Project 5: Southern Fried Chicken with Cornmeal Waffles & Warm Spicy Apple Maple Syrup

28 Nov
Recipe by Deidre Santos

The French Culinary Institute’s Level 5 project is a taste what (F.C.I) students are made of. This project is for students in the classic culinary arts program (1 level away from graduation).  

Eat Life’s Project 5 showcases select students so everyone can get a glimpse of the talent behind F.C.I’s kitchen doors. Introducing Deidre Santos’ level 5 project recipe.


Chicken and Waffle Recipe, The French Culinary Institute's Level 5 project

Crispy Southern Fried Chicken with Cornmeal Waffles, Warm Spicy Apple Maple Syrup
For the Fried Chicken
4-6lbs frying chickens, thighs and legs
4 cups buttermilk
2-cup flour
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2-teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
Vegetable oil (for frying)

For the Cornbread Waffles
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1-cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1-tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1-cup milk, more or less as needed

For the Spicy Apple Maple Syrup
3/4 cup plus 2 tsp. apple juice, divided
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups golden delicious apples, chopped peeled (about 2 medium)
2 tsp. cornstarch


For the Fried Chicken

Wash chicken pieces thoroughly and pat dry. Place chicken in a long, shallow glass-baking dish. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for a least 4 hours, turning once or twice. In a clean plastic or brown paper bag, combine the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme, parsley, garlic and onion powders. Drain the chicken and place two or three pieces of chicken in the bag and shake well to coat evenly. Repeat until all chicken has been coated with seasoned flour mixture. In a large, heavy skillet, heat about one-half of oil over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add chicken and brown on all sides, about three minutes per side. Place browned chicken on a warm platter until all pieces are browned.

When all the chicken pieces are browned, crowd them into the skillet; turn heat to medium-low, cover and cook, turning occasionally, until tender, about 20 – 25 minutes. Remove cover, turn heat to medium-high and cook six to eight minutes more or until skin is crispy.

For the Waffles

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well blended. Add the eggs and butter. Gradually add the milk, mixing well until a thick batter is formed. Prepare your waffle iron and make the waffles. Serve them as they are finished or, if necessary, keep them warm in a preheated 300° F oven on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

For the Syrup

Combine 3/4 cup of the apple juice and all of the maple syrup, red pepper flakes and apples in a 1-qt. saucepan. Place over medium heat, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Combine the cornstarch and the remaining 2 teaspoons of apple juice in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the pan, and cook and stir for 1 minute, or until the mixture is slightly thickened.

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