I can’t even remember how long I have wanted to make chicken and waffles. Mainly because the one time I had chicken and waffles was at an event and they were terrible. A flat, dry boneless chicken breast over, what appeared to be, a frozen waffle. I knew I could do better, especially using my Grandmother’s fried chicken recipe. Unfortunately I don’t ever remember my Grandmother making this chicken for me but it was my Mom’s go to recipe. My Mom always told me she made her fried chicken just the way her Mom did. So, that’s the way I make it too. It’s easy, nothing really special like hours of brining or soaking in buttermilk but when it’s babied in the frying pan it’s fried chicken perfection. My family loves it. The crust is just crispy enough, but not so crispy that it’s hard to eat. The secret ingredient is chopped fresh Italian parsley added to the seasoned flour. My Mom only used Crisco shortening to fry her chicken in a frying pan. It’s how I make mine too. I use enough shortening that, when melted, is about an inch of liquid.
Let’s talk about the waffle now. We love waffles and a few years ago I asked for a waffle maker for Christmas. Not just any waffle maker but one that makes two waffles at a time. Well, much to my delight, I found a Cuisinart double waffle maker under the tree. That way I’m not eating breakfast (or dinner) alone. I had never made them at home so thankfully the waffle maker came with a booklet. I made the yeast waffles that could also be an overnight waffle, if you just wanted to make them for breakfast. If you’ve never had a yeast waffle, you’re missing out.
A little chicken and waffles history. The Pilgrims are credited with bringing waffles to America from Holland. The earliest American version of the dish appears in the 1600’s in Pennsylvania Dutch country. It was a waffle topped with shredded chicken and gravy. Thomas Jefferson is credited with starting a waffle craze after returning from France with a waffle iron in the 1790’s. Fried chicken and waffles is a soul food dish that has roots in Harlem. It quickly became popular among jazz musicians in New York.
You could certainly serve this dish without the pecan-honey glaze but I will say it’s a delicious accompaniment. Get the recipe here: Pecan-Honey Glaze. If there are nut sensitivities, serve with maple syrup, which would also be good.