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Fried Chicken and Waffles with Piri Piri Glaze

by , featured in The Rise
Published by Voracious
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A native New Yorker with strong ties to South Carolina, Melba likes to say she was "born, bred, and buttered" in Harlem. Her aunt is Sylvia Woods of Harlem's Sylvia's. Chicken and waffles originated in Harlem when jazz musicians wanted something delicious after playing all night. It's a dish that perfectly reflects Melba and her Harlem roots.

Note: This recipe may seem intimidating, but if you make the glaze first, then boil the sweet potato for the waffles while frying the chicken, you can keep the chicken warm in the oven while making the waffles.

Image of Marcus Samuelsson's Fried Chicken and Waffles
Photo by Angie Mosier


Serves: 4 to 6

For the pikliz

  • 3 cups julienned red cabbage
  • 1½ cups shredded carrots
  • 1½ cups thinly sliced cauliflower florets
  • 1 Scotch bonnet (or habanero) chile (stemmed and julienned)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8 teaspoons kosher salt

For the piri piri marinade

  • 2 small shallots (peeled)
  • 1 inch piece of fresh gingerroot (peeled)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chile (stemmed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the piri piri glaze

  • Piri Piri Marinade
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the fried chicken

  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Frank's RedHot hot sauce or other hot sauce
  • 8 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • peanut oil (for frying)

For the waffles

  • 1 small sweet potato (peeled and cubed)
  • 1½ cups wholewheat flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1¼ cups half and half or vanilla coconut milk (from a carton, not canned coconut milk) or use half single cream and half full fat milk
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter (melted and cooled slightly)
  • 3 large eggs (separated)
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for waffle iron
  • 1 cup Pikliz


Fried Chicken and Waffles with Piri Piri Glaze is a guest recipe by Marcus Samuelsson so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

For the pikliz:

  1. Place the cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chile, ginger, thyme, and bay leaf in a 2-quart glass jar with a lid.
  2. Combine both vinegars, the sugar, honey, and salt in a medium pot set over high heat and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the vegetables, seal with the lid, and refrigerate for at least 3 days. The quick-pickled vegetables will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

For the piri piri marinade:

  1. Combine the shallots, ginger, garlic, and chile in a food processor and pulse to a coarse puree. (Alternatively, pound into a coarse paste using a mortar and pestle.)
  2. Stir in the lemon juice, oil, and paprika and season with salt. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

For the glaze:

  1. Whisk together the marinade, honey, and olive oil in a small bowl and set aside.

Make the fried chicken:

  1. Whisk together the buttermilk and hot sauce in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to the warm setting or 200℉.
  3. Place a cooling rack inside a baking sheet, cover with paper towels, and set in the oven.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season on all sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt.
  5. Combine the flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish or bowl. Toss the chicken, one thigh at a time, in the mixture and set aside.
  6. Heat ¼ inch oil in a large cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat and bring to 350℉.
  7. Carefully add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, so as to not overcrowd the pan. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and continue cooking until the other side is golden brown and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165℉, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the prepared rack in the oven and repeat until all of the chicken has been cooked.

For the waffles:

  1. Place the sweet potato in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Combine the sweet potatoes, half and half, butter, and egg yolk in another bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Place the egg whites in a third bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Do not overmix. Fold the egg whites into the batter until minimal streaks of white are showing.
  6. Heat a waffle iron. Spray with nonstick spray. Once hot, pour one-fourth of the batter into the waffle iron. Close the lid and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked waffles to the oven to keep warm. Repeat until all the batter has been used.
  7. Top each waffle with two chicken thighs, drizzle with the piri piri glaze, and serve with pikliz.

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