Tag Archives: chicken and waffles

Recipe Re(redux): Chicken and Waffles – Indian Style

31 Mar

If you didn’t get the memo yet – I love me some chicken and waffles.  After sampling straight from the source at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in Hollywood (verdict: good, in that traditional way that is well-executed but lacks a certain panache.  The fried chicken was very tasty but the waffle was somewhat reminiscent of a soggy scouring sponge – I prefer a little crispness) and experimenting a little at home, I consider my chops pretty solid.  Loyal reader will also be aware of my affinity for all things curried.  Combine those with a hungry Travis at midnight and you have yourself a recipe for a comfort food classic with a twist.

I stuck with the same base waffle recipe from my first crack at the dish (minus the pecans and brown sugar), but added about 3/4 of a teaspoon of Penzeys Sweet Curry Powder and a dash of Garam Masala. They turned out lightly crisped on the outside and wonderfully steamed and fluffy on the inside in a way that mimicked grilled naan bread in a serendipitously appropriate way.

For the chicken (this time boneless, skinless thighs), I went with a simple double dredging method (egg wash – flour – egg wash – flour) with the flour seasoned with salt, pepper, curry, garam masala, and garlic powder and pan fried them for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.

I couldn’t quite decide on salty or sweet for a syrup/sauce/gravy and ended up fudging a sweet and savory gravy from chicken stock thickened with roux, apricot preserves, sweet curry, cracked pepper and a dash of salt.  I managed meld the best of syrup and gravy to find a great balance that satisfied both ends of the flavor and texture spectra.

For a chicken and waffles and curry-head like myself – a pretty damn tasty meal thrown together in about 45 minutes on a whim.  A tasty second act awaits for lunch tomorrow as well.

Recipe Redux: Fried Chicken and Waffles

4 Jan

My first experience with fried chicken and waffles left me smitten.  In the interim, a beer-fueled Packers Sunday at a friend’s house has me on the home deep-frying train.  I decided to tweak my technique slightly this time and make a beer batter for the fried chicken thighs instead of breading them.  Batter-frying always seemed like something that necessitated a deep-fryer but it really is as simple as a saucepan and some hot oil.  And beer batter is as simple as a cup of flour, a 12oz beer and an egg (salt and pepper don’t hurt) whisked together.  I made my batter with Summit Brewing’s Unchained Series Batch 02 Scotch Ale with Heather which gave the batter a nice deep tan color.

I battered each thigh and fried on each side for a minute or two in vegetable oil over medium heat before I removed them, re-battered and finished for another 3-4 minutes on each side.  The waffle recipe was largely the same as before, this time with a little egg nog and French four spice (white pepper, ginger, clove and nutmeg).  I topped it all with a syrup of apricot preserves, orange juice and brown sugar.  The light crispness of the beer batter was a much better match for the waffles than the previous breading method.  We have another winner here, folks.

You never forget your first: Fried Chicken and Pecan Waffles with Apricot Syrup

13 Oct

Chicken and Waffles

The first time I heard about a culinary phenomenon called fried chicken and waffles, I must admit to being a little perplexed by the combination.  Sure, both things are great in their own right, but I wouldn’t think to pair them in a single meal.  This confusion is largely tied to my region of birth.  Chicken and waffles traces its roots to the soul food traditions of The South though its specific origin is somewhat murky.  One account has Thomas Jefferson bringing a waffle iron back to America from France in the 1790’s with the combination becoming commonplace shortly thereafter.  Others describe the dish as a delicacy stemming from mid-Nineteenth Century slave culture where both poultry and waffles would have been rare treats reserved for special occasions – a tradition commonly maintained by modern African American food culture as a special Sunday family meal.

The beauty of the dish lies in its versatility.  Another legend from the Wells Supper Club in Harlem spells its origins as a dish served to late night patrons who were too late for dinner but too early for breakfast.  I’ve always been a fan of breakfast for dinner as I love heart breakfast food, but rarely have the time or appetite to make or eat it in the morning.  As I mentioned in my earlier post on Curried French toast, my tolerance for sweet, bready breakfast foods is low, so the savoriness of the fried chicken plays a great foil for the sweeter waffle.  This was my first time making waffles from scratch and I must say they turned out amazing.  The pecans and apricot syrup proved to be a great match for the savoriness of the fried chicken.  This really is a meal that hits all the right spots, any time of day.

Dish: Fried Chicken and Pecan Waffles with Apricot Syrup

Ingredient Roll Call (Serves 4):

Fried Chicken –

  • 4 chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
  • ~1/2 cup all purpose flour, seasoned, for dredging
  • ~1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • enough vegetable/canola oil to coat a medium/large fry pan with ~.5cm layer

Waffles –

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp cornmeal (optional)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp granulated or brown sugar (I used 1 tsp of each)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • ~1/3 cup chopped pecans

Apricot Syrup

  • 4 tbsp apricot preserves
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ~1/3 cup water
  • dash of cinnamon

How I do it:

  1. Prepare chicken for frying by dipping in egg wash, then seasoned flour, again in the egg wash, and finally in the breadcrumbs, coating evenly
  2. Prepare waffle batter by combining flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl.  In another bowl whisk together egg yolks, milk and vanilla until combined.  In yet another bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks, add sugar, then whisk again to stiff peaks.  Slowly add milk/egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture, whisking lightly until most big clumps have been eliminated, then stirring in melted butter.  Finally, carefully fold in egg whites making sure not to over-stir.
  3. Prepare syrup by combining preserves, honey, sugar, water, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over high heat.  Mix together and boil for a couple of minutes until sugar is dissolved and liquid reduces to a syrup like consistency.  Set aside to cool.
  4. To make waffles, preheat waffle iron per its directions.  Lightly grease both surfaces with oil or spray and sprinkle a light coating of pecans over lower surface.  Add enough batter to fill lower mold (obviously, this will vary depending on your machine, but is likely between 3/4 cup and 1 1/2 cups per waffle as pictured above).  Cook waffles to preferred doneness, againm per the directions that come with your waffle iron.  I prefer mine dark golden brown with a healthy crisp outside and soft interior.
  5. While waffles are being made, heat oil in large frying pan over medium/medium-high heat.  Fry breaded chicken thighs until golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes on each side.
  6. Waffles and chicken can be kept warm on a wire rack in a 250 degree oven depending on how quickly they are made.
  7. To serve, butter a waffle, cover in syrup, then fried chicken, and more syrup.  Chow down.
  8. Extra waffles can easily be frozen for later consumption and keep and reheat really well. Just pop them in the toaster like you would a store-bought frozen waffle, except these are, you know, like way better.
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