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Air-Fried Nashville-Style Hot Chicken and Waffles

Enjoy this brunch favorite at home! Spicy cayenne maple syrup makes the perfect topping for air-fried crispy chicken thighs and homemade cinnamon waffles.

About a year ago I developed this Nashville-Style hot chicken recipe and it came out so good, the perfect mix of spicy, sweet and crispy. My boyfriend loves getting chicken and waffles at brunch, so I decided to recreate it at home while we’re in quarantine.

I mean who doesn’t like fried chicken?! Using the air fryer for this recipe cuts down on the oil used and makes this recipe a tiny bit healthier than traditional chicken and waffles.

I use the 6qt. air fryer from Nuwave and love it, it works really well. Honestly, I was skeptical when I purchased this, wondering if it was worth space it took up in my apartment that has no storage. I can say it was 100% worth it, I use it at least once a week, if not more.

For the waffles, I used a mini waffle maker I got at Target. It makes the cutest waffles, is cheap and takes up no space when stored. Of course, you can use any waffle maker for this recipe.

How to store leftovers of chicken and waffles

Chicken can be stored in the fridge for a few days and reheated in the air fryer or oven to maintain crispiness. Waffles can be stored in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a few months, similar to store-bought waffles.

What You Need for this Chicken and Waffles Recipe

Chicken

  • Chicken thighs (boneless or bone-in both work fine)
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used oat milk because it’s what I had on hand)
  • Flour (any kind should work fine)
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Thyme
  • Cayenne

Waffles

  • Flour (I used all-purpose)
  • Baking powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Eggs
  • Maple syrup
  • Milk

Maple Butter Sauce

  • Butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Cayenne
  • Chili powder

Air-Fried Nashville-Style Hot Chicken & Waffles

Enjoy this brunch favorite at home! Spicy cayenne maple syrup makes the perfect topping for air-fried crispy chicken thighs and homemade cinnamon waffles.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Breakfast
Servings: 4
Calories: 763kcal
Author: Sarah Holt

Ingredients 

Chicken

  • 1 lb. chicken thighs, bone-in skin on or boneless, skinless will work
  • 1 cup milk of choice, optional to use buttermilk
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

Waffles

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • Cooking spray

Maple Butter Sauce

  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

Instructions

  • Chicken
  • Marinate chicken in salt, pepper and milk for at least 1 hour
  • Mix flour and spices in bowl
  • Generously coat chicken in the flour mix
  • Preheat air fryer to 375 and cook for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through (time depends on your individual air fryer)
  • Waffles
  • Add all ingredients in medium-large bowl and whisk until combined
  • Preheat waffle maker and once ready, spray with cooking spray
  • Add scoop of waffle mix and cook until slightly browned
  • Continue until all mix has been used* (See notes)
  • Maple Butter Sauce
  • Add butter, maple syrup and spices to small saucepan
  • Heat on medium-low until butter is melted
  • Place 1-2 pieces of chicken on waffles and pour sauce over top
  • Enjoy!

Notes

*The waffle mix will make more than the serving size, you can 1/2 the recipe or freeze leftover waffles.
Keywords: air fryer, air fryer recipes, breakfast, brunch, fried chicken, southern food, waffles

If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! xo, Sarah

*The links that redirect to Amazon are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission on your purchase if you order anything through these links. Thanks for supporting me and my blog!

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