Quarantine cooking at its finest. I went to multiple grocery stores and none of them had chicken with skin! I was nervous about how this would turn out since 1. crispy skin is delicious 2. I wasn’t sure the flour would stick well without skin and 3. I was worried the outer meat would become more dry than crispy. But, we must make do with what we have, and thankfully, we had chicken thighs which tend to be nice and juicy. And also, extra panko which adds some extra crunch.
An Ode to Air Fried Chicken
- 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1 egg
- KFC spice mix!
An Ode to Buttermilk Waffles
- 1 cup Aunt Jemima Complete Buttermilk Waffle Mix
- 3/4 cup water
- 1.5 ounces of vegetable oil
An Ode to Colonel Sanders
- 2/3 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon basil
- 1/3 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried mustard
- 4 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons white pepper
An Ode to Hot Honey
- 2 jalapenos
- 1/2 cup of honey
- For the hot honey, heat the honey over medium heat.
- Place the thinly sliced jalapenos in a jar. When the honey is warm and liquid, pour over the jalapenos and let sit at room temperature until cool. Allow the mixture to steep overnight. For a more mild honey, remove the jalapenos. For a more intense hot honey, leave them.
- For the chicken, mix 2 Tbsp of the KFC secret spice mix with 1 cup of buttermilk.
- Coat the chicken thighs with the mixture and seal in a Tupperware in the fridge overnight.
- Stay up late watching Netflix and 2nd guessing your decision to use skinless chicken. Debate the merits of going to the store in the morning to look for skin-on chicken thighs on little sleep with people standing too close to you and ultimately not getting any chicken because the store is out of stock. Finally, convince yourself not to go. Not because of all the legitimate above mentioned reasons, but because then you won’t have time to brine the chicken, and brining is truly the most important part.
- Turn your air fryer (I have a Ninja Foodi) on to the Air crisp setting at 360F and set the time to 25 minutes to allow it to preheat.
- As the fryer preheats, mise en place! Set up 3 bowls. One with panko crumbs, one with the egg, beaten, and a third with the all-purpose flour mixed with 4 Tbsp of KFC spice mix.
- Once the air fryer is ready, a piece of chicken and let the marinade drip off. Then coat the chicken in the flour, next dip it in the egg wash, and finally the panko*. Lightly spray both sides with Pam.
- Place the chicken in your air fryer (in the crisper basket) and cook for 10 minutes. Do not let the chicken touch. I was able to do 2 thighs at a time. After 10 minutes, flip the chicken and cook another 5 minutes or until the internal temp of the chicken is 165F.**
- Heat the oven to 200F. Throw your chicken into the oven to stay warm as you prepare your waffles.
- For the waffles, pre-heat your waffle iron.
- In a bowl, combine the pancake mix, water, and vegetable oil and stir until the large lumps disappear. Let the batter rest 5 minutes. (Now you will be sure your waffle iron is hot n ready!)
- Make the waffles.
- To serve, grab your waffle and place some chicken on top, smother in hot honey and syrup. Throw some jalapenos on top as a warning that this is spicy and also so it’s Instagram pretty.
* I did run out of panko. I had some thighs and also nugget sized thigh bites, so I just didn’t coat those in panko. It’s quarantine time, we can do this.
** I like to live on the edge. As long as it’s 155-165, I’m good. I also place the chicken in the oven at 250F after it’s done to keep it warm until dinner.
*** Wow, it looks like the skinless chicken thighs really don’t cut the calories too much! This should probably serve 4. I had some leftovers, but TBH that was because I wanted to save room for cake later.