While visiting Texas I bought a small bottle of jalapeno pepper jelly, which inspired me to try this recipe. It's like a kicked up Southern classic, and the syrup can be used as a dipping sauce for the chicken. —Debra Goforth, Newport, Tennessee
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- JALAPENO SYRUP:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped green pepper
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and quartered
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- Optional toppings: salsa, sliced avocadoes and fresh cilantro
- Flatten each chicken breast to 1/4-in. thickness. Place in a large resealable plastic bag. Add buttermilk and hot pepper sauce; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- In a small saucepan, combine all syrup ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; steep for 1 hour. Strain and discard peppers. Cover and refrigerate syrup until serving.
- In a large resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, cornmeal and seasonings. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Add chicken to flour mixture, one piece at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Drain on paper towels; keep warm.
- In a large bowl, combine the first six waffle ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, oil and egg until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in cheese.
- Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown. Serve with chicken, warmed syrup and, if desired, toppings. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Tex-Mex Chicken and Waffles in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2013, p187
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