Chicken and Waffles

We’ve been talking about making chicken and waffles for ages but were inhibited by one crucial factor…the lack of a waffle maker. We were spurred to action when we saw chicken and waffles on the menu of a local restaurant for $25 and decided that we could buy an inexpensive waffle maker AND make the chicken and waffles for almost the same price. The got us over the hurdle of populating our small kitchen with another appliance and opened the door to many waffle dalliances in the future…starting with chicken and waffles. This was my first time having C&W and it was amazing. The fried chicken that we made (using a process that I found on Serious Eats) yielded the most juicy, flavorful and crisp fried chicken that I’ve ever tasted. The succulent chicken perched atop fluffy waffles that we drizzled with syrup to create a savory/sweet experience that was worth waiting for. Buy yourself a waffle make and try making some chicken and waffles!

Katryn’s Wine Pairing: Evolution Sparkling Wine
Rating: 9.0 out of 10.0

Chicken & Waffles is tricky to pair with wine because, well, who drinks wine with Chicken & Waffles. HOWEVER, after much discussion and deliberation we settled on a sparkling wine as a nod to the brunchy feel of waffles. It was amazing! The light, dry, and citrusy wine cut through the rich and savory meal while providing a complementary note of honeysuckle that tied it all together. This wine actually beat the beer pairing. I would definitely buy this wine again!

Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Indian Brown Dark IPA
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.0

This beer is an interesting mix between a brown ale and an IPA which happens to be the perfect blend for a meal like chicken and waffles. Hoppy bitterness to cut through the rich salty, fatty goodness of the fried chicken and sweet malty and chocolate flavors to compliment the waffles and syrup… a match made in heaven.

Fried Chicken

Adapted from this recipe and this recipe

Ingredients

2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
Kosher salt
One whole chicken, about 4 pounds, cut into 10 pieces or 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on breasts, legs, drumsticks, and/or wings
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 cups vegetable shortening or peanut oil

Directions

1. Combine the paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne in a small bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork.
2. Whisk the buttermilk, egg, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss and turn to coat. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a gallon-sized zipper-lock freezer bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight, flipping the bag occasionally to redistribute the contents and coat the chicken evenly.
3. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and the remaining spice mixture in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the marinade from the zipper-lock bag and work it into the flour with your fingertips. Remove one piece of chicken from the bag, allowing excess buttermilk to drip off, drop the chicken into the flour mixture, and toss to coat. Continue adding chicken pieces to the flour mixture one at a time until they are all in the bowl. Toss the chicken until every piece is thoroughly coated, pressing with your hands to get the flour to adhere in a thick layer.
4. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil.
5. Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer than white meat. It should take dark meat about 13 to 14 minutes, white meat around 8 to 10 minutes.

Belgian Waffles:

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 large eggs
Vegetable oil for waffle iron

Directions

1. Put oven rack in middle position and put a large metal cooling rack directly on it. Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
3. Whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs in another bowl, then whisk into flour mixture until just combined.
4. Brush hot waffle iron lightly with vegetable oil and pour a slightly rounded 1/2 cup of batter into each waffle mold (see cooks’ note, below). Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer as cooked to rack in oven to keep warm, keeping waffles in 1 layer to stay crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.

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