Monday marked the first day my wife went back to work in earnest. The company she works for is pretty cool and let her work from home her first week back, and I’m glad they did. I still got to slack off on night time duties and be a full time day support dad. But it has shifted to more of a dual party responsibility, even though she still does the bulls share. But holy cow, I vaguely remember that sleep thing.
Needless to say, every week is a good week for some comfort food with that going down. A nice hearty meal before bedtime easies the no-sleep pain.
The first time someone suggested fried chicken and waffles to me it sounded silly. Why do you need to throw waffles in the mix? Fried chicken is good enough to take center stage on it’s own. Anthony Bourdain agrees with that sentiment and saves all his room for exotic cheeses. While I recently tried an exotic cheese — made from cows only fed certain grass in a specific region of France — it smelled and tasted like it was forgotten in the corner of a shed buried under a moldy tarp. Like, “Hey, we found this old cheese, might as well say its fancy and sell it.” Not a fan.
I tend to save room for sweets, and I have the midsection to prove it. Naturally, waffles with fried chicken were right up my alley.
I went fully homemade with the waffles for the first time for the sake of being authentic, and they turned out amazing. I have always been a fan of simple Bisquick waffles, but I am forever changed now. Crispy on the outside, moist and fluffy on the inside, a real Belgian waffle can’t be beat. It only takes fractions longer to make, so there is nothing stopping you.
4 drumsticks, 4 thighs (Bulk chicken drumsticks and thighs are pretty cheap. Freeze what you don’t use and save some money)
1 cup buttermilk
2 or so cups all-purpose flour for coating
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
1. Put the flour in a large plastic bag (let the amount of chicken you are cooking dictate the amount of flour you use). Season the flour with paprika, salt and pepper to taste (paprika helps brown the chicken).
2. Dip chicken pieces in buttermilk then, a few at a time, put them in the bag with the flour, seal the bag and shake to coat well. Place the coated chicken on a cookie sheet or tray and cover with a clean dish towel or waxed paper. Let them sit until the mixture is at a paste like consistency.
3. Fill a large skillet (cast iron is best) about 1/3 to 1/2 full with vegetable oil. Heat until very hot. Put in as many chicken pieces as the skillet can hold. Brown the chicken in hot oil on both sides. When browned, reduce heat and cover skillet; let cook for 30 minutes (the chicken will be cooked through but not crispy). Remove cover, raise heat again and continue to fry until crispy.
4. Drain the fried chicken on paper towels. Depending on how much chicken you have, you may have to fry in a few shifts. Keep the finished chicken in a slightly warm oven while preparing the rest.
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Oil the waffle maker and sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. In another bowl, separate egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form. (save the yolks)
3. In a third bowl, mix together the egg yolks, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir slightly.
4. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in egg whites, then cook in waffle iron on medium-high heat for around 5-10 minutes.