These punched-up chicken and waffle sliders are bite-sized packages of crispy, smoky, cheesy heaven.
Pretzel Crusted Chicken and Cheddar Waffle Sliders with Bacon Jam

Oh yes.  They’re here.

All week, we’ve been leading up to this big, big moment.  A big moment for the big game.  Your ultimate Super Bowl snack.

We started with these Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites.

We threw in this Bacon Jam.

We teased you with this sneak peek:

Pretzel Crusted Chicken and Cheddar Waffle Sliders with Bacon Jam

Now, FINALLY, we put them all together with cheese and carbs (or as Jim Gaffigan would say, “something…elegant”) and it made our wildest dreams come true.

Behold our chicken and waffle slider.  Or, to be more specific, our pretzel-crusted chicken and cheddar waffle slider with bacon jam and jalapenos.  Or, you know, crack.

I can’t even explain how happy these made me.

Well, first, let me back up and apologize to anyone who has been rolling their eyes at our Super Bowl snack theme this week.  I totally understand that there are many people who aren’t into football, or who prefer college to NFL, or who have issues with the personal behavior of many players, etc.  Totally get it.  BUT I think what most people can agree on is snacks are fun, and it’s cool to hang out with friends and munch a little and drink some beer.  You guys are all welcome to this party.  And the reason I bring that up is because these little bites deserve to be shared all year round, for all sorts of occasions.  Birthday?  Yes.  Graduation?  Yes.  Retirement?  Yes.  Celebration of losing 100 pounds?  Umm…okay maybe not that one.  (Good job anyway!)

They’re that good.  Hate to toot my own horn, but I’m gonna, but ONLY because I really think you owe it to yourself to eat them.

The whole chicken-and-waffles scene seems to have exploded in recent years, and now they’re on pretty much any brunch menu in Houston.  And I love me some chicken and waffles, but these are different, and not just because they’re mini and adorable. They’re different because each part is kicked up notch.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken and Cheddar Waffle Sliders with Bacon JamThe chicken: did I mention pretzel crusted?  We took our already-snackable chicken bites and introduced them to some other super fun folks. Like our smoky, slightly spicy bacon jam, which is perfect on literally anything (…yup, literally), but goes particularly well with this dish.  Like some pickled jalapenos for a punch of both freshness and heat in your mouth.  And like some tender, crispy cheddar cheese waffles.

Biting into the whole package is the best way to celebrate a touchdown, or to move past the pain of a fumble.  (Or to ignore the football game and just have a really good time eating a sandwich.)

You can find detailed instructions on making the chicken here and the bacon jam here.  The waffles are a new addition to our blog, and it’s been legitimately hard to keep them to myself this long.  They would be so good in so many ways: a bacon and egg sandwich, smothered in chili, or just straight up with a little butter.  I made them with an entire cup of cheese, which might sound excessive, but trust me and do it.  I might be crazy, but I know waffles.  (Side note, as you might be aware, our dog’s name is Waffles, and every time I call her — every single gosh-darn time — I get a craving for breakfast food.  In other news, I’m always hungry.)

If you’re making snacks ahead of time, these will work perfectly for you.  The bacon jam will keep in the fridge for a solid week – just warm it up a little before use.  The chicken will stay nice and crunchy for a couple hours at room temperature.  The waffles you can make right before people arrive and then keep warm in the oven on an oven rack (but not a baking sheet – they’ll get soft).  You can even make the waffles a day ahead of time and reheat them in the toaster.  Then just assemble when you’re ready for festivities to start.

So do yourself a favor.  Make yourself happy.  (Heck, it’ll make me happy!)  Make these sliders.  Also drink a beer and spend time with friends and watch football and all that.  But most of all…make these sliders.

Waffle recipe adapted from Aretha Frankenstein’s Waffles of Insane Greatness.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken and Cheddar Waffle Sliders with Bacon Jam

Pretzel Crusted Chicken and Cheddar Waffle Sliders with Bacon Jam - Bite sized packages of crispy, smoky, cheesy heaven.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken and Cheddar Waffle Sliders with Bacon Jam
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Bite-sized packages of crispy, smoky, cheesy heaven.
Serves: About 12 appetizers
Ingredients
  • One batch of Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites
  • One batch of Bacon Jam
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk (if unavailable, substitute regular milk)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Pickled jalapenos, for garnish.
Instructions
  1. Prepare the Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites and Bacon Jam according to their recipes. I recommend making the bacon jam the day before to streamline, then warming it up a little before use. The prepared chicken can sit at room temperature for a couple hours (do not refrigerate, or it will lose its crunch). Or you can prepare your chicken while the waffle batter sits in step 5.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the buttermilk, milk, oil or butter, and egg. Whisk just until combined.
  4. Add the cheese and stir gently.
  5. Let the waffle batter sit for 30 minutes. Do not skip this step! It lets the cornstarch work its magic to make the waffles crispy.
  6. A few minutes before you're ready to cook the waffles, preheat your waffle iron to medium high. When hot, spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Cook the waffle batter in your iron until crispy.
  8. Cut waffles into bite-sized pieces (exact proportions will depend on the size and shape of your waffle iron).
  9. Layer one piece of waffle with bacon jam, a piece of chicken, and a couple pickled jalapenos. Top with another piece of waffle. If the sliders are unstable, you can hold them together with toothpicks.
  10. Serve and enjoy.
Notes
Prep and cook time includes cooking the chicken. It does not include making the bacon jam, which I recommend doing the day before.

Waffles can be kept warm and crispy by holding them in a 200 degree oven on an oven rack. They also reheat well in the toaster. You can freeze any leftovers in a ziplock bag for several weeks.

The recipe for Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites is adapted from Fine Cooking.

The recipe for Bacon Jam is adapted from Homesick Texan.

The recipe for the cheddar waffles is adapted from Aretha Frankenstein's Waffles of Insane Greatness.

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