Meanwhile, make the waffle batter according to package directions. Add ¾ cup chopped peanuts to the batter, mixing well. Pour the batter onto a waffle maker set to medium-high and sprayed with nonstick pan spray. Bake until golden brown, about 4 minutes. To serve, place the fried chicken on top of the waffles and drizzle with the syrup mixture. Garnish with the remaining ½ cup chopped peanuts, cilantro, and butter.
KUNG PAO BRUSSELS SPROUTS (SERVES 5)
1 gallon canola oil for frying (can substitute peanut oil) 30 brussel sprouts, quartered Salt to taste 1 cup water ½ cup cornstarch ½ cup minced ginger 4 tablespoons minced garlic 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil 4 tablespoons sambal 1½ quarts soy sauce (Kikkoman preferred) Splash of rice vinegar 1 cup sugar 1 cup chopped Szechuan chiles (can substitute any chile) ½ cup chopped peanuts Heat the oil in a deep fryer until a candy thermometer reads 350°F. Carefully add the brussels sprouts to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. (Note: The brussels sprouts will pop, so stand back. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can roast the sprouts in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes instead.) Remove the sprouts from the oil and season with salt to taste. Make a slurry by adding the water to cornstarch until it is the consistency of heavy cream. For the kung pao sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, sweat the ginger and garlic in the grapeseed oil until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the sambal and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and chiles. (Note: Add water to balance out saltiness if needed.) Bring the mixture to a boil, then slowly add 1 cup of the slurry and simmer until the mixture coats the back of your spoon. Bring the mixture back to a boil, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature. To serve, toss the fried brussels sprouts in the kung pao sauce and place them on a serving platter. Garnish with the chopped peanuts.