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.
For the Fried Chicken;
- 4 Chicken breasts, skin-on, bone-in
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Crisco shortening (not oil), for frying
For the Waffles:
- ½ cup lukewarm (105°F) water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 yeast packet)
- 2 cups whole milk, warmed (about 105°F)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- For the Fried Chicken:
- Melt Crisco, over medium-high heat, in large frying pan so there is about an inch of liquid once melted.
- On a piece of waxed paper or a plate combine the flour, parsley, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl combine the eggs and water and beat lightly.
- Dip chicken in egg then dredge in seasoned flour and gently place in hot frying pan, skin side down. Fry, skin side down, for 10 minutes, to set coating, then turn to set coating on other side. Turn chicken frequently throughout frying so as not to burn coating. Manipulate the chicken breast so all sides are browned and cooked. Cooking time is 45 minutes to an hour until juices run clear and there is no pink in thickest part of the breast.
- For the Waffles:
- At least 8 hours before baking, combine the warm water, sugar and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes, until foamy. Stir in the warm milk, melted butter and salt. Beat in the flour until smooth; this can be done with a hand mixer on low speed.
- Wrap bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand 8 hours on the countertop; do not refrigerate.
- When ready to bake, preheat waffle maker according to manufacture's directions.
- While the waffle maker is preheating, stir the eggs, vanilla extract and baking soda into the batter. Using a measuring cup pour batter onto waffle maker. Use a heat proof spatula to spread batter evenly over grids. Close cover and cook according to manufacture's directions. When cooked, remove waffle and repeat with remaining batter. To keep waffles warm place on a rack over a baking sheet in a warm oven (200°F).
- When ready to serve place waffle on plate, top with fried chicken and honey pecan sauce.
Freeze extra waffles for breakfast. Reheat in a toaster.
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