The first thought is probably “What the *!%$??” But I promise you that it’s good! I know we’ve all heard of chicken & waffles, well this is just a nice little spin on that. I was a little nervous I must admit but when there were only 5 cupcakes left at the end of the night, meaning at least 19 were eaten, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief…
I have to say that the fried chicken recipe that I took from a Bon Appetit magazine that featured one of the New York Knicks current stars, Amare Stoudemire & his Chef Maxcel Hardy, is Ah-maz-ing! I let the chicken marinate over night, so tender and so bursting with flavor. Really, really fantastic, I will definitely use this Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe over and over again.
The cupcakes were extremely light with a hint of maple syrup. They are based off of a basic buttermilk waffle recipe, obviously conformed to create a sweet cake to match up with it’s savory counterpart. One of my handsome man’s friends called this “stoner food”. Sorry if I offended anyone there but I could totally see these being ordered in Half Baked and… “Funyuns maannn!”
Anyway, I made and remade the “icing” neither was coming out the way I wanted but what I ended up with was great, sweet cream cheese icing with a hint of heat at the end. Yes spicy icing. You couldn’t tell unless you ate it alone, with the maple cupcake and crispy fried chicken, it all combines into one awesome bite of chicken and waffles. Next time though, I will try a whipped cream icing, because who doesn’t love whipped cream on their waffles. Am I right?
This recipe makes about 48 mini cupcakes, I only made 24, you may have some left over not many but you can just ice those babies up for dessert.
For the cupcakes:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
For the Fried Chicken:
1 cup buttermilk
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 small bunch chives, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 pounds chicken tenderloins, cut into 1″ cubes
1 cup canola oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the icing:
8 oz cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup buttermilk
6 drops Tabasco sauce
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3-4 cups confectioners sugar
Marinate the chicken overnight - Whisk first 6 ingredients in a large bowl or place in large freezer bag. Add chicken; cover and chill overnight (or at least 8 hours).
Make the cupcakes – Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a mini muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg together. Set aside until needed.
Then beat the butter and sugar on medium speed in a large bowl until fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix until combined. Next mix in the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk. Do 1/3 of the flour then 1/3 of the buttermilk, repeat until all is added to the batter.
Fill the cupcake liners about 1/2 – 2/3 full. You’re going for a smaller cupcake here.
Place in the oven and cook for approx. 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Cook the chicken – Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Arrange a deep-fry thermometer in skillet so bulb is submerged. Heat over medium heat until shortening reaches 350° F.
Meanwhile, mix flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder in a large freezer bag. Drain chicken, leaving some herbs still clinging. Season well with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, add chicken to bag, seal bag and shake well to coat chicken. Let chicken stand in bag 1 minute then shake again.
Fry chicken in skillet until golden brown and cooked through, 5-7 minutes per side. Repeat with second batch of chicken. Drain on paper towels.
Make the icing – Beat the cream cheese and butter together until combined. Add the buttermilk, Tabasco & nutmeg, mix until combined. Slowly add the confectioners sugar until you have a fluffy icing.
Once the cupcakes are cool, ice the cupcakes and top off with a piece of fried chicken. I held mine together with a plastic toothpick.