Southern Style Chicken and Waffles

Chicken & Waffles   I just finished a wonderful Kid’s Cooking Camp with a Chef who really knows kids and how to engage them in the kitchen!  We have had the pleasure of meeting inspiring chefs, creative cooks, and...

Chicken & Waffles
Chicken & Waffles

 

I just finished a wonderful Kid’s Cooking Camp with a Chef who really knows kids and how to engage them in the kitchen!  We have had the pleasure of meeting inspiring chefs, creative cooks, and some kids with knife skills that would impress many an adult.   Some of the recipes we created and updated will follow in these next few blogs as we had so many successes this week.   As we reside in Georgia and Chef Elizabeth Weaver is a Fourth Generation Marietta Gal, we are all about Southern Recipes. You can find Elizabeth at www.MyElizabethsEdibles.com.  She is a true inspiration in the kitchen.

In reviewing a week of recipes framed as Morning, Noon and Night as we created Breakfast options, lunch choices and dinner entrees, I have to start with the one that got our team’s attention in Chicken and Waffles.   We served this on completion day and each aspiring chef on our team walked away with a wonderful new Le Creuset Stainless Steel fry pan as their prize.  Our partners in Le Creuset were our sponsors for this fabulous Kid’s Camp within the Cooks Warehouse Cooking School.

The recipe is all about building flavors and I promise this is worth the steps to make a memorable dish for family and friends!   The kids could not stop raving about this dish all week long.   Chef Elizabeth deconstructed this recipe from the traditional Southern Fried Chicken A Top Waffles and added some  kid friendly ingredients in Chicken Fingers and flavors in the Spicy Maple Butter that will make this dish memorable and enjoyable for many ages and tastes.  The savory waffle creates an interesting base for this surprising dish!

Chicken Fingers as one of the stars:

Chicken Fingers
Chicken Fingers

Crunchy Chicken and Scallion Waffles

Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 pound boneless chicken tenders
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion

Chicken Dredging Mixtures – Three Stops:

First Dish:

Second Dish:

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Third Dish:

  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Spicy Maple Butter:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

*** WARNING, this is so good and unexpected that I suggest you double the recipe.   

Waffles as the base to this Southern Specialty

  

Waffles
Waffles

Waffles:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup seltzer
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

For the chicken marinade:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk, hot sauce, kosher salt, granulated garlic and granulated onion.
  2. Place the chicken into a re-sealable bag and pour the buttermilk marinade over the chicken.
  3. Marinate chicken for at least 2 hours, or overnight, in the fridge.

For the Waffles:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees to keep these waffles warm.
  2. Hold 2 baking sheets with wire racks set inside for placement of finished waffles
  3. Preheat a waffle maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Create your waffles and park them in the oven as you finish your chicken.

*** This waffle batter is best if you allow it to rest at least 30 minutes, so make this early in the process.

For the Chicken Frying:

  1. In a large cast-iron skillet, bring an inch of oil to 350 degrees
  2. For the dredging , mixture:
  3. In a baking dish, add the flour and season it with the paprika and some salt and pepper.   This is the first step.
  4. As the second step, create an egg wash with two beaten eggs.
  5. In another baking dish, add the panko and season it with the ancho chile powder and some salt and pepper.  This is the final stop before the chicken meets the oil in the skillet.
  6. Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing the excess buttermilk to drip off.
  7. Then dredge the chicken first in the flour, then in the eggs and finally coat the chicken in the panko.
  8.  Fry the chicken in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, until each side of the chicken is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  9. Remove the fried chicken to one of the prepared baking sheets and place into the warm oven to stay warm and crispy while you make the waffles.

For the Spicy Maple Butter:

  1. Mix the butter, syrup, hot sauce and cayenne in a bowl.
  2. Keep this at room temp for best spreading on the waffles at serving time.

For the Waffles:

  1. Whisk the oil, vanilla and eggs in a medium bowl until combined.
  2. Add the buttermilk and seltzer.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the dry ingredients:  flour, sugar, table salt and baking soda to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  5. Stir in the scallions.
  6. Spray the waffle maker with some nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Pour the batter in the waffle iron and cook until golden.
  8. Set aside in a warm oven on the other prepared baking sheet until ready to serve.

Assembly ideas:

One square of a waffle down, slather with Spicy Maple Butter, top with Chicken Finger, then top with a simple arugula salad lightly dressed with a Buttermilk dressing.   This presentation is impressive and layers the flavors of the savory waffle with the buttermilked chicken and then the salad topping with that buttermilk themed dressing.  The layer of Spicy Maple Butter is the secret sauce to this dish, so do not skimp on slathering this on the waffle before assembly.  Our kids opted to share an added scoop of this butter on the side in their final presentation.

What is your best kid-and-adult friendly recipe to share?