chicken & waffles

So we may have a small fascination with turning a typically unhealthy recipe into a healthy one.  Our swimmer will eat chicken and waffles every chance he gets so getting a healthier version was a major win for us.



Prep Time:                 4 hours

Cook Time:                20 minutes

Total Time:                 4.5 hours

Servings:                    8


2 lbs boneless chicken thighs

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Dash (or 5) of Tobasco Hot Sauce


1-1/2 cups AP flour

1 teaspoon of salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 teaspoon paprika

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons buttermilk

1 cup Corn Flakes cereal

FOR THE WAFFLES (ingredients per waffle)

1 egg

1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology

1 dash baking soda

1 dash salt

3 tablespoons water



  1. Combine the chicken thighs with all of the marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Seal the bag tightly and massage it to ensure chicken is evenly coated with buttermilk and seasoning. Place in a bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours (but preferably overnight).

  2. Make the breading by combining the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined, then add the buttermilk and stir with a fork until mixture is evenly clumpy.  Mix in crushed cereal.

  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the chicken from the marinade a few at a time and toss into the breading mixture. Be sure to press the chicken firmly into the breading so clumps adhere to the meat. (It's best to use one hand to remove the tenders from the bag and the other to toss in the breading.) Set breaded thighs on prepared baking sheet.

  4. IF AIR FRYING:  Pre-heat air fryer to 380 degrees.  Place chicken evenly across the air fryer basket (do not stack!!!) and Air-fry for 20 minutes.  With tongs, carefully remove the chicken, spray with cooking spray and return to basket for an additional 8-12 minutes until crispy and golden brown.

  5. IF REALLY FRYING:  Line another baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels and set aside. Add oil to a large, high-sided pot until the level reaches about 3/4-inch. Heat over high heat until oil is shimmering. (If a cube of bread sizzles when you drop it in, it's ready.) Using tongs, place several chicken tenders in the hot oil without crowding the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom side, a few minutes, then flip and cook until second side is also golden, a few minutes more. Set cooked tenders on baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Fry remaining tenders in batches. Serve hot.


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients until batter like consistency.  Note:  I have found it is much better to mix each waffle individually vs. as a larger volume of batter.  No idea why but it works out better.

  2. Spray a preheated waffle iron with non-stick spray and add your batter to the iron.  Cook until steam is no longer coming out of the iron (approximately 3-4 minutes).

  3. Serve immediately with the chicken topped with your favorite buffalo sauce and maple syrup.