Abigaile | Chicken & Waffles

Abigaile is hands down my favorite place for brunch.  With their bottomless mimosa right across the street from the Hermosa Beach pier, what is there not to like? My favorite dish, and also one of their most unique dish, is the chicken and waffles. The buttermilk waffles are crispy on the outside, but fluffy on the inside.  The fried chicken is not oily at all, but still very crunchy.  What is not to like about the BEST chicken and waffles? (Sorry Roscoe’s!) Recreate this healthier version of this brunch or late night classic.


  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • One 3 1/2 pound whole free-range chicken boneless breast cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 4 cups peanut oil or other vegetable oil as needed, for frying
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • One 1-inch piece of vanilla bean
  • 12 tablesppoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups organic maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • One 1-inch scraped vanilla bean pod (from the Whipped Vanilla Butter above)


  • In a small bowl, combine together the buttermilk, hot sauce, sugar, the 1 tablespoon salt and paprika.  Add the garlic.
  • Transfer this mixture to a gallon-size resealable plastic food storage bag.  Add the chicken pieces to the bag, seal, and refrigerate.
  • Allow the chicken to marinate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  • Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and set it aside.
  • In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, allowing the excess to drain off, and then dredge them in the flour.  Set the coated pieces on the wire rack until ready to fry.
  • Pour the oil to a depth of 1 inch in a 10-inch cast iron skillet.  Heat the oil over high heat to 350F.
  • Fry the chicken, in batches, until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side.  As the pieces are cooked, transfer them to a paper towel-lined platter.
  • Combine the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  • In a second medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Add the all the ingredients together and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Whisk in the melted butter.
  • Heat an oiled waffle iron.
  • Pour the appropriate amount of batter (according to the size of your waffle iron) onto the hot griddle, and cook until crisped and golden brown to your liking.
  • Transfer the waffle to a serving plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a small bowl.
  • Reserve the scraped pod for the Black Pepper Maple Syrup.
  • Add the butter and salt to the bowl, and whip with a handheld electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Transfer the butter to a small container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from the heat and allow the flavors to steep until ready to serve.
  • Remove the vanilla bean before serving if desired.