When I moved to Portland, Ore., I began to see advertisements for chicken and waffles way more than I ever had living in the Midwest or in L.A. I think because Portland is known for its niche restaurants that might serve specific types of foods (like a bunch of different flavors macaroni and cheese or high-end southern comfort food, etc.).
The first time I ever saw chicken and waffles in person was when I went to Screen Door (“The best southern cuisine in Portland, OR”) with Gary and Julie and their kids. Gary ordered the chicken and waffles and Julie and I got to try them. Ever since I saw the impressive pile of fried chicken being carried out on top a sweet potato waffle (over and over and over again – because that’s’ what most people order for breakfast), I wanted to try making my own.
Last week my new waffle iron (one of those ‘flip’ ones) arrived in the mail and I was ready to get to work on making and eating chicken and waffles. I decided to pair a ‘spicy’ chicken breast with bacon waffles. Bacon makes everything better, right? Right.
spicy maple chicken ingredients.
- boneless, skinless chicken breast (approximately 1 lb)
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 1/4 c. maple syrup
- 1/4 c. Sriracha sauce
- 2 c. flour
- 1 tsp. ground red pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 c. ground pecans
- 2 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
- peanut oil
spicy maple chicken directions.
- Cut chicken into approximately three or four pieces, roughly the same size. You may have to split the breast in half, or butterfly it. I got one chicken breast that was more than a pound, cut off the smaller end of it and then butterflied the remaining piece and split that into two which yielded three pieces of chicken approximately the same size. If necessary, pound the chicken flat at its thickest point (using a meat tenderizer) so the chicken will cook more evenly.
- Mix the buttermilk, maple syrup and Sriracha sauce together and let the chicken marinate in the liquid for at least four hours. Overnight is better. You can do this in a plastic bag. I threw mine in a glass baking dish big enough to allow the chicken pieces to lay flat without touching and flipped the pieces of chicken over every couple of hours.
- When you’re ready to fry, assemble two pie plates with the following mixes: flour, salt and ground red pepper (mixed to evenly combine) and panko, pecans and crushed red chili flakes (mixed to evenly combine).
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (Or use your deep fryer!)
- Dredge chicken in the flour mixture, then back in the buttermilk, then in the bread crumb mixture. Let dry on a rack for 20 minutes. (I skipped this step.)
- Fry chicken in oil until golden. Season with salt, if desired. Place on a rack in a pan to let the oil drain before assembling. Do not place on paper towels or the coating will get soggy (and fall off the chicken). Once the chicken has cooled slightly, place on top a bacon belgium waffle. Serve with maple syrup, additional bacon pieces and powdered sugar.
bacon waffle ingredients.
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3 eggs, separated
- 6 T. butter
- 2 c. buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 8 strips bacon, crumbled
bacon waffle directions.
- Heat your waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions. Melt butter, set aside. Separate eggs, set aside.
- Sift together dry ingredients (flour, salt, brown sugar, soda, baking powder) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla. Pour wet mixture into dry and combine. Incorporate crumbled bacon into mixture.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, but don’t over beat. Fold gently into the batter.
- Spoon enough batter into the iron as called for in the manufacturer’s direction (a soup ladles worth worked for me) and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp and browned on top. Keep in a warmed oven until ready to serve.
My waffle iron directions advise not to stack the waffles before serving as this makes them soggy. I spread my waffles out on a cookie rack. They still got soggy. You need to assemble/eat the waffle immediately! As soon as it starts to sit it gets soggy. So you’ll want to start cooking your waffle when you have your chicken frying.
To make an impressive-looking dish, stack three or four pieces of chicken on top one waffle that’s been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Add some crumbled bacon pieces and stick a knife through the chicken so it’s sticking out the top of the chicken (vertically). Serve with maple syrup drizzled on top (or just on the side).
In reality, one piece of chicken is more than enough for one waffle. Who the hell needs three huge pieces of chicken for one waffle? You might even need two waffles for one piece of chicken, depending on how big your pieces of chicken are.