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Spicy cornmeal waffles with popcorn chicken, honey and hot sauce

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for spicy cornmeal waffles with popcorn chicken, honey and hot sauce.

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 4 - 6
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus marinating, resting
Spicy cornmeal waffles with popcorn chicken, honey and hot sauce
Spicy cornmeal waffles with popcorn chicken, honey and hot sauce

These waffles, with their combination of hot and sweet, are inspired by our contributing food editor Alice Storey's travels in Texas. They're best served fresh.


  • To serve: honey, hot sauce, thinly sliced spring onion and lime wedges
Popcorn chicken
  • 6 skinned and boned chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) buttermilk, well shaken
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 220 gm rice flour
  • 75 gm (½ cup) self-raising flour
  • 1½ tsp each ground chilli, ground cumin and smoked paprika
Spicy cornmeal waffles
  • 225 gm (1½ cups) plain flour
  • 170 gm (1 cup) fine polenta
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp each ground chilli and ground cumin
  • 600 ml buttermilk
  • 90 gm melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced


  • 1
    For popcorn chicken, combine chicken, buttermilk, lime juice and hot sauce in a bowl, season to taste and refrigerate to marinate (1 hour). Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 180C. Combine flours and spices in a bowl and season to taste. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, then toss in seasoned flour. Dip again in the buttermilk mixture, then again in seasoned flour and shake off excess. Deep-fry in batches until golden and cooked through (3-4 minutes), then drain on paper towels.
  • 2
    For spicy cornmeal waffles, combine dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl, then make a well in the centre. Whisk the wet ingredients in a separate bowl to combine, add to well in dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Add 2 tsp sea salt, then stir in spring onion and stand to rest (15 minutes). Heat a waffle iron and cook waffle batter in batches, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until golden and crisp (4-5 minutes). Serve hot topped with popcorn chicken, drizzled with honey and hot sauce, scattered with spring onion and with lime wedges on the side.


Drink Suggestion: India pale ale. Drink suggestion by Max Allen