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Chicken and waffles are an incredibly popular if slightly unusual southern dish with soul food origins. Those who have never tried it are often baffled by the combination of fried chicken and waffles. However, when eaten together it makes for a truly delicious meal. That said though, if this dish is new to you, you may be wondering what goes with chicken and waffles?
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What Are Chicken And Waffles?
As the name suggests, chicken and waffles is quite literally a dish that consists of fried crispy chicken in bread crumbs on a bed of waffles. Often this will then be topped with a sweet, spicy or savoury sauce of some sort.
To many people, especially those outside of the United States of America, this may sound like a strange idea for a meal. Despite this though, many people who end up trying it will be converted into fans of chicken and waffles.
What Goes With Chicken And Waffles?
If chicken and waffles are a new dish to you, or you’re just wanting to spice up an old favourite then you may be curious about what you can serve with chicken and waffles. Fortunately, in a similar fashion to something like chicken piccata or even chicken salad, there is a wide variety of options to serve with chicken and waffles.
Typically when talking about what goes with chicken and waffles, this can be broken down into two categories. Similarly to say French onion or butternut squash soup, these are sides and toppings.
Toppings For Chicken And Waffles
Toppings for chicken and waffles tend to mainly relate to the sauce or sauces that you choose to poor over the top. This choice can profoundly change the overall taste of your meal. As such, whether you’re in the mood for something sweet, savoury, spicy or a combination will likely dictate the topping you choose. For some possible options though, check out the suggestions below:
- Curry Sauce
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Maple Syrup
- Crispy Bacon
For a particularly savoury option when preparing chicken and waffles, gravy is a wonderful choice. Whether it’s a classically deep brown gravy or a lighter and creamy chicken gravy this is a wonderful option, especially if you’re having plain waffles.
Additionally, in s similar vein to pulled pork and waffles, you can switch out the fried chicken for some shredded chicken instead. Whether stewed on a hob or made in the slow cooker, this will make the meal overall more hearty in feel, along with being a more savoury experience.
In a similar vein to gravy, curry sauce is an excellent choice with plain waffles and pulled chicken if you want a more savoury option.
However, there are a wide variety of curry sauce options available from a sweet and creamy pasanda, a buttery korma or a spicy vindaloo. As such, if you want to get the taste of Indian cuisine with your chicken and waffles then the possibilities are incredibly varied.
Additionally, whilst plain waffles and shredded are an option, they are certainly not the only ones. No, many indeed curries go wonderfully with sweet naan bread such a peshwari naan, as such the same can be true for sweet waffles.
Sweet Chili Sauce
For a wonderful mixture of sweet and spicy, a topping of sweet chilli sauce is an absolute must for your chicken and waffles. This is especially true when the fried chicken is seasoned with zesty ingredients such as ginger and lemongrass.
How hot or sweet you want it to be is very much dependent on your taste though. As such, the other benefit of using sweet chilli sauce is that you will likely be able to find one that has the right balance for your palette.
For a more Mexican feel to your meal, top the chicken with salsa. Whether you go for a more spicy or refreshing option is down to your preference with either option working well.
However, you may also decide to go further by including jalapenos in the waffle batter and/or seasoning the fried chicken with red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper powder. If so, a cooler, more refreshing option may be the better choice.
Whether golden, maple syrup or some other variety, syrup is a famously popular option for topping your waffles with. Often maple syrup is of course the most popular choice with its smooth taste and delicious aroma but other syrups can add a fun twist to this classic option.
Additionally, another way to put a spin on syrup is to mix in some hot sauce beforehand in order to give it a little bit of a kick.
If wanting a sweet option but aren’t struck by the idea of using syrup, then a wonderful alternative is to use honey. The benefit of this is that honey will add a wonderful sweetness to the dish like syrup whilst also adding some extra flavour.
Often depending on the honey in question, the flavours it adds can vary. That said though some options include smokey, nutty slightly spicy or floral notes.
Unlike the other topper options, crispy bacon is of course not a sauce. However, does go wonderfully with both waffles and fried chicken, along with maple syrup. As such some a sprinkling of crispy bacon cut into small pieces is an excellent topping choice.
Additionally, if not wanting to use syrup then sour cream is a wonderful sauce option when paired with crispy bacon especially.
Sides For Chicken And Waffles
Toppings are wonderful for enhancing or slightly reworking a meal such as chicken and waffles. However, if you’re wanting to make the meal more substantial then a side dish or two is a wonderful way of doing so. With that in mind, some excellent side dish options include the following:
- Mac ‘N’ Cheese
- Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin
- Collard Greens
- Potato Salad
- Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Fresh Fruit Salad
- Refreshing Drinks
Whether it’s a bowl of fresh corn or corn on the cob, corn is a wonderful side dish option to serve with chicken and waffles. This is because the deliciously sweet and often creamy nature of the corn complements and contrasts wonderfully with any spicy seasonings used in your fried chicken.
Mac ‘N’ Cheese
Mac ‘n’ cheese is as we all know a truly delicious meal in its own right, after all, who doesn’t love pasta and cheese?
Oftentimes mac ‘n’ cheese will be served with fried chicken as the two go wonderfully well together. With that in mind then, a smaller portion of mac ‘n’ cheese can make for a wonderful accompaniment for fried chicken and waffles.
The best part of course is that you can make macaroni and cheese your way thanks to the wide variety of different cheeses available. For example, to add a bit of spice you can use monterey jack, meanwhile, you can use a smoked cheder to give the mac ‘n’ cheese some extra smokiness.
Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin
Similarly to potato gratin, this dish is deeply rich and cheesy. However, it is somewhat lighter due to using sliced cauliflower instead of potatoes. However, it retains the deliciously creamy and cheesy tastes that potato gratin.
Similarly to macaroni and cheese, this option complements the chicken incredibly well, along with spicy maple syrup. Additionally, you have a lot of freedom to put your own spin on things with different cheese options.
Rice is a wonderfully versatile food that goes with near enough anything and everything really, with fried chicken and waffles being no exception.
The beauty of rice though is that there are a wide variety of different types and ways of cooking it to make it fit whatever version of chicken and waffles is your favourite. Some examples of this include but certainly are not limited to coconut rice, basmati rice, Spanish rice, fried rice or dirty rice.
For particularly savoury or spicy variations of chicken and waffles, chutney is a delicious option. Especially so if you are planning to use a curry sauce as your topper sauce since chutney is often used to accompany curry dishes.
The added bonus of chutney as well is that there is a variety of different options available to perfectly compliment the ingredients in your meal, such as caramelised onion or mango chutney. As such, no matter your palette or the type of chicken and waffles you’re having, there will always be as least one option you can enjoy.
When eating a dish that originates from southern and soul food cuisine like chicken and waffles, surely it makes sense to look there for accompanying dishes, right?
Exactly, as such, collard greens are a simple and delicious way to add a side that contrasts with the taste of your main dish whilst also complimenting it wonderfully. When seasoned with some olive oil, garlic cloves and chilli flakes beroe cooking, these will add yet more layers and flavours to an already excellent dish.
Potato salad is a wonderfully delicious dish that originates from Germany. Often it is eaten as a side dish and is widely popular alongside a variety of meals alongside a variety of other dishes.
When served alongside chicken and waffles, you will be best off making the potato salad a creamy as possible in order to add some additional moisture to the meal. Additionally, if you want to make your potato salad slightly more elaborate it can be adapted to also contain a variety of other ingredients such as boiled eggs or celery.
As mentioned before, the savoury, salty and fatty flavours of bacon go incredibly well with chicken and waffles. However, if you want to use it in an interesting side dish then bacon-wrapped asparagus is a wonderful option for doing so.
Alternatively though, if you don’t want to use bacon, then asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. or near enough any other cured meat is also an excellent option.
For a mild and simple side dish option, grits is an excellent choice. This is basically a type of savoury porridge made from cornmeal that will often be flavoured with ingredients such as salt, butter and cheese.
The creamy texture and mild taste of grits make for an excellent choice of side dish. This is because the flavours are mild yet distinctive. As such, it will add extra flavour without overpowering those of your main dish.
Like rice, cornbread is truly one of those foods that can go with near enough anything. This is especially true with chicken and waffles though since it can add an extra light sweetness that compliments many different versions of the dish in question.
Cornbread is incredibly easy to make from scratch too and can be flavoured in a variety of ways. That said though if making cornbread, we recommended using buttermilk in order to provide a wonderfully crumbly texture.
Fresh Fruit Salad
When serving chicken and waffles for dinner, the main dish itself can be quite heavy. As such, a fresh fruit salad makes for a wonderful accompaniment dish for the main.
Like any salad, a fruit salad can contain a versatile mix of different fruits. However, a popular favourite is a combination of chopped bananas, sliced apples, oranges, grapes and cranberries and potentially strawberries.
Additionally, if you want to turn this into more of a dessert then doing so is quite simple with some yoghurt, cream, custard or fittingly enough, syrup.
In a similar vein to fresh fruit salad, a selection of refreshing drinks can pair well with a heavier meal such as chicken and waffles. Some good examples of this include iced or sweet tea and lemonade.
However, if wanting something alcoholic then flavoured gin with tonic or lemonade, rose wine or even a nice spiced rum are wonderful choices.
Answered: What Goes With Chicken And Waffles?
Chicken and waffles are an unusual but delicious southern soul food dish that can be modified in a variety of ways. As such, whether it’s through the toppings used on the chicken and waffles themselves or the side dishes served alongside them, you will have plenty of options to choose from.
With that in mind, the next step is to decide how you wish to make and serve your chicken and waffles. Will you make them in a traditional way with maple syrup, a curry fusion or will you make something completely different?
Whichever route you choose, remember that the above is merely the tip of the iceberg. So whether it’s gravy covered chicken and waffles with mac ‘n’ cheese or something else entirely it’s time to get experimenting.
FAQ – What To Serve With Chicken And Waffles?
What sides go with chicken and waffles?
There is a myriad of excellent sides for chicken and waffles depending on the variation of this dish you plan on making. These range from chutney to macaroni and cheese and cornbread, with many more options in between.
Is chicken and waffles breakfast or dinner?
Chicken and waffles are often eaten at breakfast. That said though, many people also enjoy them for lunch or as part of their evening meal. Typically, this may mean that the ingredients used will change. However, when it is eaten in the day will mainly depend on an individual’s own preferences.