First of all, of course a hot sauce named “Chicken & Waffles” should be absolutely delicious on a plate of chicken and waffles. That might be more meta than my taste buds can handle but I’m going to have to try it! (After all, my “Hot Apple Pie” hot sauce was epic on actual hot apple pie with ice cream.)
But the goal here was to actually make a sauce that all on its own would taste about as close to chicken and waffles with syrup and hot sauce as I could make it. It took a couple attempts till I was satisfied and felt I had built a complex sweet & savory flavor profile reminiscent of the iconic meal.
Now, nothing can replace the real mccoy, but I love the flavor profile of this sauce and adding it to other things. It’s been amazing on wings, eggs, on a sausage-egg-cheese slider, and a friend said it was insanely good on a quesadilla! (I wouldn’t have thought of that one.) I actually tried it on pizza and loved it. (Bit similar effect as the increasingly popular fermented honey garlic on pizza.)
Last thing I’ll say is that this is a vinegar sauce, not fermented. The great thing about this is the sauce can be ready in an hour, not weeks or months. Since the popular hot sauce for chicken and waffles is Tabasco, which contains a fair amount of vinegar, I aimed for a semblance to this flavor. I didn’t use tabasco peppers but they would be a great choice. And of course, you could still ferment your peppers in addition to or instead of going the vinegar route. I’ll leave it to you to decide!
And now, for the recipe…
This recipe will yield between 25-30 fl. oz. of sauce, just a tad over 5 woozy bottles.
You will need:
- Saucepan and wooden spoon
- Knife & cutting board
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Kitchen gloves (for handling hot peppers)
- If bottling: bottling funnel
- 1 lb. hot peppers (I used 2/3 lb. red jalapenos and 1/3 lb. red habaneros), stems and seeds removed
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 TBSP vegan oil-free bouillon
- 2 TBSP brown sugar
- 1.5 TBSP vanilla extract
- 1/2 TBSP cayenne powder
- 1 tsp pink or rainbow peppercorns, ground
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp turmeric, ground
- 1/4 tsp thyme, ground
1.) Combine all the dry spices in saucepan (excludes the bouillon and brown sugar). Toast them slightly on a low heat for about one minute, stirring constantly. Transfer to the blender.
2.) Combine the vinegar and vegan bouillon in the saucepan and bring to high heat. Stir until bouillon is fully dissolved. Transfer to blender.
3.) Add the peppers, maple syrup, brown sugar and vanilla to the blender and blend on high for 2-3 minutes.
4.) Transfer the sauce to the saucepan and bring to a low boil, occasionally stirring. Then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. (If you are just home hobbying and not bottling the sauces with pasteurizing, I recommend simmering another ten minutes.)
5.) Return the sauce to the blender and blend on high for 5-10 minutes, pulsing occasionally, until the sauce has an extremely smooth consistency.
6.) Bottle or otherwise store the sauce in containers with little headspace. If bottling, you are suggested to sanitize the bottles (with something like One Step), fill them with sauce using the bottling funnel, then water bath at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. (Thermometer)
If you make your own spin on this, please share on the Insane in the Brine Facebook Group!
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