Crispy Air-Fried Chicken & Waffles

February 24, 2017

Crispy Air-Fried Chicken & Waffles

This mouth-watering pairing is a classic of American soul food. While we can’t exactly call it health food, this version, with air-fried chicken, is significantly lighter than the traditional version, and just as crispy and delicious.


  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Two generous servings
  • Serving Size: 2 pieces chicken and 2 waffles each



  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon your favorite hot sauce
  • 2 each chicken drumsticks and thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For Serving:

  • pure maple syrup, unsalted butter and hot sauce



  1. Combine buttermilk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and hot sauce in gallon size zip-top food storage bag or bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat, making sure chicken is submerged in buttermilk. Seal bag or cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Take chicken out of buttermilk, letting excess drip off. Pour buttermilk into pie plate. Combine flour, remaining 1 tsp salt and remaining chicken ingredients on a large plate.
  3. Coat each piece chicken in flour mixture, then buttermilk, then flour mixture again and place in basket of air fryer.
  4. Mist chicken with oil mister or no-stick cooking spray.
  5. Set fryer to 25 minutes at 360 degrees and cook, turning twice, until chicken is crisp and thoroughly cooked.

Meanwhile, Make Waffles:

  1. About 10 minutes before chicken will be done, Preheat waffle iron. Lightly brush surfaces with vegetable oil.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk, egg, vegetable oil and vanilla in another bowl until blended. Pour over flour mixture and whisk just until blended.
  3. Pour the appropriate amount of batter into the waffle iron (usually about 1/3 cup per waffle). Close and cook until waffle iron will open easily or according to manufacturer’s directions.
  4. Serve waffles topped with chicken and serve with maple syrup, butter and hot sauce.


Add overnight marinating to prep time. To keep waffles warm and crisp between batches, or if waiting for chicken to be done, simply put them directly on the oven rack of a preheated 200 degree oven. Recipe may be doubled to serve 4. Just keep the first batch of chicken warm in the oven while the second batch cooks.

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