Danielle's Chicken and Waffles

We all know that brunch is a GRFM specialty.  Chicken and Waffles is an iconic Southern, American dish, but this aint your mama's chicken and waffles, this new and improved.  This has everything you want in a good southern dish, but with a more refined twist.  First off my waffles are not just plain ol buttermilk waffles, they are buttermilk, cheddar, cornbread waffles! They are subtley cheesy, mildly sweet and the perfect texture.  They are crisp on the outside, but the club soda that is folded in the batter really gives them this wonderful airiness inside and the buttermilk of course gives them the perfect amount of moisture. The sweet and savory honey butter full of fresh thyme and honey just elevates the whole dish as it brings this very aromatic, floral note to the dish. The fried chicken is rather perfect if I do say so myself.  The combo of the rice flour and cornstarch along with the spices, gives the chicken the perfect, extra crispy, texture on the outside, just like your favorite fast food restaurant..but totally better.  Soaking the chicken in buttermilk and Harissa makes the meat so incredibly juicy and flavorful it almost explodes when you bite into it. How I recommend you eat this dish is, you need to eat each element of this dish all at once, in one big, messy, orgasmic bite. You need that fluffy, cheesy, corny waffle with that crispy, spicy, juicy fried chicken, the creamy, floral, salty honey butter and finally the sweet, sticky, delicious maple syrup...try not to drool on yourself there, I know you did. 

Ingredients- 

Fried Chicken

  1. 1  1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1/4 Cup Cornstarch
  3. 1/4 Cup Rice Flour 
  4. 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  5. 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt plus more to sprinkle on the finished fried chicken
  6. 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  7. 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  8. 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  9. 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Mustard
  10. 1/8 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper (or if you like spicy go for 1/3 teaspoon)
  11. 1/4 Teaspoon of Oregano 
  12. 1 Lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut lengthways so they are about 1  1/2 inches thick)- You can do this same recipe for chicken wings or any chicken pieces on the bone
  13. Harissa Paste (A spicy, savory pepper spread) You will use about 1 Tablespoon
  14. Buttermilk (enough to cover the chicken- about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  15. Canola Oil for frying

 

Steps-

  1. The night before you are serving up your fried chicken, you will want to do this step! When the chicken soaks in the buttermilk mixture overnight it is magical! 
  2. First you want to coat your cut chicken breasts in the Harissa paste using your hands (use gloves if you have them and don't touch your eyes!).  Make sure they are fully coated. 
  3. Stir together in a bowl the paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, ground mustard powder, cayenne and oregano. Sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the chicken that you tossed in the Harissa, set the rest of the spice mixture aside for later. Place the chicken in a sealable plastic container or a heavy duty ziplock bag.  Pour buttermilk over the chicken until it just covers the chicken.  
  4. Allow the chicken to sit no less than 4 hours but preferable overnight, it makes a huge difference. 
  5. The next day, fill a large dutch oven or large pot with canola oil.  You want enough oil where the chicken can be fully submerged. Heat the oil on the stove until it reaches about 360F, use an oil thermometer if you have one.  Remove the chicken from the fridge. Stir together the AP flour, rice flour, baking powder, cornstarch and the remaining spice mixture. Piece by piece, remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture and allow the excess to drip off.  Drop the chicken into the flour mixture in a sealable container or large ziploc bag. Toss to coat the chicken and then once all the chicken is coated, seal up the container or bag and shake to get the chickens really encrusted in the flora mixture. You can use your hands to press more flour onto the chicken if necessary. 
  6. Preheat your oven to 300F
  7. Fry a few pieces of chicken at a time until they are golden brown and crispy and fully cooked inside.  Remove form the oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan.  Sprinkle the finished chicken with salt. As you are frying the rest of the chicken, place the finished chicken thats on the rack into the oven to stay warm and crispy.  Keeping it on the rack will keep it from getting too oily and soggy. 

Cheddar Cornbread Waffles-

Ingredients-

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup cornmeal
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1  1/3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  8. 3 large eggs
  9. 1 cup buttermilk
  10. 1 cup club soda
  11. 1/3 cup canola oil

Steps-

  1. Sift together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in cheese. Combine eggs, buttermilk, and canola and gently stir into dry ingredients just until blended. Next with a rubber spatula gently fold in the club soda until fully combined.  
  2.  
  3. Heat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spray waffle iron with cooking spray.  Spoon batter onto preheated waffle iron. Cook 3-5 minutes or until crisp and golden brown and fully cooked on the inside. Repeat with remaining batter.
  4.  
  5. Transfer waffles to a baking sheet with a wire rack, and keep warm, uncovered, in the oven at 200° until ready to serve. Waffles can be frozen in zip-top freezer bags and reheated in oven or toaster oven or oven.
  6. For the chicken and waffles- For each person, place 2 waffles on each plate, top these waffles with a dollop of honey thyme butter, few pieces of fried chicken and then drizzle it all with some maple syrup :) 

Honey Thyme Butter-

  1. Salted Butter room temperature or softened until spreadable 
  2. Fresh Thyme
  3. Honey

Stir together the butter with some fresh thyme and a good amount of honey.  Taste it and adjust according to your preference! I love a good amount of honey and thyme in mine.