely NOT going out to the grocery store again but if you are, they have these cute frozen mini waffles that would would work amazing in this recipe and make your life so much easier! But for this contest, I did want to make them homemade so I dusted off my waffle maker and whipped up my go-to waffle recipe. I then made them "mini" by using a round cookie cutter. The bits left...a baker's treat! I leave the choice to you but I have included the waffle recipe as well. After that? I had to make my hot honey to drizzle on top! I love the combo of spicy and sweet and this one hits all the notes. Spicy hot honey in conjunction with salty fried chicken resting on a toasty, slightly sweet, waffle?? It's magic.
Prepare yourself for some food porn...
YUMMMMM. And more.
Saltine Crusted Chicken & Waffles drizzled with Hot Honey
1/2 cup honey
2 to 3 whole dried red chilies
1 tsp crush red pepper flakes
1 package frozen mini waffles or homemade (recipe below):
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
1 sleeve of Nabisco Saltine Crackers
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Make the hot honey first. Bring 2 to 3 chiles and honey to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over low heat. Let cook for 20 minutes at a very low simmer to infuse.
Meanwhile make the waffle batter if not using frozen mini waffles. In a medium bowl, combine the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla. Mix well.
Add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until everything is just combined. Take care to not over mix but there shouldn't be any lumps.
Let the batter sit for 20 minutes to thicken. Start tp preheat your waffle iron.
While the honey is simmering and the batter is resting, make your chicken.
Preheat Air Fryer at 400F for 5 minutes.
Put all the saltines into a gallon size ziplock bag. Crush the crackers with a rolling pin or whatever that you have that will get the job done.
In a large bowl, mix the mayo and salt together. Coat all the chicken pieces in the mayo mixture.
Add the coated chicken in the ziplock bag of crushed saltines. Seal the bag and give it a good shake so that everything gets coated really well.
Working in batches, add chicken pieces to the air fryer so that they are in a single layer in the basket. Lightly coat the tops with avocado spray to get them extra crispy.
Fry at 400F for 12 minutes, giving them a shake halfway. Check on them at the halfway point as all air fryers are different so you may need more or less time. Alternatively, if you want to cook all the chicken at once, place in a single layer on a lightly greased baking dish at 400F for 20 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, start making the waffles. No need to use non-stick spray for this recipe. When the iron is preheated, pour the batter and cook your waffles as instructed by your machine.
To get them bite size pieces for appetizers, you can use a round cooking cutter to cutout small pieces.
Remove the hot honey and let sit for a bit while you assemble the skewers. First the waffle bite, then the chicken and then drizzle the hot honey on top.
Seems like a lot but everything comes together pretty quickly - if you are using frozen waffles, just toast them in a toaster and it's that much easier! Then you are left with these yummies!
To find out more about the contest and about Feeding America, you can go HERE. Remember, voting starts on November 30th! Follow me on Instagram at @themonskerlife for a reminder of when it's time to vote. Vote for me, vote for anyone, just vote! Let's do what we can to get as many meals in front of hungry children and families!