Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Deep-Fried Hug: Savory Chicken 'n Waffles

I have to admit, chicken and waffles has never really been on the top of my bucket list, food-wise.

I don't really know why. I don't think it'd be bad, it just never really got me going like other types of soul food (the amount of mac 'n cheese I eat is somewhat ungodly).

Remember this?

Justin is the opposite on this particular dish. He decided that tonight he was going to fry up some chicken thighs, whip up some waffles with his mom's *borrowed* Belgian waffle iron, and somehow make it all come together.

This is where Justin and I part on certain cooking habits. He's much more adventuresome than I am. To be honest, even though I'm the blogger in the family, I have a habit of burning things much more than my husband.

When bacon burns, the whole world burns with it.

I like cooking classic dishes and making them my own, whereas Justin is always talking about purple grape gastriques and curry-and-honey roasted pistachios (which, by the way, taste ridiculously amazing).

So when Justin started on about chicken and waffles, obviously I was on board. When he has an idea, it's a good plan to let him go with it.

And this was the result:

Pure. Awesome. In my mouth.

Crunchy, perfectly seasoned chicken, crispy warm waffles, a honey-mustard-spicy sauce, creamy American cheese … kind of like a deep-fried hug.

Ok, enough. I'll skip to the details:

2 lbs chicken thighs, bone-in, skinless
American cheese slices (we used Velveeta)

For the marinade:
1 cup buttermilk
4 sprigs thyme
4-5 cloves whole garlic
1 tbsp hot sauce

For the breading:
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt

For the sauce:
1 tsp chipotle mayo (mayo + chopped chipotle and adobo)
2 tsp Dijon
2 tsp honey
2 dashes hot sauce


1. Combine the ingredients for the marinade. Take the skin off the chicken if there is any, then dunk it in the marinade. Let it sit in the marinade for 4 hours or more.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and heat up either a deep fryer or a pan with a couple inches of oil.

2. Combine the ingredients for the breading. Drain off the chicken and dredge in the breading.
3. Fry up the chicken until golden brown, about 4 minutes in a deep fryer, a few minutes per side for a pan fry.
4. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and put in the oven for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make the waffles: We used just a basic pancake mix and used a Belgian waffle iron -- this tool makes for a crispier, crunchier waffle. Cook up the waffles, lay on some American cheese, and pop in the oven with the chicken when you have a couple minutes left.
6. Prepare the sauce: combine all ingredients.
7. To plate: lay down the cheesy waffle, top with some chicken, then drizzle on the sauce.



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