Spicy Fried Chicken Tenders and Egg Nog Waffles with Strawberry Butter and Maple Syrup ***

From Bobby Flay's Throwdown!, found at New York Daily News

It was a chicken and waffles kind of day.  I decided to try out this recipe from Bobby Flay's Throwdown! cookbook.  This is the recipe that beat his chicken and waffles.  It's from Melba's Restaurant in Harlem.  I used chicken tenders (They're easier to eat with waffles :)) and followed the recipe although I was a bit wary of some of the ingredients (I didn't have the Sazonador seasoning so I subbed some chili powder).  I shouldn't have feared, the result was quite tasty and I can see why she won the Throwdown!  :)

1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning 
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown mustard
2 cups buttermilk
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Sazonador seasoning

Eggnog Waffles:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
2 cups eggnog
2 large eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
Cooking spray, for the waffle iron

Strawberry Butter:
1 cup unsalted butter (slightly softened)
4 ozs strawberries (hulled and sliced, about 3/4 cup)
3 drops grenadine syrup

Maple Syrup

To make the strawberry butter:
1.  Put the butter in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, and blend until smooth. Add the berries and grenadine and pulse until combined, but with small pieces of berry still visible.

2.  Roll the butter tightly in plastic wrap into a cylinder shape and place in refrigerator to firm up until use.

To cook chicken: 
1.  Put the chicken pieces in a bowl and sprinkle the salt, pepper, paprika, poultry seasoning and garlic powder. Add the mustard and use your hands to work everything into the chicken. Pour in buttermilk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours. 

2.  Heat 3 inches of oil to 325 degrees in a deep cast-iron skillet over medium-heat. Combine flour and Sazonador seasoning in a brown paper bag. 

3.  Add a few pieces of chicken at a time and shake it like you mean it! 

4.  Working in batches, fry the chicken until it is beautifully brown and crispy on one side, about 15 minutes. 

5.  Turn and cook until a meat thermometer inserted into the meat registers 160 degrees, about 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

To make the waffles: 
1.  Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Whisk the eggnog, egg yolks and butter in another bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until combined; you don’t want the batter to be lumpy or too smooth— just right.

2.  Whisk the egg whites until almost stiff; fold them into the batter. 

3.  Heat a waffle iron. 

4.  Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour some of the batter into the middle of the iron, following manufacturer’s instructions. Close and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. 

5.  Repeat with the remaining batter. 

6.  Top the waffles with fried chicken, strawberry butter and maple syrup.