The people are going to be up in arms after they see this.

I might have to hide from every born and bred southerner that I know.

In fact, I wouldn’t even be surprised if Emeril and Paula Deen come a-knocking.  And demand to know what’s what.

I won’t have any idea what to say.

I’ll probably have to offer them some tea mixed with Ambien.  It will be my only recourse.


People can be very protective of their fried chicken and waffles, you see.  And here I am.

A Yankee, of all people, who has never in her life had real serious fried chicken and waffles.

Doing all sorts of disastrous things to them.

For example.  I baked the chicken.  And spiced it up.  With some tepin chiles.  Those little red balls down there.  That’s them.  Ain’t they cute and innocuous looking.  Don’t be fooled.

They’re hot baby.  Damn hot.


And then I smothered it.  Neither in gravy nor tried and true maple syrup.  But in a juniper-infused pomegranate maple syrup.

I know you have no idea what juniper is.  I didn’t either until it arrived on my doorstep last week.

It’s a berry.  It tastes kind of like pine.  It’s beautiful when simmered with pomegranate juice for an hour and then mixed with maple syrup.  And that’s all you really need to know.


Okay so at this point you are asking yourself whether, during birthday week, I have drank so much tequila that I am now speaking in tongues.  Not so.

Here’s what happened.

MarxFoods invited me to participate in their Ridiculously Delicious challenge.  I said hands down absolutely yes.

So they sent me 8 random ingredients.  Most of which had weird unpronounceable names.


I could pronounce all of them.  Except for maybe the “szechuan” in szechuan peppercorns.  I’ve never really done well with that one even though every other Chinese take-out place in this city uses it in it’s name.  And that, my friends, is why I don’t eat Chinese take-out.  Excessive, I know.  But that’s how I roll.

My point is that they’re not the kind of ingredients that you find in your local supermarket.  Iranian saffron.  Coconut sugar.  Grains of paradise.  Dill pollen.

Those kinds of things.

And so when I saw this list of eight things.  I singled out the tepin chiles and juniper berries.  And thought to myself that I should make fried chicken and waffles.  No rhyme or reason other than that it just seemed like a good idea.  I didn’t even own a waffle iron before this.

But I followed my dreams.  And they led me here.  I now own a waffle iron and shall be eating these fried chicken and waffles for the next four days.  And damn.  I couldn’t be happier.

Picnik collage

Oven-Fried Tepin Chile Chicken and Waffles with a Juniper-Infused Pomegranate Maple Syrup
This classic southern dish gets an spicy sweet tart twist in this Spicy Oven-Fried Chicken and Waffles with Pomegranate Maple Syrup.
Yield: 5 servings
For the chicken
  • 2 cups cornflakes
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ – 1 tbsp tepin chiles (1 tbsp makes for a VERY hot piece of chicken)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1½ lb chicken thighs
  • 1 can evaporated milk
For the pomegranate maple syrup
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp crushed juniper berries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
For the waffles
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  1. For the chicken, preheat the oven to 400. In a food processor, process the cornflakes, thyme, paprika, chiles and salt until cornflakes and chiles are ground well.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Pour the evaporated milk into a shallow bowl. Pour the cornflake mix on to a plate and spread it out so that it’s even. Dip each chicken thigh, first in the milk, and then in the cornflake mix, pressing it on so that it sticks to the entire thigh. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  3. Put the baking sheet with all of the chicken on it in the oven.Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. For the syrup, in a small nonreactive pan, combine the pomegranate juice, sugar, juniper berries and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer until mixture has thickened to the consistency of a thick syrup, about 30-40 minutes. Pour into a bowl through a slotted spoon, removing the juniper berries. Allow to cool. Mix with maple syrup. Syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
  5. For the waffles, In a bowl, sift together the AP flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and the eggs are a light yellow. Add the milk, butter, and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the flour to the egg-yolk mixture and whisk to combine. Make sure not to overblend.
  7. In a third bowl, beat the egg whites using a hand mixer until they are stiff enough to form soft peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the waffle mix. Be sure not to overmix.
  8. Preheat your waffle iron per manufacturer’s instructions. Spray with cooking spray. Pour in as much batter as the instructions recommend, I used the full measuring cup that came with the waffle iron. Using a spatula, spread the batter out over the waffle grid. Close the waffle iron and cook per the manufacturer’s isntructions for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter.
  9. Top waffle with a piece of oven-fried chicken and smother it in juniper-infused pomegranate maple syrup.
Adapted from Very Culinary and Emeril Lagasse
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅕th of recipe


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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112 Responses to Oven-Fried Tepin Chile Chicken and Waffles with a Juniper-Infused Pomegranate Maple Syrup

  1. Simply Life says:

    wow, you are just so creative! can I live in your kitchen?

  2. Quite complex yet simple dish. The presentation with the waffles is fab!

  3. Eliana says:

    Joanne – I won’t show this to my husband. His mom is from the South and you’re right – he wouldn’t take it too well. I also won’t tell him that I think this rocks! Cuz I’m his wife and I’m “supposed to be on his side.” But you and I know what the deal is. This freakin rocks.

  4. Your creativity knows no bounds! I love this and will be looking for these chilies from now on!

  5. O.K., Miss “Mess With My Southern Culinary Roots”, is this your birthday week? If so, happy birthday–and, it’s supposed to be birthday “month”. Now, let me (Virginia born, bred and educated) critique this recipe. Do I know what a juniper berry is? Your bet your little “yankee heart”. I’ve got some in the spice cabinet–sooooo good with lamb. Yes, we from the south eat lamb. I’m putting this recipe on my “to do” list. When was the last time I had southern fried chicken (and it is the BEST)? It’s been so long I can’t even remember. Did I mention that I now live in “Rahm Emanual country” now? Not much fried chicken on Chicagoland menus.

    Y’all have a great celebration!


  6. girlichef says:

    Oh yeah, these are seriously amazing! I’ve never had the chicken and waffle combo, either…but always “meant” to! Great combo =)

  7. Julie says:

    How creative! I’ve never had chicken and waffles…just seems like too much for me !

  8. I LOVE your version of Chicken & Waffles! Again…I feel like it’s recipes like this one that keep cooking/food evolving! Super beautiful ingredients and flavors!

  9. Barbara says:

    Wow! You fussed. 🙂
    The waffles weren’t bad enough?
    And of course I know what juniper berries are. They make gin from them, after all!!

  10. Ty'sMommy says:

    To heck with Paula and Emeril.. I want these waffles!!!

  11. Shannon says:

    This looks amazing. I have had “true” chicken and waffles once, and while they are something special, I am more than willing to give yours a try.

  12. Sofia says:

    the title of this recipe alone is scary. so. much. going. on. GAH!

    have you been to buttermilk channel in bklyn? they make a fab chicken and waffle dish, i’m told. i’ve had other entrees there and it’s all delicious. must return stat. or make this at home!

  13. Lea Ann says:

    Good luck with the contest. Those waffles look beautiful and love the idea of the juniper infused syrup. I have some of those berries and would love to give that a try.

  14. Joanne says:

    I’ve never even heard of chicken and waffles … until now! You make it look so delicious, it makes me wonder who would want to eat chicken any other way? Bring it on.

  15. Danielle says:

    That looks and sounds delish! Happy Birthday!

  16. What a unique recipe – your images have both gotten me curious and tempted to try this.

  17. I love your titles with the super long titles. I know it has to be good!

  18. MM says:

    Ummm…pretty sure you’ll be forgiven. Just hand ’em a plate of this. I know I don’t hold anything against you. Chicken & waffles aren’t found in my part of the south. Actually, I only know about them through foodnetwork!

  19. Katerina says:

    I never tried waffles with chicken and I am not from South US so I have no such reservations. This sounds like a very intriguing combination and I would love to try it!

  20. Suman Singh says:

    WOW, what a are so creative in kitchen..kudos to you..thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! very tempting pics!

  21. janet says:

    Iranian saffron!! You lucky girl!!

    But waffles and chicken, wtf? Is this seriously a normal meal down South?

    The pomegranate maple syrup sounds delicious, though. 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what you make with the plantains, though. 🙂

  22. daphne says:

    chicken and waffles? now that’s a combination that i would like to taste!

  23. It is so exciting to discover unknown ingredients…I would definitely try the tepin chile & chicken for Mr Artichoke and would love to have the waffles with this very interesting Juniper syrup… such a strange name!

  24. Pia says:

    really delicious looking dish. Love it

    Cook Healthy

  25. Mo Diva says:

    whats the point of classic comfort dishes like chicken and waffles if you cant get a little JOANNE on them and make them fancy???
    Well done chica! Id totally eat this (and ask for 2nds)

  26. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
    You’ve covered all the bases here!

  27. Mary says:

    Another creative and original meal. This sounds wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  28. Beth says:

    You are so creative. Who would have thought of using the ingredients in that way? I’m sure Emeril and Paula Deen would be thrilled if they read this blog!

  29. Amy says:

    Dude. I am in awe of your creations. Wowza. Haley saw the picture and said “What is THAT?”…”That my sweet girl, is brilliance on a plate. Crazy weird. And I totally want a bite.” Screw being a doctor, you could be a food scientist. And inspired by me? LOL. Hardly, friend. But thanks for the nod 😀

  30. For get everything else, I just want to drink that maple syrup!!

  31. Eden says:

    you had me at waffles! I’m part belgian so the mention of waffles make my heart go flutter. Not bad for a first waffle iron christening!

  32. This looks like the chicken and waffles I want to eat! And it’s a little bit healthier (I think) so that means I can eat a little (and by little I mean a lot) more. Nom nom nom.

  33. You have definitely gone overboard on this one. I’m calling the Paula Deen “everything deep fried” hotline to report.

    I love serving meals with waffles, btw.

  34. I am a fellow Yankee who has never tried this before. Those waffles though, lordie, I could fall in love.

  35. That Girl says:

    You know what’s funny? I lived in the South and never heard about chicken and waffles until I moved to California!

  36. Catherine says:

    Sounds wonderful Joanne. For me, the hotter the pepper, the better! I would love to try tepin chiles!
    The pomegranate maple syrup sounds wonderful and really pulls the dish together. I am bookmarking this, I would love to try the chicken!

  37. Victoria says:

    If you’re not from the South, then I think it’s totally acceptable to bake your chicken, we’re outsiders anyway 🙂 You made good use of your random box of ingredients! And purchasing a waffle iron is an excellent plan. Now you can have waffles all the time!

  38. I don’t think these pictures can get any more gorgeous! It sounds so delicious! 🙂

  39. Sweet and hot is a great combination – applies to both food and humans:) This is a 5-star dish, you may be getting a call from KFC soon

  40. woa, this looks amazing! We have a favorite place in Houston to have chicken and waffles, but I never thought of making it at home. Looks like a perfect brunch to me.

  41. Chicken and of my favourite.Looks very tempting and a really creative dish!

  42. Holy! This looks delicious! Dude woman, I was all set to vote for my own entry and now you’ve made me rethink my vote! Oh, and truth be told, I had no idea what to do with those damn juniper berries. Still don’t.

  43. Megan says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t have a waffle iron before now! This looks awesome (except I’m a wimp with spicy food so I’d have to tone it down a bit)!

  44. RamblingTart says:

    Oh my goodness! In all my years living in the South I never once had fried chicken and waffles. I was clearly living in the wrong part of the country. This looks amazing. 🙂

  45. elra says:

    Oh wow! What a great flavor Joanne.

  46. Kristen says:

    That is simply an amazing combination, Joanne. Good for you!

  47. Megan says:

    Originally I am from Boston, turned Midwest Kansas girl. Although any of my pals who hail from the south all swear I still have a Boston accent (moved when I was 8 – I don’t hear it, oh well). The first time I saw a recipe for fried chicken and waffles was a Food Network feature in Brooklyn. I love this version you cooked up. If I am ever to try these, you had me at juniper- infused pomegranate syrup. Yum!

  48. Meesh says:

    I just had chicken and waffles for the first time last week, and I was blown away! They are amazing. This is so creative too. Well done.

  49. Loved the chicken and totally enjoyed the read!

  50. This hands-down wins the prize for the most creative recipe I have ever seen! If Emeril comes a-knockin’, it’s only because he’s going to want to shake your hand!

  51. Dawn says:

    I love your take on chikin’ an waffles!

  52. tigerfish says:

    The juniper berries look like wild blueberries 🙂 I have not tried fried chicken on waffles and don’t mind trying yours as my first!

  53. grace says:

    i won’t lie–i had no idea what juniper berries were until i read that the native americans used them as a contraceptive. after i learned that, i decided i didn’t want to eat them. you’ve made them seem awfully appealing though, and that’s coming from a true southerner. 🙂

  54. Chicken and waffles!!! You southern girl you!

    Hey, Joanne, I am close to a beta test of my new project. I would sure like your input before i get too deep. Could you email me your real email address

    [email protected]

  55. Kim says:

    I’ve never had chicken and waffles either, but I totally want to. I love that you went the spicy and sweet route with the tepin chile crust and the sweet pomegranate syrup. I know I could devour a plate of this right now!

  56. Holy cow Joanne. This recipe concept tops everything I’ve ever done. Wow wow wow! Why are you going to medical school? You should be a chef.



  57. sophia says:

    Christina told me about her dilemma with junipers, and the best I could tell her was that it goes well with meat!! Trust you to come up with this awesome recipe!

  58. Happy Birthday week! If it’s any consolation, I live in the south, and I’ve never had chicken and waffles. But, I’d love to try these! The juniper infused pomegranate and maple syrup sounds fantastic.

  59. I don’t know anything about chicken and waffles, other than the fact that it sounds like a weird combination. But you’ve sold me, my friend. Do you deliver?

  60. Julie says:

    are you FOR REAL with this recipe! like i wouldnt even know if this would be supposed to be for dinner or lunch or breakfast or every moment of my life haha. pure genius. you should totally try out for top chef man! the auditions are monday in nyc!!!

  61. As soon as I saw the title, I said “MARX FOOD!!!” I’m excited to try all of those ingredients… but I used two of the other ones for this round (see tomorrow’s post). Love your take on Chicken and Waffles! So much flavor!

  62. Pam says:

    Look how fancy you are! What a tasty combination of flavors and textures.

  63. I have no problem whatsoever with this version 🙂

  64. ann says:

    Joanne, you outdid yourself yet again! These truly look fantastic!

  65. Monet says:

    I would have been completely lost with juniper and tepin chiles. This is one of the reasons I love you! You take these food challenges on with ease. Your waffles look just amazing. I don’t think any southerner could complain. Thank you for sharing such a tempting meal! I hope you are doing well. Stay warm and enjoy the end of your week!

  66. Shauna says:

    Ooooh, girl! Such an incredible combination of flavors and textures.

  67. Bridgett says:

    Um, yes please! Could this be anymore inventive and delicious? Love it.

  68. Shanon says:

    i love corn flakes on chicken! totally a good fake out for the real deal fried chicken. i have to say i am not cultured enough to know what all these flavors would be like together (or separate), but it all sounds wonderful.

  69. MaryMoh says:

    Mmmm…love that piece of chicken. Looks so crunchy on the outside. Love that it’s baked.

  70. OohLookBel says:

    Love the red and white plate. And the waffles. And the chicken!

  71. Raina says:

    Wow Joanne! You are super creative to have come up with this. I would not have known what to do with any of those ingredients. I have seen chicken and waffles but never tried them. Yours sound incredible with the combo of spicey peppers and sweet pom maple syrup….delicious:)

  72. I think I need a waffle machine!!!

    Camila F.

  73. If i was eating this for the nest four days , i would be happy too!
    I have been wanting to lay my hands on Iranian saffron for all that i remember , must check it out @marx , ie if they have it online!
    They sure will be hot , coz there are these tiny peri peri i use for galinha cafreal , and even after de-seeding those babies, they are still hot , but amazing on flavor!
    I have a separate folder for all the bookmarks i carry from ur delicious creativity!

  74. wow, very interesting combination of flavours! TBH, I’ve never had waffles with fried chicken!

  75. chrysta says:

    Holy yum!!! this looks stunning! wow…I LOVE the flavors that you used. wow…amazing recipes and gorgeous photos..rock on!!

  76. Sippity Sup says:

    Bravo to Marx for bringing out the genius in you! This (reformed) southern boy delights in your wicked take on a classic… GREG

  77. I didn’t know fried chicken could have been served with waffles!!! What an innovative combination!

  78. I’ve never heard of the tepin chile, but I do love all things damn hot, so thanks for the introduction. And as MG is from the South himself, he thanks you as well in advance!

  79. Shannon says:

    oh man, killer entry! i just got my box at work, so i need to get brainstorming… eek!! u r awesome 🙂

  80. Ada says:

    What a gorgeous dish! I don’t know how you come up with these things, you are just so creative! Is it bad if I thought Juniper was a species of tree? lol.

  81. Nicole says:

    ok, that looks like heaven on a plate! Gonna be trying me some of that soon!

  82. Nadji says:

    Que de saveurs et quelle créativité.
    See soon

  83. Wow, you are so cool! I have never even heard of Tepin chilies until today. What a great meal you have made! I have been thinking I would like to try chicken and waffles one day – yours is out of the park!

  84. Maria says:

    I love juniper berries, gorgeous dish!

  85. Nicole, RD says:

    In Chicago there’s a restaurant called Chicken & Waffles – I want to go! I am so intrigued, as a Yankee myself. But oven-fried chicken? Say no more. Sold! And juniper sound DIVINE! All thing pine-y are right up my alley. Rosemary? Yes, please. And that waffle iron…welcome to the bright side, Joanne…welcome. Your carbohydrate intake just went up 20% overnight. 🙂

  86. oh oven fried chicken…come to mama! i need to get a waffle maker! 😀

  87. Peggy says:

    Oh wow girl! You have really outdone yourself this time! I must have this… now. For breakfast. Lunch. AND dinner. This sounds amazing.

  88. Cara says:

    I love your intuition! And I want to come play with you, in your kitchen, with all those crazy ingredients.

  89. Reeni says:

    I would totally be ok with eating these for four days – or even a week! You’ve taken chicken and waffles to a whole new level of deliciousness. I see lots more waffle creations in your (and our) future!

  90. Miriam says:

    For the record, I’m from Texas and I totally approve of what you’ve done to this food, it looks fabulous! And that’s coming from a vegetarian!! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  91. Love the ingenuity. I have never heard of tepin chilis. Great idea for all components of the recipe. Completely novel and a wonderful fresh take on an old staple – but, those two BETTER come a knockin’ at your door – as you know you otta fo’ sure try the traditional version, too, right?
    No excuse!

  92. Claudie says:

    Will vote! This is one incredibly bold recipe you’ve got 🙂 I love how you’ve combined the over-friend chicken with waffles. Would have never ever thought about it. But now, I’m tempted to try it out myself… If I manage to find all those interesting ingredients of course 🙂

  93. Happy Birthday!!

    I’ve always known about Chicken and waffles, but never had any interest in trying it. I’m happy to say that you’ve changed my mind. These sound amazing!

  94. Marisa says:

    Those chiles are so pretty! And I could totally get down with that sauce. Erm.. that’s if I can manage to scrape together the ingredients.

  95. Wow, very creative! Love what you did with the juniper berries, I always just grind them like pepper 🙁

  96. Wow! That is some amazing chicken and waffle dish. So creative. You have my vote! 😉

  97. marla says:

    Joanne, you had so much fun with this recipe. Your creativity always thrills me. Everything about this dish looks decadent and full of flavor. Corn flake crust? Love that! When are you opening a restaurant??

  98. Chris says:

    I’m from the south and have never seen chicken and waffles in real life, so you are safe from me. The peppers certainly caught my eye and I could have some fun with those beauties!

    Good luck on your run!

  99. sra says:

    Your blog swallowed my comment two times so I guess I’ll just go to the latest post – but I did want to say – Seshwan is how we pronounce it in India, or Sezshwan!

  100. Kerstin says:

    Oh wow, I LOVE this Joanne (of course, I’m also a Yankee, haha) – so creative!

  101. Simona says:

    A very creative recipe, as usual. I really like the idea of a juniper-infused pomegranate maple syrup (is that some kind of tongue twister that we are supposed to repeat ten times in ten seconds to get a tasting of your dish?). Good luck on the contes! Thanks for sending this to WHB.

  102. Candace says:

    Emeril and Paula only WISH they were as creative as you are. 🙂

    I’m from the south and you definitely have my vote. Where do you come up with these dishes? Delicious…absolutely delicious. Going to vote now. Best wishes!

  103. What a unique combo! I never had chicken and waffles before. I am heading over to Marxfoods to vote for you!

  104. Ridiculously delicious combination… I love that fried chicken and waffles combo… although it is a heart attack on a plate… yeah, I know. But you really bumped it up to another level… love the spicy addition and the pom syrup.. GREAT DISH!

  105. Donna Currie says:

    Interesting version of chicken and waffles. That box was an interesting combination, wasn’t it? So hard to decide, but you came up with something really nice! Good luck with the contest!

  106. crazy idea but it seems the sauce is what seems to bring the sweet and savoury together?

    lovely images

  107. Lori Lynn says:

    Love your style! Good luck in the contest!

  108. Andrew says:

    This looks astonishingly good.

  109. You are very very creative. Everything you make always looks wonderful

  110. Leslie Uhl says:

    I always love your writing and wit, as well as your creative cooking and photos! Juniper berries have always just been something to throw in for flavour, but I must make something with that juniper berry pomegranate sauce, it just sounds too interesting to pass up! Thanks!

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