Ok, friends… are you ready for Round 2 of our Super Bowl Feast Fest? As I mentioned on Monday, our game day tradition is to shrug off the typical party food in favor of more regional fare. Specifically, highlighting the areas of the country where the two competing teams are from. This year it’s the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. We started with that Authentic New England Clam Chowder on Monday — and today, it’s all about comfort food – in the form of Southern-Style Chicken and Waffles. Oh-Ma-Gawd!!!
This is definitely a splurge dish and and not at all indicative of the way we usually eat, but sometimes you have to go all out, right? So, let’s get to it… I am not a big fan of frying chicken at home – too much effort when there are others who do it so well — and when I’ve got a craving, I normally gravitate to our local grocery store for their super crispy fried chicken, or I’ll visit the Colonel. This fried chicken is different, though.
Instead of frying chicken legs, thighs, breasts and wings — which can take upwards of an hour or more behind a hot grease filled pot, I opt for boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin and marinated in a spicy buttermilk blend overnight. The next day, slice the chicken into strips and assemble the dredge. Because they’re boneless, pounded strips, they cook much faster…
I double dip them in buttermilk and well-seasoned flour and fry them up, so that they’re deeply golden and super crispy! Cornmeal in the flour mixture ensures that they stay crunchy outside with a juicy, moist interior. The best part – I can do these in 2-3 batches and it only takes about 20 minutes to cook.
The waffles for this dish are more on the savory side, with a buttermilk and cornmeal batter enhanced with a hint of maple syrup.
Five to six minutes in the waffle iron yields a crispy tender crust while sharp cheddar, green onions and chives really amp up the flavor quotient!
These waffles would be great on their own — or with a rash of bacon on the side and topped with a sunny side up egg — but today, they’ll be paired with those gorgeous fried chicken strips and a healthy pour of maple syrup.
So here’s to the Falcons and the Patriots! We’ll be thinking of you with every bite!!!
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce - such as Crystal
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- canola or peanut oil for frying
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk, well shaken
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 bunch scallions,sliced, white and pale green parts only
- 1 tablespoons minced chives
- Maple syrup
- minced chives
- extra shredded cheddar cheese
- Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Place one chicken breast at a time in the center of the plastic wrap and fold half the plastic over the top of the chicken. Use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound the chicken to an even 1/2" thickness. Set aside.
- In a zip lock baggie, add the buttermilk and hot sauce, seal the bag and massage the ingredients together. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them to the brine. Seal the bag. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 250°.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator half an hour before you start to fry. This is so that the chicken isn't ice cold when you put it in the fryer -- which would dramatically reduce the heat of the oil and cause the chicken to soak up the grease, instead of frying in it.
- Set up two shallow bowls for dredging. In one bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Add the buttermilk to the other bowl.
- Slice the chicken breasts into 1" wide strips.
- In a medium heavy bottom skillet or dutch oven, heat about 1" canola or peanut oil over medium to medium high heat, until its between 350°-375°.
- Working in batches, dip chicken strips in buttermilk, then into flour mixture - back into the buttermilk and finally into the flour mixture. Tap off excess flour and gently place chicken strips into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan -- only cook 3-4 strips of chicken at a time. Fry for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally with tongs until the chicken is crispy and a deep golden brown. Transfer cooked chicken to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Place the baking sheet in the oven to keep chicken warm.
- In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
- In a smaller bowl add buttermilk, eggs, butter and maple syrup. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Stir in the cheddar cheese, sliced scallions and chives.
- To make the waffles, preheat the waffle iron. Lightly coat with vegetable spray if necessary. Scoop batter onto the center of the waffle iron. Close the lid and bake until browned and crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Place waffles on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you continue cooking the rest of the batter.
- To serve: Stack 2-3 waffles on a plate toped by 2-3 strips of chicken, maple syrup, shredded cheese and chives.
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