Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders with Cilantro Slaw & Jalapeno Cheddar Waffles

There’s a new restaurant in town: Coolinary Cafe. I’ve only been there once, but it left me with QUITE the impression with it’s super cool & funky food and out of this world flavor! Unfortunately, it’s a little over the “eating out budget” to make it a regular thing… But lucky for you guys, I love recreating some of my favorite restaurant dishes at home for a fraction of the cost (Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, Exhibit D and Exhibit E) !

Today’s dish is my take on their Chicken & Waffles…

I must say I… NAILED. IT.

This my friends was Course 3 of our Southern Classics and Beer Pairing: Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders, Cilantro Slaw, and Jalapeno Cheddar Waffles.

Okay, seriously… did you SEE that gorgeousness?!Ya’ll this dish was EVERYONE’S favorite course! It was re-donk.Let’s break it down:

  • Spicy, Cheesy, Savory waffle
  • Sweet Cilantro Slaw
  • Crispy Salty Chicken

Top that with some REAL maple syrup (not the fake stuff, people) and a squeeze of fresh lemon… BOOM.

It may sound weird, but ya’ll have NO. IDEA. the party that’s about to happen in your mouth!

All right, you all know the drill… it’s time for hubs to tell you about the beer!

In case you missed the first two courses from our Beer Pairing:

The Beer Selection: St. Bernardus Abt 12 Quadrupel

What can you pour in a glass that will hold it’s own with Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Cilantro Slaw and Jalapeno Cheddar Waffles? You pour one of the only beers to be rated a perfect 100 on almost every beer review. We paired the meal with the St. Bernardus Abt 12 Quadrupel. A Quadrupel is a Belgian Trappist style strong ale brewed just like Monastic monks did centuries ago. The St. Bernardus Abt 12 brings 10.5 ABV and 23 IBU to the table. The color of this ale is a deep ebony almost like ink and the flavor is filled with sugary figs and super ripe cherries. It’s warm and boozy and has a slightly dry finish. At $ 9.99 for a 750ml, this beer is more like a bottle of wine than a bottle of suds. Everyone at the party, even those who don’t like beer, loved the St. Bernardus Abt 12. You don’t get a 100 out of 100 if you’re not the best of the best.

Other Similar Options (not by a long shot, but):


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Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders, Cilantro Slaw, and Jalapeno Cheddar Waffles

Yield: 6 servings

If doubling the waffle recipe, just add one additional egg


For the Jalapeno Cheddar Waffles (Makes 3 large waffles):
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1/4-1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded

For the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenderloins:
18 chicken tenderloins
1 cup buttermilk
1-3 tablespoons Tabasco sauce (depending on spice tolerance)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne (more if you like a little heat)
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
Canola oil for frying

For the Cilantro Slaw:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup whole milk
2-3 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
2-3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (depending on how tangy you like it)
pinch of salt
dash of cayenne
1/2 head of green cabbage, finely shredded
1/4 head of purple cabbage, finely shredded
2 cups cilantro, coarsely chopped

For Serving:
Real Maple Syrup
Wedges of lemon, for squeezing


For the Jalapeno Cheddar Waffles:
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In a second, small bowl, whisk together the eggs and butter milk. Keep separate until ready to cook. Preheat waffle iron and spray with non-stick cooking spray. When waffle iron is hot, mix together wet and dry ingredients until mixed together. Fold in the jalapenos and cheddar cheese. Scoop out 3/4-1 cup of the batter and cook until golden brown (follow manufacturer cook times). Keep hot in 300º oven until all waffles are cooked.

For the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenderloins:
Place chicken tenderloins in a large ziplock bag and add buttermilk until just covered (about 1 cup). Add a few tablespoons of tabasco, seal up bag, and mix until chicken is coated well. Marinate overnight.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, garlic powder, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Heat a few inches of canola oil to 350º-375ºF in a large pot (or fill a deep fryer to fill line). Dredge each tenderloin in the seasoned flour until coated well, shaking off the excess. Gently place into hot oil using tongs and cook until chicken is golden brown and reaches 170ºF internal temperature (3-5 minutes per side in pot or 5-7 minutes total in deep fryer).

For the Cilantro Slaw:
Mix together mayonnaise, milk, sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and cayenne. Set aside until ready to use. About 30-45 minutes before serving, add the cabbage and cilantro to a bowl and toss with dressing until well coated.

To Serve:
Place 1/2 waffle on each plate, and top with some of the slaw. Add 3 chicken tenders, drizzle with a tablespoon or 2 of maple syrup and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Hello. Lover.

Note: This may seem like a lot of components but with a little prep-ahead it comes together quite fast! Tips: 1. Shred your cabbage the night before & make the slaw dressing (keep it separate until 30-45 minutes before serving). 2. Pre-mix your waffle dry ingredients & chicken coating in separate bowls and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use (they can sit out on the counter overnight). 3. Marinate chicken in a large ziplock overnight. Then all you have to do the day of is to mix the slaw, add the wet ingredients to the waffle batter (and cook), and coat the chicken and fry. Everything will come together at the same time with minimal effort!

Inspired By: Coolinary Cafe
Waffles adapted from: The Village Cook
Slaw Adapted From: Pioneer Woman
Fried Chicken: My Life as a Mrs

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21 Responses to “Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders with Cilantro Slaw & Jalapeno Cheddar Waffles”

  1. 1

    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — August 29, 2012 @ 7:18 am

    Oh my goodness. This looks like dinner perfection for my family. I cannot wait to try it…all of it!!

  2. 2

    Blog is the New Black — August 29, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    My huz will LOVE these!

  3. 3

    Rachel Cooks — August 29, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    I’m under no authority whatsoever to say this because I’m from Michigan and have always lived in Michigan, but girrrrrl you do southern food well! This looks phenomenal!

  4. 4

    Bev @ Bev Cooks — August 29, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    I’m opening my mouth right now. Will you just stuff it to the brim please? Cool? Cool.

  5. 5

    Sues — August 29, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

    You’ve seriously outdone yourself. This looks so, so awesome! I’ve never actually had a chicken and waffles dish, but now I totally NEED one. THIS one. You know you got me with the jalapeno in the waffles 🙂

  6. 6

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — August 29, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    Man oh man, I could die a happy woman drowning in this dish. It all looks amazing, Tina!

  7. 7

    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — August 29, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

    It’s interesting that you’ve gone with a couple of different Belgian beers!

    There’s a place down in LA that is famous for its chicken and waffles. It’s definitely something I want to try someday – preferably on a day that I’ve got a huge appetite haha.

  8. 8

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — August 30, 2012 @ 6:38 am

    Oh man, this sounds amazing!!! I am drooling at 3:30 in the morning!!

  9. 9

    Mackenzie @SusieFreakingHomemaker — August 30, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    Chicken and waffles – yepp, it doesn’t get much better than that! You did nail it Tina!

  10. 10

    Sandra — August 30, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

    Ya killing me girl!!!@

  11. 11

    natalie@thesweetslife — August 30, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

    I love recreating restaurant meals…lately I’ve been recreating ice cream flavors and the phrase “I nailed it!!” has been uttered from my lips more than once 🙂

  12. 12

    Rosie from SC — September 1, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

    Girl… OMG, this was the best, easy too! Chix marinates then fries, slaw can be made up ahead of time and who the heck doesn’t love a savory waffle? It was finger lickin’ good. Yumbo! A perfect marriage of flavors and textures. Did I say this was the best……………. everyone loved it!

  13. 13

    Cheryl — September 5, 2012 @ 12:46 am

    I think you’re my culinary soul mate. A killer place here does truffled potato waffles, cream sauce, maple bacon, and fried chicken! Ooooh yeah.

    Next time, try doubling up on the waffles and eating like a sandwich.. add a bit of pepper jack in there. You’ll thank me!

  14. 14

    Five Killer Reads: — September 7, 2012 @ 3:02 am

    […] more of a gourmet. One of my favorite blogs, My Life as a Mrs., generously shares her recipe for buttermilk fried chicken tenders with cilantro slaw and jalapeño cheddar waffles. While I personally have never deep fried anything with my waffle iron on at the same time, I can […]

  15. 15

    Anita at Hungry Couple — September 11, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    I know chicken and waffles is a well known pairing but I’ve never had it and it always sounded strange. But, your version seems so kicked up and appropriate and beautiful that I think I could become a convert!

  16. 16

    AshleyL — December 10, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

    I’m going to try and not be dramatic, but people, you NEED to make this. I’m pretty sure I would eat it every night this week if someone would make it for me. The combination was just downright perfect. I only marinated my chicken for about 30 minutes, since I didn’t read the recipe far enough in advance, but it was still delicious. Highly recommended!!!

  17. 17

    Ali F — March 5, 2013 @ 11:18 am

    I made this for our dinner club last Friday. It was a huge hit! Once you have everything mixed, it is pretty easy. Saves so much time premixing everything and setting aside for when you are ready to cook. Everyone loved the slaw! I made goat cheese and jalapeno hush puppies for our appetizers. THANK YOU!

  18. 18

    alyssa @ life a la wife — March 25, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

    So glad you have this recipe (and linked to it today) — My husband and I visited Coolinary Cafe last week and he ordered this meal and LOVED it. I will definitely surprise him by making this one night 🙂

  19. 19

    Lynn — April 30, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

    I’ve always wondered about chicken and waffles and this recipe motivated me to try it. I’m not as handy in the kitchen as I’d like to be, but my husband helped and it turned out great! I like it a lot more than I thought I would!

  20. 20

    Jerome — May 2, 2016 @ 6:30 am

    Fluffy!!! Delicious!!! I recommend that if you don’t eat a lot of salt, AND if you used salted butter, don’t add the salt. I added the butter as directed but then brushed butter on the top of the finished waffles. So much better than store bought anything!!! 

  21. 21

    Wan — August 13, 2016 @ 2:56 pm

    Ok, for those of you who haven’t tried this…shame on you! One word, AMAZING! We love spicy foods, so I added a little more spice, but that was it. This recipe is one for the books, great job!

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