- 1 quart vegetable oil
- 1/2 bunch kale
- 2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 2 cups finely chopped bell pepper
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped jalapeno
- Nonstick cooking spray
HOT BBQ CHICKEN:
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup Memphis-style barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup sriracha
- 8 cups shredded smoked or roasted chicken
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Pepper sauce or hot sauce, for serving
Special equipment: a waffle iron (optional)
For the kale: Heat the oil in large skillet to 350 degrees F. Tear or cut the kale into large pieces and wash and dry thoroughly on paper towels. Drop a few pieces of kale at a time into the hot oil (be careful of oil splatters) and allow to fry 10 to 15 seconds on each side. Gently remove from the oil and let drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with some salt while hot.
For the hushpuppy waffles: Mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk, butter and 1/4 cup water and mix well. Fold in the bell pepper, Cheddar, onion and jalapeno, adding more water if necessary to thin the batter to the proper consistency; it should be like a chunky muffin batter.
Spray a waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray and preheat it. Scoop 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the batter into the waffle iron and cook until done, about 4 minutes. Time and batter volume will vary depending on your waffle maker. Repeat with the remaining batter. Cut the waffles into wedges. If you don't have a waffle iron, you can make a hushpuppy pancake on a griddle instead.
For the hot BBQ chicken: Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Whisk the flour into the butter, mixing well, and cook, stirring constantly, until a roux is formed. Whisk in the chicken broth and cook, whisking constantly, until all the broth is incorporated and the mixture reaches a creamy (not pasty) consistency. Remove from the heat and add the barbecue sauce and sriracha. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Return to the heat if needed to heat the chicken through.
For the sandwiches: Place a heaping mound of the hot BBQ chicken on each waffle wedge. Place a few pieces of the fried kale on the chicken, sprinkle with some bacon and a dash of pepper sauce. Serve immediately.