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Kids in the Kitchen

Sweet-and-Crispy Chicken and Waffles

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For kid cooks, this quick-and-easy version rivals the Southern classic!

Quick-and-Easy Chicken and Waffles

Prep time: 10 minutes

Baking time: 12 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Makes: 6 sticks

Sweet-and-Crispy Chicken and Waffles

Quick-and-Easy Chicken and Waffles

Prep time: 10 minutes

Baking time: 12 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Makes: 6 sticks

Several years ago, I had to prepare a Southern fried chicken and waffles recipe for a cookbook I was writing.

Real Southern fried chicken—drumsticks and thighs seasoned with salt and pepper, dredged in flour, and deep-fried to perfection—is a heavenly dish. But it’s labor intensive—even before you get to the homemade buttermilk waffles! Nevertheless, my kids went wild for the dish and asked me to make it over and over again.

My solution? These breaded and baked chicken nuggets and mini-waffles on a stick with maple syrup or honey for dipping. You can serve these tasty bites for lunch or dinner, with applesauce, carrot sticks, or cherry tomatoes. For dessert, try grapes or orange wedges, but chocolate brownies would arguably turn this into the most kid-friendly meal on the planet!

What You’ll Need
  • 1 (8-ounce) box frozen chicken nuggets (about 18 nuggets)
  • 5 home-style frozen waffles pre-cut into quarters, or 5 full-sized waffles you can divide into quarters at home
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Bamboo skewers with rounded edges
What to Do
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Let your helper line a baking sheet with parchment paper, unwrap the chicken nuggets, and place them onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake according to package directions—typically 12 minutes to bake. You can microwave them, but they won’t be crunchy.
    Teachable Moment: The Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg? Question Answered
    • Over the years, leaders in every field have suggested answers to this well-known conundrum. For example, the Biblical view suggests that the first chicken did not come from an egg and there was, simply, a first chicken.
    • On the other hand, the Darwinian view suggests that species evolve over time, thus chickens had ancestors that were not chickens.
    • And astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson distilled it this way: “Which came first: the chicken or the egg? The egg—laid by a bird that was not a chicken.” Still undecided? You can always read more on the topic, or check out this video.
  4. Toast waffles in a toaster or toaster oven. Next, invite your child to tear each pre-cut waffle into four pieces—or you can cut the larger waffles with a knife.
  5. Allow nuggets to cool and then show your child how to thread the chicken and waffle onto the bamboo sticks in an alternating pattern, with 3 nuggets and 3 waffles per stick.
    Teachable Moment: 4 Fascinating Facts About Matilda, a Famous Chicken
    • In 2004, Matilda the Dancing Chicken was the first of her kind to be crowned the oldest living chicken by the Guinness Book of Records.
    • Matilda was 14 when she won the title, but went on to live another happy and healthy two years with her owners, Keith and Donna Barton of Bessemer, Alabama.
    • When Matilda died, she had lived twice as long as other chickens. The average lifespan for a chicken is 7or 8 years.
    • No one knows for sure why Matilda lived as long as she did. But many speculate that never producing any eggs was a significant contributing factor.
  6. Serve with maple syrup or honey for a dipping sauce. Or if you have kids who like ketchup on everything, now’s a good time to bring it out.