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Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwiches

Billy Dec makes fried chicken and waffle sandwiches
Patty Lee / TODAY


Crispy Chicken Tenders
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 2-ounce pieces raw chicken tenders
Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffles
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted, cooled to room temperature
  • cups whole milk
  • Non-stick cooking spray
Sausage Gravy
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 pound ground pork shoulder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Fried Eggs
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

Chef notes

Homemade waffles are piled high with fried chicken tenders and sausage gravy then topped with more waffles and sauce for a decadent breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

Note: The Sausage Gravy can be chilled and held cold for up to 4 days and reheated.


For the Crispy Chicken Tenders:


Slowly heat the vegetable oil in a saute pan for frying to 325º.


In a shallow dish, add the panko breadcrumbs and lightly crush with your hands to make them finer. In a second shallow dish, add the beaten eggs, buttermilk and oregano. In a third shallow dish, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Reserving one hand for the dry ingredients and the other for the wet ingredients, dredge the tenders in the seasoned flour, then the egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumb mixture.


Carefully lower the breaded tenders into the hot oil. Fry until golden, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chicken with an instant read thermometer to make sure that it is at least 160º. Place the tenders on a paper towel-lined plate to drain off the excess oil.

For the Buttermilk Cornmeal Waffles:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Whisk the melted butter and milk into the dry ingredients. Fold in the egg whites, then add the yolks. Heat the waffle iron. Lightly coat the waffle iron with the non-stick cooking spray before pouring in the batter. Follow your machine's instructions for quantity and cooking times to make two large waffles.

For the Sausage Gravy:

In a medium saucepan, heat half of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork. Season with half of the salt and half of the black pepper. Cook until pork browns lightly. Add the remaining butter and cook until melted. Stir in the flour to make a paste. Whisk in the milk and heavy cream and reduce the heat to low. Add in remaining seasonings including the second half of the salt and pepper. Allow to cook slowly over very low heat, stirring every few minutes to ensure it does not burn or stick to the bottom, for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

For the Fried Eggs:

Heat a nonstick griddle or pan to medium heat, then add the butter. Crack each egg into the pan and season the eggs with the salt and pepper. Allow to slowly cook, sunny side up, until whites are set but yolk is still runny.

To Assemble:

Take one quarter of a toasted waffle and place two cooked chicken tenders on top. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the sausage gravy over the tenders, then top with one sunny egg. Place another quarter of toasted waffle on top and spoon an additional 2 tablespoons of the sausage gravy over the top. Repeat with remaining waffles, tenders, eggs and gravy. Serve.