Grant Cornett
Adobo-Fried Chicken & Waffles from Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee
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Adobo-Fried Chicken & Waffles

Edward Lee, Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories From A New Southern Kitchen - December 2013

Adapted from Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee.

"I'm not sure who first thought of serving fried chicken and waffles together," says Edward Lee in his cookbook, "but if adding waffles helps you to feel better about eating fried chicken for breakfast, I'm all for it. This is a Filipino adobo, not the Spanish version. The vinegar brightens the richness of the fried chicken and helps with digestion. Add fewer chiles, depending on how much heat you like.

"This is my kind of soul food. Serve with Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale from Boulevard Brewing Company. And invite me over if I happen to be in your town."

For 6 servings


  • canola oil (for brushing)
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. (4g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. (5g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. (3g) kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. (.5g) paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. (.5g) black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 cup (245ml) buttermilk
  • 2 lg. eggs
  • 3 Tbsps. (43g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  1. Heat waffle maker; brush lightly with oil.

  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, paprika, and pepper in a bowl; reserve.

  3. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and butter in another bowl; whisking constantly, gradually add to flour mixture; whisk well; working in batches, cook until brown and cooked through; remove from waffle iron; cut waffles into 2" wide wedges; reserve (keep warm).

Dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 3 Tbsps. (46ml) lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsps. (40ml) maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsps. (32ml) fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. (16ml) soy sauce
  • 2 fresh Thai or habañero chiles, thinly sliced

Mix all ingredients in small bowl; cover; reserve in refrigerator.

Adobo broth:

  • 2 1/2 cups (595ml) distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups (354ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (64ml) soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsps. (7g) black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. (4g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. (2g) red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs. (911g) chicken thighs, drumsticks, and/or wings
  • 1 tsp. (6g) salt
  1. Bring vinegar, water, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, sugar, and red pepper flakes to a boil in large pot; reduce heat to medium; cover; simmer 5 minutes; reduce heat as low as it will go.

  2. Season chicken with salt; add to simmering broth; cover; poach, turning halfway through, 15 minutes (you want chicken to poach gently and stay moist while taking on the flavor of the broth, so don’t let broth get too hot); remove from heat; cool chicken in liquid, covered, 20 minutes; remove chicken from broth; place on a plate lined with paper towels; pat dry; discard broth; reserve chicken.

Fried chicken:

  • 8 cups (1.792L) peanut oil
  • 2 cups (490ml) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 tsp. (2g) paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. (1g) black pepper, freshly ground
  1. Heat oil in large deep cast-iron skillet until deep-fry thermometer registers 365°F.

  2. Pour buttermilk in large shallow bowl; mix flour, salt, paprika, and pepper in another shallow bowl; working one at a time, dip reserved chicken in buttermilk, letting excess drip back into bowl; dredge in flour mixture, turning to coat; place on clean large plate; let stand 15 minutes (coating will soften a little).

  3. Working in batches of 2 or 3 pieces at a time, deep-fry chicken, turning about every minute, until brown and crispy and instant-read thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165°F (wings will cook faster and drumsticks will take the longest; 8 to 10 minutes); remove chicken with tongs; place on paper towels to drain; season with salt; reserve (keep warm).

  4. To serve, divide chicken and waffle slices among plates; serve dipping sauce alongside.