Buttermilk Chicken, Waffles and a Chilli Maple Syrup

It’s December! And December is a month where we tend to indulge throughout. Christmas parties, markets and fairs lure us with temptations of sweet and savoury foods.

As much as I love all the food in December, I try my best not to over indulge all month, after all I am not getting any younger. However it’s still fun to push the boat out and try new dishes that are a bit exciting.

A few years back, I went to a restaurant called Hot Box in London with my husband and family members. I ordered the chicken and waffles with maple syrup and I was blown away. I had never had a dish like that before. The crispy savoury chicken placed on top of a crisp waffle, all drizzled with a sweet maple syrup was just heavenly. And to this day I have not had this dish again.

I decided to give it a go myself. I know it will never be as good as a restaurants but there’s no harm in trying. But one thing I did decide is that I did not want to deep fry my chicken.

I hate deep frying, not because of the health aspect to it (because let’s be honest whatever comes out of a deep fat fryer is delicious) but because I simply can’t regulate the temperature very well. If the oil is too low in temperature than the food is greasy, and too high then the food browns too quickly and is possibly raw in the middle.

I wanted to cook my chicken in the air fryer, this way I could put it in and forget about it. Plus it’s healthier so it’s a win win. If you don’t have an air fryer you could also cook your chicken in the oven. I have a little trick up my sleeve to ensure crispy golden ‘fried’ chicken. See below!

For the waffles, I used my Salter waffle maker which is amazing. It was so easy to use and the non-stick coating made it really easy to take the waffle out. Also I love how this waffle maker gives you thick crispy waffles, just as they should be! If you don’t have a waffle maker don’t worry, shop bought waffles will do the trick too.

I used Jamie Oliver’s recipe for the waffles. They were nice and simple to make and turned out fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside. The recipe and method can be found here.

Serves 2


  • 2-3 boneless chicken thighs, skin off (approx 300g)
  • 1 tsp onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, cayenne
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 100ml buttermilk
  • 200g plain flour
  • 150ml maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • cress to garnish (optional)


1. Mix all of the spices together and add salt and pepper to your taste.

2. Use some of the spice mixture to coat the chicken, keeping the rest aside. Add the buttermilk to the chicken and leave to marinade for 30 minutes or overnight if you have the time.

3. Either in a large bowl or a large ziplock bag, add the flour and the remaining spice mixture and mix. Add the chicken and coat well in the flour.

4. Lightly brush the chicken with olive oil ensuring that you get all bits of flour. This is how it will crisp up in the air fryer!

5. Spray your air fryer with a little oil to stop the chicken from sticking. Place your chicken in the air fryer and cook for approximately 20 minutes on 180c or until cooked through.

6. Mix the maple syrup with a pinch of chilli flakes and set aside.

7. Once your waffle is warmed, add the cooked chicken on top, garnish with cress and drizzle over the maple syrup. Enjoy!

My husband and I truly enjoyed this one. It felt incredibly indulgent (and it is!) but wasn’t so bad seeing as there was no deep fat fryer in sight. Win! Will you be giving this one a go? Let me know if you do!

My name is Bhavisha Surti and I am a food photographer and stylist based in Milton Keynes. Please subscribe to my blog below and check out my website to see more of my work at www.jbimagery.co.ukThank you! 

Chicken and Waffles by Bhavisha Surti at JB Imagery Food Photographer and Stylist in Milton Keynes

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